December 3, 2012

What is Hyper-Calvinism?

I am uncomfortable with, and reject all five points of Calvinism.  There are Calvinists who are uncomfortable with the extremes of the so-called hyper-Calvinism, but what is hyper-Calvinism? I have found that people vary in their definition of what constitutes a hyper-Calvinist. Some believe, for example, that if a man holds to the Limited Atonement position (Christ’s blood was shed only for the elect) he is a hyper-Calvinist. Although I believe that Calvinism’s limited atonement is out of balance with and contradicts the Scriptures, I do not agree that holding to that position necessarily makes one a hyper-Calvinist.

So how do I specifically define hyper-Calvinism? For me there is one historically definitive mark of hyper-Calvinism. This identifying mark of a hyper-Calvinist is when he refuses to preach the gospel to every sinner, when he has little concern for missions and evangelism, when he refuses to offer an open and universal invitation to every sinner. In his book Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching Iain H. Murray accurately defines this form of hyper-Calvinism,

Hyper-Calvinism views gospel preaching solely as a means for the ingathering of God’s elect. It argues that such words as, “Trust in Christ and you will be saved,” should only be addressed to elect sinners for it is their salvation alone which the preacher should have in view. . . . Gospel preaching for Hyper-Calvinists means a declaration of the facts of the gospel but nothing should be said by way of encouraging individuals to believe that the promises of Christ are made to them particularly until there is evidence that the Spirit of God has begun a saving work in their hearts, convicting them and making them ‘sensible’ of their need. . . . A universal proclamation of good news, with a warrant for every creature, lay at the heart of his (Spurgeon’s) understanding of Scripture.

Another area of concern that flows from Calvinistic theology, which I mentioned above, is: regeneration must precede faith. Earlier I mentioned Calvinism takes the total depravity of man (Jeremiah 17:9), but push it to the position of total inability. The Bible says that man is dead in his sins (Eph. 2:1). The problem begins where the Calvinist believes lost men cannot understand or respond to the gospel unless he has first been regenerated, that is: born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit. The Calvinist maintains that only after a lost man has been regenerated can he express faith in Jesus Christ and call upon the name of the Lord. I address this issue here and elsewhere because it appears to be the position of most pro-Lordship [Salvation] advocates, and is a presupposition that leads to Lordship’s theology.

In my opinion, if a man teaches regeneration must precede faith, he has the ordo salutis (order of salvation) out-of-order. Faith, not regeneration is the trigger for the events that occur simultaneously at the moment of salvation. Those simultaneous events are: faith, repentance, regeneration, conversion, justification and adoption.

Through interaction with Reformed theologians I have found that regeneration before faith, while in my opinion is error in its own right, leads to even greater error. What is the “greater error?” Some of the men I have interacted with in online discussions take the regeneration before faith position to such an extreme they insist God regenerates some infants in the womb, who years later will express faith in Christ. The infant regeneration position is just about as far to the left as one can go in Reformed circles. Men I have interacted with, who hold to infant regeneration, have cited the following passages in support.

Jeremiah 1:5  Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Luke 1:15  For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

Doctrinal buildings should not be set up with these ambiguous passages. What happened to Jeremiah and John the Baptist was a totally unique, one of a kind experience. Taking an infant regeneration position places regeneration in a chronological order that can be far removed from personal faith in Jesus Christ. The events in the ordo salutis become chronological far beyond the “casual” or “logical” order as expressed by some Calvinists. Years ago some Puritan types were preaching regeneration as an infant and then acceptance of the gospel well down the road of life. Consequently, one ends up with regenerate unbelievers, which is a true heresy.

Is regeneration before faith a mark of hyper-Calvinism? Admittedly, regeneration before faith does not necessarily fit the classic definition of hyper-Calvinism. As some men slide deeper into extremes, such as infant regeneration, we may one day have to reopen a discussion over the potential inclusion of additional defining characteristics of hyper-Calvinism.

Whenever possible, I choose to exercise Christian charity and allow for a believer to exercise his own conscience, and I allow for the autonomy of local churches. Once, however, a man’s Calvinism leads him to withhold an open proclamation of the gospel, with an invitation to every sinner, I would no longer in good conscience be willing to fellowship with him, and would not hesitate to identify him as a man to be scrutinized and avoided.

