Question: "What is hyper-Calvinism and is it biblical?"

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Revmitchell, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell
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    Answer: A simple definition is this: hyper-Calvinism is the belief that God saves the elect through His sovereign will with little or no use of the methods of bringing about salvation (such as evangelism, preaching, and prayer for the lost). To an unbiblical fault, the hyper-Calvinist over-emphasizes God's sovereignty and under-emphasizes man's responsibility in the work of salvation.

    An obvious ramification of hyper-Calvinism is that it suppresses any desire to evangelize the lost. Most churches or denominations that hold to hyper-Calvinistic theology are marked by fatalism, coldness, and a lack of assurance of faith. There is little emphasis upon God's love for the lost and His own people but rather an unbiblical preoccupation with God's sovereignty, His election of the saved, and His wrath for the lost. The gospel of the hyper-Calvinist is a declaration of God's salvation of the elect and His damnation of the lost.

    The Bible clearly teaches that God is sovereign over the entire universe (Daniel 4:34-35), including the salvation of men (Ephesians 1:3-12). But with God's sovereignty, the Bible also teaches that His motivation for saving the lost is love (Ephesians 1:4-5; John 3:16; 1 John 4:9-10) and that God's means of saving the lost is the proclamation of His Word (Romans 10:14-15). The Bible also declares that the Christian is to be passionate and determined in his/her sharing with unbelievers; as ambassadors for Christ, we are to "beg" people to be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20-21).

    Hyper-Calvinism takes a biblical doctrine, God’s sovereignty, and pushes it to an unbiblical extreme. In doing so, the hyper-Calvinist downplays the love of God and the necessity of evangelism.


    http://www.gotquestions.org/hyper-calvinism.html
     
  2. Revmitchell

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    A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism

    From a popular theological dictionary:

    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.]


    http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/hypercal.htm
     
  3. Revmitchell

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    Hyper-Calvinism: A False Doctrine By Dr. John R. Rice

    WHAT IS HYPER-CALVINISM?

    Those who believe in eternal salvation wholly of grace are usually called Calvinists simply because, in the Protestant Reformation, Calvin strongly emphasized that doctrine long contradicted under the Roman heresy of salvation by merit and church rites. So any person who is not Armenian in faith but rather believes in eternal security of the believer is likely to describe himself as a Calvinist. Or where Calvinism has not been carried to its more unscriptural, unevangelistic, arrogant extreme, one might probably call himself a "moderate" Calvinist. Most of those who might be called Calvinists do not believe in a limited atonement, for example, nor do they believe that some are foreordained by unconditioned election to go to Hell and so could not be saved, that salvation was never provided for nor offered for them. But they do believe in eternal salvation by grace, the principal truth Calvin emphasized.

    Those who do believe a doctrine of God's limited love, limited grace, limited atonement, and unchangeable plan to damn millions who could not be saved, are called hyper-Calvinists.

    These extreme doctrines were first taught somewhat by Augustine. Then for about a thousand years no one found them in the Bible, of course, till Calvin developed such a theology. Adopting the theory men then persuaded themselves that they find it in the Bible.

    Salvation by grace, eternal salvation, without works, is a Bible doctrine. I believe hyper-Calvinism is not a Bible doctrine but is a perversion by proud intellectuals who thus may try to excuse themselves from any spiritual accountability for winning souls.

    II. EXAMINE THE DOCTRINE OF HYPER-CALVINISM

    Those whom we call hyper-Calvinists usually outline their doctrinal position as represented by the letters TULIP:

    T for Total Depravity of the sinner
    U for Unconditional Election
    L for Limited Atonement
    I for Irresistible Grace
    P for Perseverance of the saints


    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Book...Printed Books/Dr John Rice/hypercalvinism.htm
     
  4. Revmitchell

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    Hyper-Calvinism

    The term Hyper-Calvinism refers primarily to a theological position that historically arose from within the Calvinist tradition among the early English Particular Baptists in the mid 1700's. It can be seen in the teachings of men like Joseph Hussey (d. 1726), Lewis Wayman (d. 1764), John Brine (d. 1765), and to some extent in John Gill (d. 1771).

    It is called Hyper-Calvinism by its critics, who maintain that it deviates from the biblical gospel by (1) denying that the call of the gospel to repent and believe is universal, i.e. for all alike, and (2) denying that the unregenerate (natural) man has a duty to repent and believe in Christ for salvation.

