Hyper-Calvinism

Status
Not open for further replies.

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I was looking at the following article "A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism" by Phil Johnson which defines hyper-calvinism as:
A hyper-Calvinist is someone who either:
  1. Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR
  2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
  3. Denies that the gospel makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect (or denies that the offer of divine mercy is free and universal), OR
  4. Denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," OR
  5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

And that's fine. I'm all for letting a person define his terms when there is no consensus on the definition. But what I'm curious about is if hyper-calvinism is really essentially one of "stressing" certain truths over others.

  • "...hyper-Calvinists tend to stress the secret (or decretive) will of God over His revealed (or preceptive) will."
  • "hyper-Calvinism "encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect." "
  • "the "gospel" they proclaim is a truncated soteriology with an undue emphasis on God's decree as it pertains to the reprobate. "
  • " the good news about Christ's death and resurrection is supplanted by a message about election and reprobation—usually with an inordinate stress on reprobation."

If I accept Phil Johnson's "five fold definition - then I'm practically a hyper-Calvinist. But I believe his definition really depends on how one defines the terms "gospel call" and "faith" which is the "duty" of all sinners, and "offer" and "common-grace" etc. I've seen these defined in such a way that I have no problem with them, and I've seen them defined in ways that contradict certain truths of Scripture. I think these terms tend to confuse some doctrines and mislead people about the whole nature of God. I argue against some of these ideas because I think the tend to "stress" aspects of God that can cause people to assume a Arminian view of God.

God brings rain to the elect and the reprobate. There is a general sort of love God has for his creation. But God still hates sin, and the reprobate are going to hell because this is God's will. I don't care how you package it, there are aspects of God that don't make us comfortable. We'd like a lovable huggible God but that's not what Scripture presents. God is going to send the reprobate to burn in hell for eternity. I think we need to be honest about that and not try to make excuses for God doing things that make us uncomfortable - like punishing the guilty, and electing those whom he is going to save.

Anyway, I'm interested in what others think. Is Johnson's problem with hyper-calvinists mainly one of what he considers undue stressing of certain truths over others, or are hyper-calvinist actually contradicting Scripture. It sounds to me that his main argument is hyper-calvinist emphasis things he doesn't want to hear or talk about.

It would be great to get some hyper-calvinist's quotes. I'd like to see if I can spot a hyper-calvinist actually contradicting Scripture rather than over emphasizing certain characteristics of God.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
As I read through this article there are several examples of poisoning the well, a lack of quotes from hyper-calvinists, and many assertions regard what hyper-calvinists teach by implication without actually demonstrating the points. There also many assertions that hyper-calvinist deny any/all/every sense of certain terms. As far as I've seen, the only things these "hyper-calvinists" have done is arguing against specific "senses" of "common grace" and "duty-faith". Not all senses.

I wish he had actually supported his assertions with some quotes of hyper-calvinists.
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
"hyper-Calvinism "encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect." "


That's impossible. No one can know who is elect or not.
 

panta dokimazete

Panting Donkey Machete
here is a hyper-calvinistic forum


Welcome to 5solas.org.

This website is designed to serve as a learning center for all those who believe that inspired Scripture Alone as judged by the Gospel (Sola Scriptura) is the standard for doctrine and practice. We believe that every aspect of salvation is by God's Sovereign Grace Alone (Sola Gratia) and conditioned upon Christ Alone (Solo Christo). We believe that Christ's people freely receive knowledge and rely upon Christ entirely for their salvation by the gift of Faith Alone (Sola Fide). We believe that all that happens in this world, including the salvation of men, the damnation of the wicked, and even the sinfulness of men is predestined for the Glory of God Alone (Soli Deo Gloria).

This website is the parent site of Pristine Grace and Predestinarian Network. The articles on 5solas.org are designed to be a more in-depth study of biblical doctrines. Our blog is the primary feature of the website and is focused on the study and discussion of high grace predestinarian Gospel doctrine and its implications.

The primary confessional document for this website is the Gospel Standard Articles of Faith. The other documents we subscribe to are the 1729 Goat Yard Confession of Faith and the London Baptist Confession of 1644. We also hold of primary importance a belief in the Absolute Predestination of all things.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

Has Mr. Johnson ever met or read someone who claims to believe this? This sounds like some mythological being that some say they have seen with their own eyes but does not really exist.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

There is a hyper-calvinist who holds to every single point in Johnson's essay who attends my church. Johnson's essay is entirely accurate, but I would soften it a bit from saying "either" to "or."

I know people who deny Common Grace, for example, but they uphold the orthodox view of the Free Offer and all the other points in Johnson's essay. I would not label such a person a "hyper-calvinist" simply because he is weak on one point.

I draw the line at the Free Offer. If someone denies the Free Offer of the Gospel to sinners, then that person is most definately a hyper-calvinist. If the person denies that faith is a duty required of all sinners, but upholds the Free Offer, then I would not categorize such as a hyper-calvinist.

