I'm starting this thread because we as members have completely derailed a thread in "General Baptist Discussions" regarding reading materials purchase and use, and I didn't want to further drag that thread down into the dust. So I begin with a statement from Rippon regarding an ongoing exchange on that thread, followed by a question Yehsua1 asked me, and continue the discussion here. I said four of the five points as understood by hyper-Calvinists were unbiblical, not that all or a majority of the five points are. However, I have an issue with "Limited Atonement" when it is interpreted as meaning some were chosen for destruction. That's utter nonsense completely outside the character of God. Stay tuned. Here it comes. Hyper-Calvinism, to me, is a doctrine that emphasizes the divine sovereignty of God while completely denying any form of human responsibility. It isn't "Calvinism" at all, due to its rejection of historic Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism entails a denial of what is taught in both Scripture and the major Calvinistic creeds, substituting instead an imbalanced and unbiblical notion of divine sovereignty. Rippon, this would be what I call an "ultra-5-pointer." There are several extremes of what I consider unbiblical and non-historical Calvinism. I'm not alone in that assessment. Hyper-Calvinists put great weight on the secret, or decretive (decreasing), will of God over "His revealed, or preceptive, will." That is, His will as an act of authoritarian rule. When a hyper-Calvinist discusses the will of God, he/she literally conceals any distinction between God's will as reflected in His commands and His will as reflected in his eternal decrees. Yet that distinction is an essential part of historic Reformed theology. In essense, hyper-Calvinists abandon Reformed thinking when it conflicts with their ultra-legalistic view of their focal points of Calvin's teachings. I'll give an example of others who have identified another trait of those who have departed from Calvin and the Bible in embracing extreme thought. Peter Toon, on hyper-Calvinism, in The Dictionary of Theology (Leicester: IVP, 1988), 324.) [Note: There is no link I could find, sorry], writes: Toon hits on the crux of the issue that separates the ultra-5-pointer, or hyper-Calvinist, from the reality of biblical and Calvinistic teaching. "Hypers" deny that the gospel message includes any sincere proposal of divine mercy to sinners in general, which any extensive study of God's word will reveal as an absurdity. Much of what is posted on this board fits neatly into this category. Finally, hyper-Calvinists find solace and comfort -- how, I cannot imagine -- in entering into a brooding meditation over whether or not they, but more often, whether others, are elect or not. In fact, most I have known rarely question their own "election" but certainly are quick to question that of those around them, and particularly with those who disagree with them. For these brooding Calvinists, the concepts of the teacher "degenerate into a cold, lifeless dogma." This leads to churches and denominations that embrace this ill-conceived form of theology becoming either non-productive and ineffective with the gospel, or (as we also see on this board) militant and elitist, as though standing guard at the wall to prevent the barbarian horde from storming the gates and occupying -- what? Heaven? Unlikely. They aren't guarding those gates. I'm not sure what they are guarding. Now, prepare to pull apart all I've written, but you should know, it is a summary of an article by Phil Johnson in summarizing the thoughts of Spurgeon on this brand of Calvinism. Where comments are in quotations marks, they are direct quotes from Johnson, a Calvinist who summarizes much of what is said on this board -- my perception, obviously, not his -- as unbiblical and un-Calvin, and therefore a "Hyper-Calvinist" who: Denies that the gospel call applies to all who hear, OR Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR 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 Denies that there is such a thing as "common grace," OR Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect. I literally despise these discussions, I should know better than to get into them, and I'm sorry I got into this one -- but then again, that other thread in "General Baptist Discussions" is completely derailed, as it had nothing to do with Calvinist thought. For that, I apologize to Evangelist, who had no intention of starting this thread to discuss the differences of opinion on this doctrine.