The Hunt for a Hyper-Calvinist; Part 2

I have come to think of the defense of Calvinism as mainly the endeavor to equate logical differences with semantic distinctions. In other words, when a Reformed scholar defends Calvinism, the main strategy he uses is to control the language of the debate as if doing so is the same as defending Reformed theology rationally. Most of them are doing this with the sincere belief that discussing the proper way to talk about Reformed theology is the same as discussing the rational/theological merits of Reformed theology.

This is made clear when considering the term “hyper-Calvinism”. To be clear, my thesis is not “Calvinists are being insincere when they differentiate their beliefs from ‘hyper-Calvinism’”. I’m sure they are and I acknowledge the distinction they are making. My thesis is that hyper-Calvinism does not exist in the real world; it doesn’t actually exist, and so has become a scapegoat for Calvinist scholars to red herring away criticism of Reformed theology without actually responding to it.

As we continue our article series on the hunt for the elusive hyper-Calvinist (part one was responding to an article by Tim Challies) we will search in the prose of Micheal Horton at Ligonier

Michael Horton

I enjoy Michael Horton, his systematic theology is great. I’m optimistic that his article will be productive and at least point me in the right direction. He begins:

Often, detractors define Reformed theology not according to what it actually teaches, but according to where they think its logic naturally leads. Even more tragically, some hyper-Calvinists have followed the same course. Either way, “Calvinism” ends up being defined by extreme positions that it does not in fact hold as scriptural.

Immediately, Horton presumes that hyper-Calvinists are not Calvinists. He frames the debate as between Calvinism and not-Calvinism, with himself as the arbiter of which is which. However, that’s the question at hand; “Is hyper-Calvinism consistent, rational Calvinism?” For Michael Horton, the answer to that question is “no” before we have even defined “hyper-Calvinism” or found anyone who espouses it.

Further, Horton acknowledges that the argument is about the logical ends of Reformed theology and acknowledges that some Reformed people become hyper-Calvinists. This is great! But then he just…stops thinking down that road. His next statement is a clear example of my thesis at work within scholarly Calvinism:

The charges leveled against Reformed theology, of which hyper-Calvinism is actually guilty, received a definitive response at the international Synod of Dort (1618–1619), along with the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms.

Horton literally passes off the logical ends criticism and passes it on to “hyper-Calvinism”. “They’re the guilty ones, y’all, not us”. I will endeavor to show exactly how Horton is scapegoating here.

It’s Not Us, It’s Them

“Is God the Author of Sin?” is the first “logical ends” criticism Horton wants to pass off onto the hyper-Calvinists. Horton’s answer is:

Sin and evil have their origin not in God or creation, but in the personal will and action of creatures.

So, presumably, there are these hyper-Calvinists out there who are saying “sin and evil have their origin in God” and this is where us non-Calvinists get the idea Reformed theology is also guilty of this charge. Dr. Horton never tells us who these people are.

If there was a healthy internal debate within Reformed theology where hyper-Calvinists were regularly named and criticized then my thesis would be significantly weakened. I will continue to search for signs this debate is happening but so far all I see is that an immensely popular pastor like John Piper can say things like “How do we know God always controls everything? My answer is that we know this because the Bible teaches it” and “God governs all human plans and acts” and yet Horton passes off the source of our criticism as aimed incorrectly. If Dr. Horton is so concerned about the non-Calvinist criticism of “Calvinism makes God the author of sin” then why does he not address the actual basis for that criticism; Calvinism’s most popular pastors!

By keeping the source of our criticism nebulous and the real culprits anonymous, Horton is using the term “hyper-Calvinism” as a scapegoat to avoid dealing rationally with the criticism and its source.

We Have the Same Goal

This is why Michael Horton is great. He goes on to succinctly and clearly describe the balance Reformed theology attempts to strike when considering God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility.

On one hand, God “works all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:15); on the other, God does not — in fact, cannot — do evil. . .We know from Scripture that both are true, but not how.