Romans 16:17-18  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

If I may recommend an excellent book, which I quoted from above, it would be Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching by Iain H. Murray. There is no doubt that Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) was an ardent Calvinist, while at the same time an eminent winner of souls. Spurgeon preached the “whosoever shall call” gospel and passionately invited all sinners to respond the gospel and receive Christ. Many of his early years in ministry were, in part, embroiled in a theological battle against the hyper-Calvinists of England. Spurgeon vigorously resisted the extremes and proliferation of hyper-Calvinism in his day. Many are familiar with Spurgeon’s resistance to modernism and ultimate separation from the Baptist Union of England. That controversy may have led to his early demise. However, the former battle against the advocates of hyper-Calvinism was for Charles Spurgeon just as important and intense with very much at stake.


Related Reading:

Ps. Bob Topartzer, Calvinism Today: Neo-Calvinism


  1. In extreme Calvinism, Lordship salvation is an outcome of their extending their view of Monergism into the doctrine of sanctification failing to differentiate between positional sanctification in Christ and practical sanctification through synergism with the believer in the filling of the Spirit. The word "filled" in Ephesians 5:18 is a present passive imperative. The word "transformed" in Romans 12:2 is also a present passive imperative.

  2. Appreciate the article Lou, one thing that I've noticed when reading Spurgeon's sermons, his calvinism seems to have also mellowed as he aged rather than get harsher as those who are more contemporary seemed to have done. When folks have quoted Spurgeon's sermons concerning calvinism they are typically from his early years at New Park Street Chapel (circa 1855-1860).
    Lance, appreciate comments and bringing forth the parsing of the verbs, for that brings out a fuller understanding of just who is the one "working" out our sanctification. It's not us, it's God, "which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."

  3. Gentlemen:

    Thanks for contributing to this topic.


  4. “The problem begins where the Calvinist believes lost men cannot understand or respond to the gospel unless he has first been regenerated, that is: born again by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit.”

    I'm not commenting on the validity of the position but just want to point out that one who holds to the need for regeneration before faith relies to some degree on I Cor. 2:14: “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” Their reasoning is that the natural (unregenerate) man *cannot* know the things of the Spirit of God because they are spiritually discerned, and Eph 2:1 is clear than he is spiritually dead. They therefore conclude that something must happen in that man before he can know them and spiritually discern them.

  5. Interesting stuff about Eph 5:18 Lance, thanks!

    Brian, do you know of a chart showing the dates of his sermons and/or one showing how he softened, on which doctrines and when? I don't normally concern myself with what this or that man held to but it would be interesting to see graphically how the stalwart of Calvinism wasn't so stedfast on it.

  6. Brian,
    Actually the imperative would imply that God does this work in PARTNERSHIP (synergism) with the yielded believer as defined in Romans 6:11-13 and Romans 12:1-2. The service gifts of Romans 12:3-8 are the outcome of God's supernatural enabling grace. This partnership is defined biblically by the word "fellowship" in our KJV Bibles. Monergism teaches that God does this APART from the believer or WITHIN the believer APART from anything on behalf of the believer.

  7. Perhaps I misunderstand Ketchum here, but I cannot think of reformed writers who speak of sanctification as some automatic thing? The reformed model of sanctification is a model of cooperation with God and reliance on God, with the real promise of real hope for gradual real change through real Spirit-empowered, grace-motivated (out of gratitude, out of love, as a slave-obeying-his-Lord, in fear/reverence, willing-to-cut-off-one's-good-hand (cut out eye, etc) seriousness) obedience. This is evident even in those you label LS. (perhaps I am parsing Bro. Ketchum wrongly here, what am I missing?)

  8. Sam Hendrickson

  9. Sam Hendrickson,

    I think you are representing the normal (not-hyper) position of Reformed Theology on practical sanctification (although the synergism you describe is hated by the Hyper-Calvinists). However, understanding what Calvin taught about I John 1:9 is exasperating when it comes to these issues.