Just my :2cents:

-CH
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
I think Phil Johnson has drawn a bigger circle defining hyper-Calvinism than some would. Tom Nettles in "By His Grace" generally agrees with David Engelsma and sees the crux as a denial of "duty-faith" and the "universal call" (that the gospel should be indiscriminately proclaimed to all).

I know Phil Johnson thinks Engelsma is a hyper (because of his perspective on common grace and the Well-meant-offer) and he disagrees Tom Nettles on some particular atonement issues (although he hasn't called him hyper).

As you suggest, some of the issues lie in specific definitions and understanding of the buzz-words which Johnson doesn't really address. Then he supplements his definition with problem tendencies, which may or may not be valid inferences from his list of characteristics.

:2cents:
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
"hyper-Calvinism 'encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect.'"


"That's impossible. No one can know who is elect or not."​

Andrew, are you saying I cannot know if I am elect? How preposterous! I am my Savior's, and He is mine, and He will not let me go. I know Him, He is my life, "heart of my own heart".

Steve
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
"hyper-Calvinism 'encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect.'"


"That's impossible. No one can know who is elect or not."​

Andrew, are you saying I cannot know if I am elect? How preposterous! I am my Savior's, and He is mine, and He will not let me go. I know Him, He is my life, "heart of my own heart".

Steve

As usually, it depends on how you define "know".

There's nothing preposterous in saying we can not know who the elect are. If you can tell me, I'd like to know myself. :)

And knowing I am saved is a matter of assurance, not absolute knowledge. That's my informed opinion based on whole of Scripture and confirmed by the WCF.
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
<Quote> Andrew, are you saying I cannot know if I am elect? How preposterous! I am my Savior's, and He is mine, and He will not let me go. I know Him, He is my life, "heart of my own heart". <Endquote>

I think Andrew is referring to the hyper's contention the the gospel is not to be offered to all indisriminately, but only those who are "sensible" sinners under the conviction of the HS. Therefore they would encourage introspection for some sign of the Spirit's moving prior to offering the gospel and prior to believing.
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
"hyper-Calvinism "encourages introspection in the search to know whether or not one is elect." "


That's impossible. No one can know who is elect or not.

I think I detect a little irony here. Would a hyper-calvinist even say we can "know" one is saved?

Personally, I would say by introspection we can have assurance of salvation, not absolute knowledge. Isn't that the reason why we are to examine our fruits - not as logical proof of election, but as evidence of election (or reprobation if lacking fruit). That's what James is looking at: how do we judge the genuineness of a faith claim. If someone lacks good works, there is good reason to doubt his claim. The claim itself does not evidence true faith. Good works do.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Let me get this straight, if I say, according to the Scripture, and the Confessions, that God does not sincerely offer and desire the salvation of those He has passed over in His decree, foreordained to remain in their sins, I am a hyper-Calvinist?

And when I preach – or evangelize publicly* – that the wrath of God against the wickedness and violence of men will cleanse the earth once again, with fire this time and not water, and that there is safety only in the Son He sent to save all sinners who come to God by Him pleading for mercy and life, and that whoever does not believe the words of the Son, the wrath of God abides on him….if I say this, declining to assert that God loves men apart from His abounding grace in Christ, I am a hyper-Calvinist?

*[Not that such will be the tenor of my public speaking, although this must be clearly told all]



Steve
 

Magma2

Puritan Board Sophomore
I draw the line at the Free Offer. If someone denies the Free Offer of the Gospel to sinners, then that person is most definately a hyper-calvinist. If the person denies that faith is a duty required of all sinners, but upholds the Free Offer, then I would not categorize such as a hyper-calvinist.

:2cents: I think it is important to distinguish between the Free Offer of the Gospel as men like John Murray understood it with the indiscriminate preaching of the gospel. They're not the same thing.

Also, if you're correct then not only is the Protestant Reformed Church, not to mention Gordon Clark and our own Rev. Winzer, but Calvin was a hyper-calvinist too.
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine....My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish....

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day...

Steve
 

Civbert

Puritan Board Junior
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine....My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give them eternal life; and they shall never perish....

And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day...

Steve

I was looking for "Steve, you are one of the elect." I already believe in the doctrines of the assurance of salvation and perseverance of the saints. That's not the same as absolute knowledge of my personal salvation. I don't have a way to demonstrate by logical necessity that I am saved. I do strongly believe I'm saved but that's not the same thing.
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
I recently put together a chart surveying all the Calvinist positions. Found here I agree that some people are unfairly called hyper-calvinist. In the chart I have attempted to show the difference between hyper-calvinism and High calvinism. Hope it helps

VanVos

P.S.Feed back welcome, especially if I need to make changes
 
Last edited:

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
Phil Johnson's "five fold definition is not worth anything really. The whole "hyper-Calvinist" debate is really quite laughable in that everyone talks at cross purposes and no agreed definition can be found (especially when all 5-pointers are hypers according to Amyraldians!).