Perhaps the most succinct statement of this point is found in the Westminster Confession of Faith (chap. 3.1): “God, from all eternity, did, by the most wise and holy counsel of his own will, freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever comes to pass;” — there’s one guardrail — “yet so, as thereby neither is God the author of sin

We also want to uphold both of these truths. We share the same goal. However, let me make an observation and then ask Michael Horton two questions.

Ultimately, Dr. Horton’s answer to our “logical ends” criticism is that the truth is not logical. Reason does not apply to this truth of God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility; it’s both but our Reason faculties cannot grasp how. Bringing our reason to bear on the question is inappropriate because “is not for us to probe any further”.

My first question is this: How do you know the truth is not logical? Did you use your reasoning faculties to come to that conclusion?

Secondly, Dr. Horton, could it be that our concern for the logical ends of Calvinism is that its doctrines claim to, but actually fail to, hold up that “Sin and evil have their origin not in God or creation, but in the personal will and action of creatures”? Could it be that we acknowledge the affirmations of the Westminster Confession of Faith, and your sincere adherence to them, while at the same time finding the affirmation inadequate to assuage the logical conclusion it set in motion with “God…did…freely, and unchangeably ordain whatsoever may come to pass”?

Radical Ad-Hoc Category Creation

Michael Horton asks the question on every non-Calvinist’s mind:

Isn’t it a bit of false advertising to say on one hand that God has already determined who will be saved and on the other hand to insist that the good news of the Gospel be sincerely and indiscriminately proclaimed to everyone?

Dr. Horton must ask and answer this question because both the question and the answer are intuitive. He must provide an explanation for how the Gospel appeal can be both for everyone and its outcome determined at the same time because the answer “Yes, this makes the Gospel appeal duplicitous” is intuitively true. He must overcome the intuition of our rational minds.

How does he overcome our intuition? By creating new logical categories and asking us to believe both despite what our intuition tells us.

The Canons of Dort pick up on a phrase that was often found in the medieval textbooks (“sufficient for the world, efficient for the elect only”)

Sufficient and efficient: logical categories created by the Canons of Dort which are tasked with bearing the weight of defending God of the charge of being duplicitous with His Gospel appeal. I cannot help but be dismissive here because I have never heard a good reason to believe those two categories succeed in doing what Dort, and Horton, merely claim they do.

He creates two more categories:

Here once again we are faced with mystery — and the two guardrails that keep us from careening off the cliff in speculation. God loves the world and calls everyone in the world to Christ outwardly through the Gospel, and yet God loves the elect with a saving purpose and calls them by His Spirit inwardly through the same Gospel

Outward call and inward call with a little sprinkle of general love and salvific love. Reformed scholars are asking us to accept the practice of ad hoc category creation and, further, that the creation of these rational categories defends God’s love. This is one of the fundamental philosophical divides between Calvinists and non-Calvinists.

Control That Language!

This article, by truly one of the best Reformed scholars, has clearly affirmed every point of my thesis. First, Horton does not name any hyper-Calvinists, then he shoves any criticism of Reformed theology on to them, creates rational categories to assuage the criticism and then, to answer another charge against Reformed theology, seek to control the language of the debate.

Does God love everybody, or is His kindness simply a cloak for His wrath — fattening the wicked for the slaughter, as some hyper-Calvinists have argued?

Right after he asks this hypothetical, he says this sentence.

Scripture is full of examples of God’s providential goodness…

He’s not arguing against the question, he is simply changing the subject. “Yea sure but also look at God’s goodness”.

This criticism does not land on Reformed theology because…

However, it must be said that whatever kindness God shows to anyone for any reason after the fall, can only be regarded as gracious. Once again, we face two guardrails that we dare not transgress: God acts graciously to save the elect and also to sustain the non-elect and cause them to flourish in this mortal life.

Horton does not attempt to reason with the criticism and show how God’s kindness is not “simply a cloak for His wrath”, he just simply takes that same concept and calls it “gracious”. It essence, he is saying “Yes but you ought not to talk about it like that, instead you ought to call it gracious”. It’s not a “cover” it is “common” while the underlying meaning remains the same.

God acts graciously to save the elect and also to sustain the non-elect and cause them to flourish in this mortal life.