    Undoubtedly, the great confusion regarding I John 1:9 finds its origins in John Calvin’s commentaries. We must be careful not to be confused by Calvin’s view of salvation. Calvin did not see salvation as an event, but a process known as Monergism or Causation. Monergism is a view of God’s sovereign grace in the lives of His chosen from beginning to end. Calvin’s view of salvation begins with God choosing certain people to be saved, and then regenerating those chosen people at some undetermined point in their lives giving them the gifts of repentance and faith. Some even believing God regenerates His chosen when they are still in the womb. Then God will cause them to persevere in the faith throughout their lives until they die. A person who does not persevere could not consider himself to be one of God’s elect. Therefore, Calvin sees I John 1:9 as believers persevering in faith and that their salvation is ongoing until the day they die. God does preserve His redeemed once they are “born again” by grace through faith. This IS NOT man’s perseverance. This is all nonsense and nothing more that unscriptural intellectualism. This theological convolution (twisted up theological mess of confusion) is certainly reflected in Calvin’s commentaries.

  10. Calvin said of I John 1:9:

    “This passage is remarkable; and from it we first learn, that the expiation of Christ, effected by his death, does then properly belong to us, when we, in uprightness of heart, do what is right and just for Christ is no redeemer except to those who turn from iniquity, and lead a new life. If, then, we desire to have God propitious to us, so as to forgive our sins, we ought not to forgive ourselves. In short, remission of sins cannot be separated from repentance, nor can the peace of God be in those hearts, where the fear God does not prevail.
    Secondly, this passage shews that the gratuitous pardon of sins is given us not only once, but that it is a benefit perpetually residing in the Church, and daily offered to the faithful. For the Apostle here addresses the faithful; as doubtless no man has ever been, nor ever will be, who can otherwise please God, since all are guilty before him; for however strong a desire there may be in us of acting rightly, we always go haltingly to God. Yet what is half done obtains no approval with God. In the meantime, by new sins we continually separate ourselves, as far as we can, from the grace of God. Thus it is, that all the saints have need of the daily forgiveness of sins; for this alone keeps us in the family of God.”

    “9 If we confess He again promises to the faithful that God will be propitious to them, provided they acknowledge themselves to be sinners. It is of great moment to be fully persuaded, that when we have sinned, there is a reconciliation with God ready and prepared for us: we shall otherwise carry always a hell within us. Few, indeed, consider how miserable and wretched is a doubting conscience; but the truth is, that hell reigns where there is no peace with God. The more, then, it becomes us to receive with the whole heart this promise which offers free pardon to all who confess their sins. Moreover, this is founded even on the justice of God, because God who promises is true and just. For they who think that he is called just, because he justifies us freely, reason, as I think, with too much refinement, because justice or righteousness here depends on fidelity, and both are annexed to the promise. For God might have been just, were he to deal with us with all the rigor of justice; but as he has bound himself to us by his word, he would not have himself deemed just, except he forgives.”

    Quite remarkable statements!

    (I would like to have added some underlining from Calvin's commentary in I John, but could not get formatting to work.)

  11. Thanks, Lance, I should have stated with a little more clarity what I was getting at concerning God doing the work in us. I agree with your statements here on this working of sanctification in us being a partnership.
    To Kevl, no, I know of no chart or other objective qualifier for my statement. This is from general, personal observation from my reading of Spurgeon's sermons that span his entire ministry (no, I have not read all of Spurgeon's sermons, but have read a sizable sampling).

  12. David

    The Calvinist us right that the spiritually dead Nan cannot comprehend the gospel but us wrong in ignoring that this condition is precisely remedied by the presence and work of God the Holy Spirit who illuminates the darkened mind and convicts of sin that men might believe what they otherwise would not comprehend.

  13. As you can see mobile devices are unforgiving when posting comments. Alex

  14. Re: Calvin's remarks. His remarks are unremarkable when one remembers that he, among many other Christians would see the obedience to the Good News (his "when we do right" "turn from iniquity" "lead a good life") to be a God-wrought work in the human heart. It is in fact the first God-pleasing act a human can do, and he can do it only through the Divine work of God. In my study of Calvin, he would be describing here with these three phrases the turn of faith and trust in Christ. Something which is indeed a "good work" and can only be effected via the Divine work of God. As such then he is not pointing to human effort, but to human response which is akin to Lydia's encounter with God and the Good News. It is monergism at its best. I think he is also continuing to show then that even holy obedience after conversion is connected with a Divine work of God. But he would not leave sanctification as monergistic--he would be synergistic in this point.

