Dec 2, 2008

Defining Hyper Calvinism I

Phil Johnson said, in his Primer on Hyper Calvinism, that it "comes in several flavors, so it admits no simple, pithy definition."

He also spoke of "extreme varieties of hyper-Calvinism" and "ultra-high Calvinism" and "modern Hyper Calvinist."

Does he mean the same thing as I do when I say "neo Hyper Calvinist"? And, when I say "neo Reformed"? And, when I say "neo Hardshell"?

He also wrote:

"Hyper-Calvinism is sometimes defined as the view that God will save the elect apart from any means. Some, but very few, modern hyper-Calvinists hold such an extreme view. Those who do hold this view oppose all forms of evangelism and preaching to the unsaved, because they believe God will save whomever He chooses, apart from human means...Another common but incorrect definition equates hyper-Calvinism with fatalism."

see here

Johnson said:

"The definition I am proposing outlines five varieties of hyper-Calvinism, listed here in a declining order, from the worst kind to a less extreme variety:

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

Why did he leave out the error of regeneration apart from means and faith? Especially seeing he included it in his introduction to this list? Especially when he says the list gives us the "varieties" of Hyper Calvinism. Is the Hardshell variety not one? The one that says, like Ryland, whom Johnson cited, that God will save (and regenerate) sinners apart from the gospel and faith in it? Especially when he says that the view that men are saved (born again and regenerated) apart from means, is a "correct" definition?

I find it strange that Johnson would say, in his introduction, that regeneration without means is Hyper Calvinism, and then fail to put it in his list of "five." Should he not have made the list a list of "six"?

No comments: