What Would Martin Luther Have Thought about PROOF?
That's the question Timothy Paul Jones asks of his new book whom he co-authored with Daniel Montgomery, called PROOF. Some are calling it a powerful new paradigm for explaining the intoxicating joy of God’s irresistible grace, as each letter refers to 5 facets of God’s grace.
He asks the question because their book is a self-conscious reformulation of the mnemonic device used in Reformed circles known as TULIP. And while Luther launched the reformation that gave rise to the beliefs undergirding TULIP, his view of how God saves people differed from the theologians in the Reformed tradition.
In an enlightening blog post at the PROOF website, Jones walks through the five points of grace and compares them with Luther's view of God's gift of salvation. Here is some of what he writes:
"Planned Grace (Definite Atonement): Luther’s tendency—as Sweeney rightly points out—was to stress the Scripture promise that whosoever repents and believes will be saved…"
"Outrageous Grace (Unconditional Election to Salvation): Martin Luther wasn’t entirely consistent when it comes to the doctrine of predestination, but his view was definitely not identical to the Reformed view."
"Overcoming Grace (Effectual Inward Calling): Martin Luther didn’t believe that God compels people to be converted against their wills—but, then again, neither do those who take a Reformed perspective on how God saves people."
Jones concludes, "given enough time, perhaps Martin Luther would have viewed us as we view him—as one with whom we disagree but who clearly understood that it’s solely by grace through faith that we’re made right with God, and thus as a brother."