    I do take exception with his understanding of 1J1:9 as salvific, however. Sam Hendrickson

    1. Hello Sam, how are you?

      You noted Lydia's encounter with God and the Good News, and commented that this is Monergism ats best. For the last 6 months I have been reading and interacting with Dr. James R. White's book The Potter's Freedom at my blog. One of the many arguments he makes in favour of Monergism (though not by that name) is that God gave Lydia a new heart. He quotes Ezek 36:26 and applies it to Acts 16:14.

      However, what is missed is that when God "opened" Lydia's heart He did not giver her a new heart... He didn't remove her old heart that was unable to believe and give her a new heart that was able to. The word translated "opened" here is the Greek word Prosecho means to cause her to pay attention or heed the message.

      This is exactly the ministry of the Holy Spirit as described in John 16:5-11 and as Alex rightly notes above.

      If you're interested in my full interaction with Dr. White's argument here please visit The Debater's Potter - Part 17 - Chapter 12.

      I hope this is helpful,

    2. Kev,
      Couple things:
      1. not really defending James White, don't remember bringing him up. And not all people who see salvation as monergistic perfectly speak with one voice (only we fundamentalists are perfectly consistent :D ).
      2. I was speaking at a high level to point out that Lydia responded to the Good News in the proper way--faith(she trusted the Good News). [BTW, you say it differently, to be fair to the text, the verb you list has a different meaning and is Lydia's verb, not God's verb. God's verb is dianoigo, hers is prosecho]. If Luke is leaving the notion of her faith out in her response, (in the full context of the pericope) that would be exceptional (and out of character for his writing)since he points out in the next verse that she and hers were baptized, asking Paul and his troupe to receive her testimony of faith as genuine and for them to see her home as a good place to stay.

      Her response in the verb (which lexically has "heed and follow" as a possible meaning c.f. 1 Tim 4:1 where Paul is concerned that some will indeed not only listen to but follow lying spirits and the message they proclaim. An infinitive situation similar to Acts 16:14. Paul was not worried that they would only hear, but they would hear and heed (believing) what the spirits taught. C.f. 4:13; Titus 1:4; Heb 2:1). But there is another verb in the verse which points to God's work--"opened"--BDAG has dianoigo as "open" with a figurative understanding, and a gloss of "enable s'one to perceive". Its use literally & figuratively in the NT includes: Mk 7:34 to open eyes literally--a command here; Lk 2:23 to open womb literally (through birth); Lk 24:31 to illumine one's understanding so they recognize someone with whom they were familiar, but had not recogized to that point, etc.)
      Grammatically, why did she respond in faith--because of Divine work to enable her to understand and perceive the message of the Good News, and she heeded (believed on and obeyed) the Good News.

      It's not the only passage, but it certainly seems to have the Lord as the load-bearing Actor, and she trusts because He acted. This is one of the passages which helps build the theology of a Divine sovereign work to bring about human obedience to the imperative of the Good News. It is not whole in and of itself, but it would seem to bear some weight. God is the actor, Lydia is acted upon. Lydia acts by obeying the Gospel because of the prior work of God. I am trying to attach no more to the passage than lexical, grammatical and contextual clues will let me. But, the verse does not stand alone it is part of a pericope. Sam Hendrickson

    3. Hi Sam,

      I didn't suggest you were supporting or defending Dr. White, but that I have been interacting with his work recently... the implication being that I am familiar with the topic.

      No one suggests that Lydia figured things out on her own. No one suggests that people come to faith appart from God working on them. What is contested, because it lacks scriptural support while at the same time as violating other passages, is that God does not regenerate someone or "give them a new heart" either before they have faith. The Holy Spirit convinces and convicts.

