Am I hyper-Calvinist, or just hyper?

Talk about hyper!I was recently told that my articles showed a leaning toward hyper-Calvinism, so I grew a little concerned until my wife pointed out that A:) I am hyper, and B:) I am Calvinist.  But in all seriousness, I had looked into this term a loooong time ago, but I could not remember what the specifics were.

The first thing I needed to do is find out what the hyper-Calvinism doctrine teaches. I do remember that it did not have an good connotation to go along with it.  I also know that definitions can range widely, so you might find that people who are labeled as hyper-Calvinists, might just be  nothing more than a passionate Calvinist.

I am not a theologian, so I need to find someone I know who has the resources and background that I could trust.  I started with Googling the term and found a great article from Tim Challies on this subject. That was a pretty good find, but Tim said in his post that Phil Johnson did some extensive work on this subject.

Phil Johnson runs the blog over at teampyro.blogspot.com and is the Executive Director at Grace to You and the main editor for John MacArthur. So between Phil’s article here and Tim’s, I think I get a pretty clear picture of the theological definition of hyper-Calvinism.

Here is an excerpt from Tim’s blog-

[Hyper-Calvinism] manifests itself in an over-emphasis of one aspect of God’s character at the expense of another. Hyper-Calvinists emphasize God’s sovereignty but de-emphasize God’s love. They tend to set God’s sovereignty at odds with the clear biblical call to human responsibility… Probably the most distinguishing characteristic of a Hyper-Calvinist is an unwillingness to evangelize at all, or to evangelize without extending a call to accept and believe the gospel.  A hyper-Calvinist is one who:

  1. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR
  2. 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
  3. Denies that there is such a thing as “common grace,” OR
  4. Denies that God has any sort of love for the non-elect.

In my posts, I go to great lengths to stress God’s anger at sin, and His wrath on those who will not repent. Could I talk more about God’s love of humanity? Absolutely, but that does not make me a Hyper-Calvinist. In person, I am very passionate toward understanding the Gospel rightly. I have also been increasingly frustrated at the bad theology that is floating around the town I live in.  This is compounded by the fact that I attend a church, but as of yet, I do not have a place where I call home.

Most pastors I have heard don’t present God’s anger at all, only His love. That is one of the reasons for this blog. To try and present a thoughtful response to the non-biblical, seeker sensitive, Perry Noble type error that I see so much of.  That is probably why I talk more about God’s wrath than I do His love. But the truth is that people need to understand who they are before they will truly understand Christ’s love that was shown on that cross.

People have been lifted onto a ivory pedistal of self worth by the unbalanced preaching of God’s love alone. Remember that God’s love that is shown to us in the cross is FOOLISHNESS to those who are perishing. This has caused some tension when some of the “visitation” committee have come by my house after I have visited. One more than one occation, the people sitting in my living room on Tuesday nights (that seems to be visitaion night) have called me “very intense” after meeting with me, because I am tired of the soft Gospel.

I want a church home who knows what the Law of God is for, who knows WHO church is for (not for the seekers but the sheep). I want a church that preaches law to the proud and grace to the humble. I want a church that I can lay it all out on the line and have them tell me if they are the church I am looking for or not.  I am eager to join that church, I am looking forward to serving there.

Bring it on…

–Danny

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Published in: on April 11, 2009 at 11:09 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. To Danny,

    For the most part that term is being thrown around as a substitute for what would really be properly described as “Classical Calvinism”. Ergun Caner (Liberty U) has been guilty of this in the past few years.

    There is alot of misunderstanding of what Calvinsim really is by many mistaught and misinformed American Christians. What they mostly get from their pulpits is a charicature of John Calvin and Calvinism.

    Calvinism can be somewhat summerized by one little Latin phrase: “Soli Deo Gloria”

    On that note, I humbly invite you to visit my fairly new blog. I just posted a blog with the name “Soli Deo Gloria”. Please, leave a comment on this post or any other posts you might find interesting.

    http://radixchristusmole.blogspot.com

    Your Servant in Christ,
    Michael David Hotard

    Soli Deo Gloria


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