The term is used mostly by people who are unable to win by reasoned argument and so label their opponent as a hyper hoping it shocks people to stop liking their target.

:2cents:
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
Feed back welcome, especially if I need to make changes

It is a brave attempt at a difficult area. I found this helpful.

It is all about definition, i.e. what does "offer" mean? Do we take it as purely its Latin meaning or not?

Also:

"John Gerstner, in response to this document [The Free Offer of the Gospel], said, "This is not ‘mystery’ but bald contradiction. . . . God, if he could be frustrated in His desires, simply would not be God. . . . One may sadly say that Westminster Theological Seminary stands for this misunderstanding of the Reformed doctrine since not only John Murray and Ned Stonehouse but also Cornelius Van Til, R. B. Kuiper, John Frame, and so far as we know, all of the faculty, have favored it."42 In another place, he laments, "With tears in my heart, I nevertheless confidently assert that they erred profoundly in The Free Offer of the Gospel and died before they seem to have realized their error which . . . still does incalculable damage to the cause of Jesus Christ and the proclamation of His Gospel." These are strong words from a former student of Murray and Stonehouse." http://www.trinityfoundation.org/journal.php?id=161
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
I think Andrew is referring to the hyper's contention the the gospel is not to be offered to all indisriminately, but only those who are "sensible" sinners under the conviction of the HS.

Is Gill a hyper in stating the following?

"The gospel is indeed ordered to be preached to every creature to whom it is sent and comes; but as yet, it has never been brought to all the individuals of human nature; there have been multitudes in all ages that have not heard it. And that there are universal offers of grace and salvation made to all men I utterly deny; nay, I deny they are made to any; no, not to God’s elect; grace and salvation are provided for them in the everlasting covenant, procured for them by Christ, published and revealed in the gospel, and applied by the Spirit; much less are they made to others..." From here.
 

Magma2

Puritan Board Sophomore
I recently put together are chart surveying all the Calvinist positions. Found here I agree that some people are unfairly called hyper-calvinist. In the chart I have attempted to show the difference between hyper-calvinism and High calvinism. Hope it helps

VanVos

P.S.Feed back welcome, especially if I need to make changes

Pretty good. Concerning Calvin as a "Moderate Calvinist" (isn't that ironic ;) ), have you read "A Reexamination of the So-Called Well-Meant Offer of Salvation" by Raymond A. Blacketer (http://www.prca.org/articles/ctjblack.html)? Blacketer is CRC and is writing in the Calvin Theological Journal, but he makes (I think) a very powerful case that Calvin did not hold to the WMO in the least.

Interestingly the articles which came out in the CTJ were pretty much a complete vindication of Hoeksema's stand against the teaching of the WMO, albeit not his opposition to common grace.

Also, I recall reading that Kuyper's development of common grace had a very real political component as well. As I understand it, as Prime Minister of Holland he needed to find away to create a collation with the Catholics in order to retain power and this was a big impetus for his development of common grace. Does anyone have any info along these lines? I always found this aspect of the controversy interesting, but I could never find much on it.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
I've personally decided that this whole matter is overheated. Not worth arguing about.

If someone were to call me a "hypercalvinist" I'd ask them to define 1) calvinist and 2) hypercalvinist. Then I might agree with their definition but disagree that it's "hyper." They may need correction (if they'll receive it).

If someone called me a "sub-calvinist" then I might ask them how they define 1) calvinist and 2) sub-calvinist. Then I might agree with their definition, but disagree that it is "sub." This person I might recognize as a hypercalvinist, whether they wanted that name or not.

Because I think I understand Calvin just fine.
 

AV1611

Puritan Board Senior
As I understand it, as Prime Minister of Holland he needed to find away to create a collation with the Catholics in order to retain power and this was a big impetus for his development of common grace. Does anyone have any info along these lines? I always found this aspect of the controversy interesting, but I could never find much on it.


I would also be interested as I would not be suprised if it were true. One of the reasons I dislike the CG theory is its cultural implications.
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
According to the chart, I'm High to Ultra High Calvinist.

Anyone want to deal with Krafts "Responds to Phil Johnson?" or does anyone know of Johnson responded to the arguments made by Kraft?

Thanks.

j
PS: Where would Beza end up on the chart?
 

VanVos

Puritan Board Sophomore
According to the chart, I'm High to Ultra High Calvinist.

Anyone want to deal with Krafts "Responds to Phil Johnson?" or does anyone know of Johnson responded to the arguments made by Kraft?

Thanks.

j
PS: Where would Beza end up on the chart?

I would put my self also in the High Calvinism camp. I put Beza as a High Calvinist because of his position of supralapsarianism.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top