    This theological position was labeled Hyper-Calvinism in the mid 1700’s as the issue was argued and debated among English Baptists and others. It should be noted that, although Hyper-Calvinism became fairly widespread among the English Particular Baptists of that day, not all Particular Baptists agreed with the extremes of Wayman and Brine.

    While this doctrine has always been a minority view, it has not been relegated to the past and may still be found in some small denominations and church communities today.
    Non-technical usage of the term

    The prefix “hyper” may be used generically to refer to anything that is considered “extreme” or which goes beyond the accepted norm. There is therefore a sense in which one may refer to Calvinistic views regarded as going beyond normal Calvinism as “hyper.” This non-technical use, usually as a pejorative term, has been applied to a variety of theological positions which fall outside mainstream Calvinism:

    that God is the source of sin and of evil
    that men have no will of their own, and secondary causes are of no effect
    that it is wrong to evangelize
    that God does not command everyone to repent
    that there is no common grace, i.e. God only cares for his elect and has nothing but hatred for the non-elect.
    that no government is to be obeyed which does not acknowledge that Jesus is the Lord over it, or that Biblical Law is its source of authority
    that only Calvinists are Christians


    http://www.theopedia.com/Hyper-Calvinism
     
  5. Revmitchell

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    The What and Why of Hyper-Calvinism

    The title is not going to set the world on fire, but it’s nevertheless a very good book: The Emergence of Hyper-Calvinism in English Nonconformity 1689-1765. The book was written by Peter Toon (1939-2009) and first published in 1967; it includes a preface by the ubiquitous J.I. Packer. This is a scholarly, densely footnoted, technical little tome. But it contains simple, valuable lessons. Packer says, “The story is a cautionary tale with timely lessons for those who seek a revival of Reformed Christianity to-day” (8).

    I see three lessons, given in increasing order of importance.

    1. Toon shows, as Ken Stewart has more recently, that the Reformed faith is not completely uniform. This isn’t to say there’s not a basic continuity from Calvin to Beza to the Puritans to Old Princeton to the present day. But at many points in Reformed history it’s not been neat or clear what the Reformed position is.

    2. Toon gives a solid definition of Hyper-Calvinism and it’s not the same as being really, really Reformed. In common parlance, Hyper-Calvinist simply means “I think you are too much of a Calvinist.” But that’s not a fair use of the term. Historically, Hyper-Calvinism has referred to a set of theological conclusions and practices, none of which mark any of today’s leading Calvinists.

    Here’s Toon’s summary (with some paragraph breaks added):

    [Hyper-Calvinism] was a system of theology, or a system of the doctrines of God, man and grace, which was framed to exalt and honour and glory of God and did so at the expense of minimising the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners to God. It places excessive emphasis on the immanent acts of God–eternal justification, eternal adoption and the eternal covenant of grace. In practice, this meant that “Christ and Him crucified”, the central message of the apostles, was obscured.

    It also often made no distinction between the secret and the revealed will of God, and tried to deduce the duty of men from what it taught concerning the secret, eternal decrees of God.

    Excessive emphasis was also placed on the doctrine of irresistible grace with the tendency to state that an elect man is not only passive in regeneration but also in conversion as well. The absorbing interest in the eternal, immanent acts of God and in irresistible grace led to the notion that grace must only be offered to those for whom it was intended.

    Finally, a valid assurance of salvation was seen as consisting in an inner feeling and conviction of being eternally elected by God. So Hyper-Calvinism led its adherents to hold that evangelism was not necessary and to place much emphasis on introspection in order to discover whether or not one was elect. (144-45)

    So the main tenets include: little attention to message of the cross, no free offer of the gospel to call, no summons for men to be born again, a highly introspective doctrine of assurance, and collapse of the hidden and revealed will of God. This was Hyper-Calvinism, not simply being seriously Reformed.

    3. Most important, Toon explains how a healthy Calvinism became an unhealthy Hyper-Calvinism. His cites four reasons for the rise of Hyper-Calvinism in English Nonconformity.

    First, after 1660 orthodox Calvinism was under siege. “The religious leadership of the nation was lodged firmly in the hands of men who were either Arminian or moderately Calvinistic in theology” (146). Given this opposition, many Calvinists adopted a bunker mentality. They saw themselves as the small remnant that still clung to the apostolic faith. As their faith became increasingly defensive, it became rigid and less attractive.

    Second, the intellectual environment of the time was one that greatly emphasized the role of reason in religious faith. Consequently, the Hyper-Calvinists applied strict logic to biblical doctrines that led to unbiblical conclusions. If election is true and grace is really irresistible, why both with the free offer of the gospel? This was rational logic, but not biblical logic.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/07/14/the-what-and-why-of-hyper-calvinism/
     
  6. Revmitchell

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    "Fourth, they were not very intelligent. That may sound cruel, but listen to Toon:

    The Hyper-Calvinists were sincere men of average intelligence, but they lacked a prophetical and discerning spirit. They keenly desired to glorify God and mistakenly believed that God was more glorified by the exaltation of free grace in the pulpit and the printed page, than in the evangelism and conversion of men. They became so obsessed with the defence of what they regarded as sound doctrine that the evangelistic note of Scripture as basically an overture by God towards sinners was muted. (148)"
     
  7. Thinkingstuff

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    Some interesting points you've made here. Thanks for the book referrence.
     
  8. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Will your next series of posts address Hyper Arminism?
     
  9. Yeshua1

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    actually, moderate calvinists like myself ALSO use the TULIP though!

    main point in Hyper Calvinism is that God has ONLY a Determined Will aspect, so ALL decisions are directly determined by Him..

    Unlike moderates like myself who see God haveing BOTH a determined and permissive Will, that works into his master plan and purposes decisions that are made!

    example would be missions/evangelising, I would see it as God detrmined who would get saved by the preaching of the gospel, but he also has it so that we must go out and get that message to them to hear ansd get saved!
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    That would be a series about word of faith/prosperity gospel!
     
  11. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Well if he wants to be the fair Christian he claims himself to be, he should present both sides....this shall reveal his real agenda.
     
  12. Revmitchell

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    Uh why? why is it that any criticism at all threatens you ? Do you always present both sides when you criticize non cals? Just who is it on this board that does that ever?

    And why do you comment in a thread that you intentionally avoid the op?
     
  13. Earth Wind and Fire

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    Proves your bias then....:tongue3:
     
  14. Revmitchell

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    Very sad....You can't deal with the argument so you derail it.
     
  15. Yeshua1

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    if so, why present the 'facts" as if all calvinists who hold to the TULIP would be all hyper by youe definition? MOST of them would not be!
     
  16. Revmitchell

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    I did not define it and I did not write the article. Maybe you could just respond in a way the explains why you believe that aspect of the op to be wrong.
     
  17. 12strings

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    OP's # 1, 2, 4 & 5 are fair descriptions.

    I believe post #3 Gets it slightly wrong on a few points:

    -This description could easily describe simply very serious calvinists, in fact any who believe that only the elect WILL come to Christ...and so fails to see the distinction between a "regular" calvinist and a "hyper".


    Again, Rice shows his misunderstanding of Calvinistic soteriology by ascribing the TULIP only to hyper-calvinists...and make the mistake that Post #5 warns about...simply considering any serious calvinist to be a hyper-calvinist.

    ALSO....
    Post #4, while good, fails at one small point:

    Many "regular" Calvinists might agree with this, saying that God certainly had the option to create a world without sin and evil, but chose to create this one...Many would even go further, saying God planned to allow sin and evil on purpose, in order to serve some greater purpose. Neither position pushes one into hyper-calvinism. If it does...then there really is no distinction between hyper-calvinism and calvinism.
     
  18. salzer mtn

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    An early 18th-century British independent (baptistic) pastor named William Huntington is the godfather of this position. This brand of hyper-Calvinism often also has strong antinomian tendencies, traceable back to Huntington, who denied that the moral law is binding as a rule of life on the Christian. Such antinomianism harmonizes well with hyper-Calvinism's denial of human responsibility. I have delt personally with people that held Huntington in high esteem and these people also believe it is impossibe for one to be saved unless you hear the gospel of God's grace through one of THEIR preachers. I once heard one of these preachers preach on the Philippian jailer and when he repeated what the jailer said, sir's what must i do to be saved? the preacher told the congregation, nothing, not one thing.
     
  19. Revmitchell

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    The important distinction here is the belief that some people are never offered grace by God and are damned to hell without any offer of grace from God. That is certainly a hyper calvinist.




    What Rice argued for is the idea that this was not a predominate view for quite some time until Calvin went back and took them from Augustine and then expanded on that. And I do agree with Rice when he says:



    Looking at this:

    This explanation is not the same thing as much of the determinism I see from Hyper-Calvinists. Which seems to be that God ordains men to do specific evil acts in a way that micro-manages the evil or He is not sovereign if He does not. Which is different than what you just said.
     
  20. Revmitchell

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    Which completely ignores the rest of that passage.
     

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