      The word doesn't mean to "head and follow" but to head. I did not just say "hear" but to "head." You can hear something without heading it. You can head a message without following it. It means to take it seriously, to pay attention. Obviously the point is so that the person who heeds a message will follow it. We say that someone has heeded a message when they are seen to be following it, but the following isn't the heeding it is the result of the heeding.


  15. Not sure we can say Calvin held to any form of Synergism since he believed in progressive justification. This position is reflected in his commentary on I John 1:5-10. His, and Luther's, positions on depravity believed man could do no good before or after salvation even in partnership with the Holy Spirit. Although they use terminology that people read Synergism into, they are themselves conflicted on these issues and therefore, convoluted in their comments on it. However, when using the term "salvation," we should not think of their position to identify with modern evangelicalism, for their positions on salvation were completely different than modern evangelicalism. However, I find no merit in discussing what men who have been dead for over 500 years believed.

    I think you might find the article in the link below by Paul Dohse, Jr. interesting:

    1. The article that was there was based on chapter 3 of the newly published book. I have posted a link to the whole chapter if you click on the link posted here by Lou and Lance.

  16. Good Job on taking a strong and bold stand against Calvinism. However, I agree with those men like Laurence M. Vance, the author of "The Other Side of Calvinism" that a hyper-Calvinist is simply a true, consistent Calvinist and there is no reason to use the label "hyper." Spurgeon and Edwards were inconsistent Calvinists, and such Calvinists today use the word "hyper" to distance themselves from the true Calvinists to make their brand more palatable to people and makes it easier to win them over. But a Calvinist is a Calvinist regardless, and to promote either is to invite confusion and a springboard to true Calvinism/Augustiniasm.

    I've ministered alongside all kinds of Calvinists, but kept a farther distance from the consistent Calvinists. I am grateful for many of the things I learned from all of them, especially the inconsistent ones, but as I witnessed all the confusion and many being led into true Calvinism I thought it best to distance myself from all forms of it, which I think is a more consistent separatism. Which is why I no longer read or promote even Spurgeon.

    Which is why it doesn't make much sense to me to call Spurgeon an "eminent winner of souls." Since a typical Calvinist believes the double-predestination idea that the elect are predestinated to heaven and have no choice in the matter (no free will) then they are already saved and about all that preaching the gospel can do is wake them up from their stupor so that they stop acting like the reprobate. Which is a concept that doesn't make much sense either. Calvinism renders Christ's work on the cross as meaningless whether a Calvinist preaches it or not.

    1. Scott:

      I appreciate your comments above. I disagree with all 5 points of Calvinism and especially the extra-biblical extremes that flow from the 5 points such as: double-predestination, Lordship Salvation, regeneration precedes faith and that faith is the gift of God.

      You wrote, "Since a typical Calvinist believes the double-predestination idea..." On that point my experience is different. Over the last 20 years I have engaged only two men who were Calvinistic in their theology and agreed with double-predestination. There may be many more who believe in, and will not openly identify with double-predesination, but I don't know any.

      Kind regards,


  17. Well Lance,
    I will pass on the Dohse article because I am not really interested in what men who are still living believe. ;)
    Sam Hendrickson

  18. Scott, you would do well to actually study out just what calvinism is as opposed to the hyper strain, for there is a great difference. And while I am no friend of either strain, I have greatly appreciated many of Spurgeon's sermons (and frowned at some of them as well). I commend two sermons to you to read. Travailing for Souls (preached in 1871) and Harvest Men {Wanted} (preached in 1873). You'll not find two better messages about the need for proclaiming the Good News than these.
    Your statement, "Which is why it doesn't make sense at all..." unfortunately shows your lack of knowledge of Spurgeon, his ministry, and his church. Yes, Spurgeon is a conundrum as far as calvinism is concerned but he never succumbed to idea that the gospel is only for the elect. He preached a "whosoever will may come" gospel to all that flocked to hear him and that reached into the hundreds of thousands by the end of his ministry.

  19. Spurgeon is not a conundrum as far as calvinism is concerned. He believed he was fishing in a stocked pond, and that in that pond some were chosen for mercy while others were left to their just deserts because no one deserves mercy, all deserve punishment.

