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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : HYPER-CALVINISM

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I am neither a calvinist nor a hyper-calvinist.

I am and would be known by no other name but christian.

I belong to no party,sect,denomination or secret society.

I belong to Christ alone. I am not my own nor any others. I am His.

And I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus the Messiah, from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named (Eph. 3:14,15).

I hope to bring clarity to some misconceptions on the subject of this thread, as well as disassociate myself with the same (hyper-calvinism) in any of the minds who may read or who may have read any of my posts and concluded that I am in any wise in agreement with the pernicious doctrines espoused by hyper-calvinists.

If I agree with Roman Catholicism on the virgin birth and sinless life of Christ,His Deity,and the Tri-Une Godhead,this does not make me a Roman Catholic.

I may agree with such and such camp on several doctrines and yet remain aloof from the same.

Again,the following is posted in hopes to clarify many misconceptions. Both personal and doctrinal.

"I wrote and posted this article because I am concerned about some subtle trends that seem to signal a rising tide of hyper-Calvinism, especially within the ranks of young Calvinists and the newly Reformed. I have seen these trends in numerous Reformed theological forums on the Internet, including mailing lists, Web sites, and Usenet forums.

Lest anyone wonder where my own convictions lie, I am a Calvinist. I am a five-point Calvinist, affirming without reservation the Canons of the Synod of Dordt. And when I speak of hyper-Calvinism, I am not using the term as a careless pejorative. I'm not an Arminian who labels all Calvinism "hyper." When I employ the term, I am using it in its historical sense.

History teaches us that hyper-Calvinism is as much a threat to true Calvinism as Arminianism is. Virtually every revival of true Calvinism since the Puritan era has been hijacked, crippled, or ultimately killed by hyper-Calvinist influences. Modern Calvinists would do well to be on guard against the influence of these deadly trends."(Phil Johnson's intro to his article, A Primer On Hyper-Calvinism)

Phil Johnson begins his article with these words, "Hyper-Calvinism, simply stated, is a doctrine that emphasizes divine sovereignty to the exclusion of human responsibility. To call it "hyper-Calvinism" is something of a misnomer. It is actually a rejection of historic Calvinism."

1. [Hyper-Calvinism] is a system of theology framed to exalt the honour and glory of God and does so by acutely minimizing the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners . . . It emphasizes irresistible grace to such an extent that there appears to be no real need to evangelize; furthermore, Christ may be offered only to the elect. . . .
2. It is that school of supralapsarian 'five-point' Calvinism [n.b.—a school of supralapsarianism, not supralapsarianism in general] which so stresses the sovereignty of God by over-emphasizing the secret over the revealed will of God and eternity over time, that it minimizes the responsibility of sinners, notably with respect to the denial of the use of the word "offer" in relation to the preaching of the gospel; thus it undermines the universal duty of sinners to believe savingly in the Lord Jesus with the assurance that Christ actually died for them; and it encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect. [Peter Toon, "Hyper-Calvinism," New Dictionary of Theology (Leicester: IVP, 1988), 324.]

It'd be best to let them (hyper-calvinists) speak for themselves. The archetypal Hyper-Calvinist position may be found explicitly set forth in the confessional articles of the Gospel Standard (Baptist) Churches, specifically: Articles of Faith of the Gospel Standard Aid and Poor Relief Societies, (Leicester, England: Oldham & Manton Ltd., n.d.)

Here are two of the articles in their confession:

Article XXVI "We deny duty faith and duty repentance – these terms suggesting that it is every man’s duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that man in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God."

Article XXXIII "Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption."

"There is indeed such a thing as hyper-Calvinism; but it may be shown both historically and theologically that it is not unconditional election, limited atonement, or supralapsarianism that make a hyper-Calvinist. All of these characteristics fall solidly within orthodox historic Calvinism. The disagreements and discussions regarding these particular theological points are not to be confused with the issue of "hyper-Calvinism." To label one who holds any or all of these views as a hyper-Calvinist is to display a serious case of theological and historical ignorance...

Tom Nettles sees the essence of hyper-Calvinism as the denial of duty-faith. I tend to agree. Regarding the two defining elements, a denial of duty-faith and a denial of the universal call of the gospel, it seems that once you establish the first, namely to deny that it is the duty of unregenerate man to believe the gospel, then the second point naturally follows, i.e. that the gospel is not for all men indiscriminately and therefore should be proclaimed only to those who show signs of being regenerate. Therefore the critical issue is the denial of duty-faith. If this tenet falls, then I would suggest so does the basis for denying the universal call of the gospel...

Historic Calvinists (I believe) regard repentance and faith as the means by which the great commandment to love God and love our neighbor finds fulfillment. This duty to love God and neighbor existed before the fall and Adam certainly enjoyed the ability to do so. Our love of God is therefore still obligatory, and the means through which it is to be realized, namely repentance and faith, are likewise obligatory. We owe God our love and trust by the very fact that we are His rational creatures. Adam had the ability to love and trust God before the Fall. We are still responsible to love and trust God even though, because of the Fall and while in our unregenerate state, we have lost the moral ability to do so. Therefore, contrary to hyper-Calvinism, fallen man is indeed duty-bound to repent and believe in Christ for salvation.

In my opinion, we have successfully closed on a clear technical definition of hyper-Calvinism. Simply stated, it consists of two fundamental errors: a denial of duty-faith and a resultant denial of the universal call of the gospel. These fundamental errors are a departure from the teaching of Scripture as well as historic Calvinism. These errors were responsible for unbiblical teaching on evangelism and the proclamation of the gospel among 18th century English Baptists. However, as we have seen, the sad effect on evangelism is not the defining error, but a symptom.

On the other hand, in my understanding, historic Calvinism has always maintained that it is the duty of unregenerate men to repent and believe. Calvinism also acknowledges that the gospel is to be preached to all men indiscriminately and that we are to beseech all to individually trust in Jesus Christ and Him alone for salvation.

Finally, I hope it is clear that hyper-Calvinism is not to be considered a legitimate form of Calvinism, for it is not. By the same token, however, it should also be clear that honest theological discussion should refrain from labeling legitimate variations within orthodox Calvinism as "Hyper-Calvinism."" (Jim Ellis)

Unto him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

 2008/10/17 21:29

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37510
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11


The thread was locked for a reason. The way you are going about arguing these things are not beneficial. And the language you used was not suitable for these forums.

This thread is being locked and please do not re-iniate this subject.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2008/10/17 21:35Profile

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