Friday, May 13, 2005

What is Hyper-Calvinism?

I believe it is important to defend the principles of Calvinism because it is a doctrinal system that is founded on biblical truth. Charles Spurgeon once said, "I have my own private opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism."

Of course, Calvinists are not without their faults. Some are actually more "Calvinist" than John Calvin himself, taking his teachings to new extremes.

Phillip R. Johnson, who edits and maintains the invaluable Spurgeon Archive, has written an excellent essay entitled "A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism." It's a must-read for every Calvinist:
    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. 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.
According to Johnson, 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.
Don't worry. Each point is addressed in detail. Read the entire article here.

1 comment:

Tony Byrne said...

Phil does a good job defining it. I also wrote on hyper-Calvinism and gave some other definitions. Check it out if you are interested.


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