    I remember Rowland Hill’s reply, when somebody said that he ought to preach only to the elect. “Very well,” he said, “next Sunday morning, chalk them all on the back and when you have done that, I will preach to them.” But the chalking of them on the back is the difficulty—we cannot do that and, as we cannot do that, the best way is for us to leave our God to carry out the purposes of His distinguishing Grace in His own effectual way and not attempt to do what we certainly can never accomplish! There, scatter a handful of Seed “by the wayside.” Even if the birds of the air devour it, there is plenty more where that came from and it would be a pity for us to leave any portion unsown because we were miserly and stingy with our Master’s Seed! - Charles Spurgeon†
    † Sermon# 2843, The Seed by the Wayside" Sam Hendrickson

  20. Hi Sam, I have a few of questions for you.

    If a judge in a local court walked through his court room and chose some portion of the people in the court room awaiting trial to pay their fines and wipe their records clean then send them out of the court room completely free... but let the rest of the people in awaiting trial suffer the punishment they deserved, would that be just? How long would that judge have his job?

    The Calvinist, when speaking of Particular Redemption (and while ignoring Reprobation) will always bring up how God just leave the non-Elect to the punishment they deserve. It's called justice. But it is not justice at all. For they are no worse than the Elect. They deserve the punishment no more than the Elect do. In my scenario the Judge becomes unjust to the guilty who are not spared their punishment as he did the other guilty parties. He has singled them out for extreme punishment over the others that he paid for. That he fully paid the other fines merely protects him from charge against being called unjust for setting any guilty ones free. It does not exonerate him for being particular in his mercy, which is unjust.

    Further, how is justice EVER established for the sins of the non-Elect. If God has not been propitiated for their sins by the Blood of Christ, and since He cannot be propitiated by an unclean offering then those sins are NEVER justly paid for by anyone. Justice is failed, and thus on this count also God can be accused of being unjust.

    So my questions are, how can sparing some and saving others based on nothing outside of Himself, result in Him remaining Just? Or is God not fully just?

  21. Gentlemen,
    Do not get caught up in debating Calvin's (actually Augustine's) presuppositions. If you look at the use of the word election or chosen in the Bible, beginning in the OT, you will find that the word is NEVER used as Calvinist say. Election is always vocational, not salvational. In other words election is according to God's vocational purposes (Eph. 1:11, 4:1). Election is never used in the Bible to refer to God choosing someone to salvation. II Thes. 2:13 refers to glorification in the end of salvation in the redemption of the body as does Romans 8:29-30. There is no sense debating these issues with Calvinists because they interpret the Bible according to Calvin's presuppositions.

    1. Hi Lance, I appreciate this post of yours a great deal. Truly.

      I have gone back and forth on the issue of Election ever being related to actual reconciliation to God. I know that almost every time it is used it is vocational (either for a life time or for an instance). Currently, I do believe that Election does relate to personal salvation, but obviously not the Dort Unconditional Election view. I would hold to something very similar to what Geisler puts forward in Chosen But Free.

      Is there a good resource that would deal with this topic that you would suggest?


    2. Lance,

      At any rate, the election/free will argument flows from a bad root: progressive justification; which makes their position suspect to begin with.

  22. Kevl, greatly appreciate that elucidation of the issue of God's justice.
    Sam, those who identify themselves as calvinists yet preach a whosoever will is indeed a conundrum, for the two do not go together. Those that do preach in such a way have to set aside the teachings of man (Calvin) and preach the Scriptures. This is not often done, for most calvinists, it's "mine mind is made up, calvinism is truth, don't confuse me with Scriptures" (for you staunch calvinists out there, sorry if you are offended by those words but from the perspective of this believer, this is what I see). Arminians are not off the hook either, for they too are often of the same stripe with their teachings as well.
    The Bible is its best commentary.

  23. I personally with Dr. Ketchum on the reason for the difficulty of trying to debate Calvinism with those who have embraced its presuppositions. I have often tired of trying to have an objective discussion on certain aspects of salvation and sanctification with Calvinists because they come to the discussion trying to force into or extract from the Bible whatever they must to bolster their Calvinistic presuppositions.

