Arminian Today

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One Point About My Post on Hyper-Calvinism

I want to make one point about my previous post on hyper-Calvinism and how I see it as consistent Calvinism.  I want to make it clear that I don’t agree with the underlying thesis of the hyper-Calvinist and I believe that the hyper-Calvinist exalts the decree of God above all things.  It makes the decree of God supreme when in fact, as an Arminian, I believe the love of God is supreme as seen in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:15-20; 2:9).

Now that said, I want to make one more point about this post and that is that I do not hold that Calvinists are all hyper-Calvinists.  Not at all.  In fact, the vast majority of them would preach against hyper-Calvinism and would view it as unbiblical.  I want to make that clear.  I have seen various non-Calvinists say that Calvinism is hyper-Calvinism.  For instance, Dr. Norman Geisler, in his book Chosen But Free, writes that Reformed Christians are hyper-Calvinists whereas he sees himself as a moderate Calvinist.  Another author, John Rice, wrote a book on Calvinism in which he called Calvinism, “hyper-Calvinism.”  I disagree with this term being applied to all Calvinists.  All the Calvinists I know personally would preach against hyper-Calvinism and would gladly go and preach the gospel along with me to all people.  They rightfully agree with us Arminians that the gospel is to be preached to all and we should leave the results to God alone.

So again, I want to make it clear that most Calvinists would deplore the teachings of hyper-Calvinists.  For that, I am thankful.

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

04/24/2013 at 12:42 PM

3 Responses

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  1. I think the disconnect here is a rationalism at work. You seem to be saying that if the “good” Calvinist were consistent in his errors, he would be a hyper. What I’m contending is that just because a biblical truth is supra-rational, does not mean it is erroneous.

    Good, biblical compatibilism is called Calvinism. It does not conform to strict rationality, as the Scriptures teach both God’s complete sovereignty as well as man’s complete responsibility.

    Arminianism pushes for the rational conclusion that man is free if the Bible teaches such things as responsibility, accountability, and God’s desire for all people to be saved.

    Hyper-Calvinism pushes for the rational conclusion that our choices are not real, and that God is the worker in everything, even evil.

    Calvinism, or compatibilism, is the refusal to be driven by rationalism, but rather to allow Scripture to speak of both God’s absolute freedom, and our relative, contingent freedom.

    Couple quick analogies: Is the Bible written by God or by men? Rationalists push it one way or another, but the truth is that it is both, and yet every word is exactly the way God wanted them to be. See that? Just like the election of the saints. We are all responsible for our repentance and faith in Christ, yet every saint intended to be saved will be saved. Rationalism, (and to be blunt it is a refusal to let God be fully who He claims to be), demands that men have the final, decisive say in their salvation OR that men have no part or real responsibility at all – Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism are the two comfort zones of us all – we have that instinct to smooth out all the wrinkles and make things make sense, but the middle way of grace and God’s sovereignty in the salvation of truly responsible people is the biblical doctrine to which we cling.

    So it is for your inconsistencies that I am grateful, brother. It is not universalism at the edge of Arminianism, but rather Open Theism and Process theology. Thank God He keeps the vast majority from those death traps!

    (I say all this to make your life more interesting, as I see you are always thinking about us sovereign grace types).

    Justin

    04/24/2013 at 2:22 PM

    • No doubt most Calvinists hold to soft determinism but it is still determinism. This is why hyper-Calvinists will still reply that if you hold to determinism, how can you not hold to determinism in all things? According to determinism, everything that happens is causally necessary. Given prior conditions, things could not happen any differently than they do. Bear in mind that the Westminster Confession clearly states that everything is determined by the will of God. The hyper simply takes that and resolves that everything that happens happens because God determined is so and His decree is final.

      The Arminian reply is that since God holds us responsible for our actions then we logically must be free. Hard determinism (or hard shells) say we are not free therefore we are not responsible for our actions.

      Thanks Justin!

    • BTW, I subscribe to a number of hyper-Calvinists blogs and here is one quote from one today:

      But it is clear that John Calvin unequivocably rejected the idea that evil is a result of God’s “permission”. No, God clearly hardens the reprobate for the express purpose of punishing them later. (Cf. Exodus 4:21; 7:3; 7:13; 9:12; Joshua 11:20; Amos 3:6; Isaiah 45:7; Deuteronomy 2:30; Psalm 105:25). That Van Tilians are more interested in appeasing unbelievers than in standing on the biblical propositions and on the confessional theology of the Westminster Standards is a glaring mote in their eye. It in fact feeds into the accusations by Arminians and by Open Theists like Roger Olson, who see their equivocation a mile away.

      This Calvinist sees no need to explain away the plain teaching of Holy Scripture. God is absolutely sovereign, and he will harden whom he will harden and have mercy on whom he will have mercy (Romans 9:18-21). It is not of man’s will that the elect are saved but of God’s free and unconditioned choice (John 1:13; Romans 9:16). There is nothing outside of God that coerces or controls his free decisions and sovereign decrees. Everything that comes to pass is for his glory. (Romans 11:36; Ephesians 1:11).


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