    With that this thread is closed with my appreciation to all those who have participated.


  24. Lou, Lance, Brian, KevL,
    Nice. Lou pulls the plug, while saying that it is impossible to have "objective" conversation with me, when actually I tried to ask questions of texts, etc. using the possible lexical, syntactical, contextual meanings of words and phrase; The instructions and explanations I received in reference to texts lacked clarity and in many cases do not actually deal with the words and meanings of the texts, but with the presuppositions which those who made reference to them hold. (See Lance's remarks with all the Bible verses in them. Some of them actually clearly reference chosen-ness to salvation, eternal life, etc., but are explained away or something. I get insulted with personal accusations of close-mindedness (ad hominem), someone says with a false apology "I'm sorry if you are offended"--the kind of thing we correct our children for; and Kevl has to stop just when he has me on the ropes argument-wise.

    Of course, biblicism such as what is expressed in your POVs has no errant presuppositions to cloud your judgment and exegesis. Nice. I do not deny that I make my mistakes logically and theologically, and likely made some here, but apparently the POVs expressed here by others than me need no such introspection.

    To deny that prosecho in the NT speaks with the possible meaning of "heed and follow" is to be exegetically incautious or worse. Paul uses prosecho in the infinitive and other forms to point to a meaning which includes "heed and follow" or his warnings make no sense, nor do the author of Hebrew's warnings make any sense without some sense of that meaning. To hear something is not dangerous, to hear it and believe it is.

    To argue as Kevl has about the fairness of punishment is to miss the awful, infinite despair and pain felt by Christ as God's wrath was placed upon Him. To explain God's justice as Kevl did is to miss the depth of our sin and depravity. How is God's justice carried out on the nonelect? Through eternal punishment--is there something I am missing here? Why would you let him continue in such heterodoxical views of God's justice, whether you believe in a biblically defensible calvinistic soteriological system or not?

    I began coming to a calvinistic POV of soteriology by my own studies of the Scripture. I didn't call it calvinism, I was simply curious. I saw the conundrums and wanted an explanation, and in many cases found none--at least none that did not (via hindsight)inhere of extreme [some seem to like this word here]anthropocentrism. I did not have the "benefit" of your balance and your lack of "forcing into" or your lack of "extraction" from the Bible that those who hold your POVs had. How unblessed I was!

    I had thought maybe someone would help me try to be an honest broker of the truth, but such help or honesty was unavailable here. Instead I get told to read so and so's article, and am told in a possibly arrogant way that there is little value in reading men from of old. This kind of thing typifies the fundamentalists which has helped to drive others away. I did not arrive at my initial viewpoints via Calvin, in fact I was anti-calvin--not in those words, but in the concept, it was how I was taught and discipled. To add to my other statements about my initial studies on this, I was puzzled how so many of the teachers/pastors I found danced around hard passages, and always on the side of anthropocentrism, and I purposed that I would try to find answers which assumed this was God's universe, not man's. I am glad that you all could work to come to the answers without such horrid presuppositions. Good on ya. (BTW, I had begun my research into Lance's claims re: Calvin and justification, and was hoping to see where that would lead me in this discussion, but he's an old guy [see above what to do with old guys].) Thanks. Sam Hendrickson

    1. Sam:

      Obviously I allowed your comment above to appear. It would have been posted much earlier, but I have been away from a computer for most of the last half of the day.

      You were cordial in your earlier participation here and although I don’t appreciate some of the ways in which you expressed yourself in the comment above and I felt that you deserved to have your say- this time.

      One of the main reasons I cut this short was as I expressed above. Another reason is that I do not want and will not allow my blog to be a place for the advocacy of theologies or practices with which I disagree with on doctrinal grounds. Calvinism and Lordship Salvation are among those positions I will not have advocated here.

      The IDOTG blog averages between 9,000-15,000 visitors a month. Some may be susceptible to errors and it would grieve me to know that something that I allowed to appear here caused an unsuspecting believer to be influenced by or adopt any doctrinal error. Calvinism, its extra-biblical presuppositions and Lordship Salvation are among those errors.

      Kind regards,