That is true. It is also true that not every Christian and non-Christian flourishes and some have generally down-right terrible lives. It is true that, for everyone, life is tragically difficult. It is true that the best God’s “common, sustaining grace” provides the unbeliever with is the hope of some semblance of fleeting happiness on the Earth before spending eternity in Hell with absolutely no chance or choice of recovery. If Horton is careful to only talk about one side of the Truth Coin then he can make it sound like the non-Calvinist criticism is weak without ever providing an argument against it.

Michael Horton has not brought us any closer to finding someone who will engage rationally with our criticism nor towards these dastardly hyper-Calvinists who keep giving Calvinism a bad name. Alas, my search for the elusive hyper-Calvinist continues.

24 thoughts on “The Hunt for a Hyper-Calvinist; Part 2

  1. From the article:
    -quote
    I have come to think of the defense of Calvinism as mainly the endeavor to equate logical differences with SEMANTIC distinctions.

    br.d
    WONDERFULLY INSIGHTFUL!

    Michael Horton
    -quote
    Detractors define Reformed theology not according to what it actually teaches
    but according to where they think its logic naturally leads.

    br.d
    In other words they discern INCONGRUITY between SEMANTIC representations and sound reasoning.

    William Lutz, an American linguist on Double-Speak
    -quote
    Doublespeak is not a matter of subjects and verbs agreeing; it is a matter of words and facts agreeing.

    Basic to doublespeak is INCONGRUITY
    Incongruity between what is said and what is left unsaid.
    Incongruity between what is said, and what really is.
    Incongruity between the word and the referent.
    Incongruity between seem and be.

    Doublespeak is not a slip of the tongue or a mistake in use of language – but exactly the opposite!
    It is language used by people who are very intelligent, and very sophisticated in the use of language.
    And know that you can do an awful lot with language.

  2. Michal Horton
    On one hand, God “works all things after the counsel of his own will” (Eph. 1:15); on the other, God does not — in fact, cannot — do evil. . .We know from Scripture that both are true, but not how

    br.d
    Interpretation:
    We have absolutely no idea about how this is accomplished by a supernatural being who exists outside of our 3 dimensional world.

    But we can assume to speak with authority on how it isn’t accomplished.

    Its not by some form of supra-natural hypnosis – even though it looks that way
    And its not by some form of robotic functionality designed into the creature – even though it looks that way.

    And anything else the non-Calvinist comes up with – we’ll speak with authority on that as well!

    Even though we have absolutely no idea about how this is accomplished by a supernatural being who exists outside of our 3 dimensional world.

  3. Michael Horton
    Here once again we are faced with mystery — and the two guardrails that keep us from careening off the cliff in speculation.

    br.d
    Interpretation:
    Its ok for Calvin to bypass the guardrails – and go careening off the cliff into speculation
    Whatever ditch he ends up in – we will set our flag there – and build our castle there – and claim ourselves the only authorized definers of orthodoxy.

    But obviously that’s not ok for anyone else. :-]

  4. The “Hyper-Calvinist” is what the majority of those who self-identify as “Calvinists” would have to call Calvin and others who consistently hold to all of his teachings on determinism. This “majority”, and they probably are that, want to take over the title of Calvinism from Calvin himself, by legitmately claiming that the documents of Dordt and Westminster, with their contradictory statements, imo and described above, better define Calvinism with their brand of soft-determinism, compatibilism. My guess from reading Calvin is that Dordt and Westminster would be rejected by him as “Hypo-Calvinism”! 😉

    1. I think so also Brian!

      Take for example this statement from Calvin concerning evils
      How many Calvinists do we find boldly asserting this?

      -quote
      It is a quite frivolous refuge to say that god otiosely permits them, when scripture shows him not only willing but the AUTHOR of them. (Concerning the Eternal Predestination of God pg 176)

      In an interview with the “Its unbelievable” broadcast – Calvinist Paul Helm’s says he doesn’t know what Calvin means by the word “Author”.

      But in the Old French of Calvin’s day: “Auctor” – means Originator, Creator, Instigator.

      If any Calvinist today called god the Originator, Creator, Instigator of sin and evil – wouldn’t he be labeled a “hyper”?

      1. br.d,

        You had said:
        “If any Calvinist today called god the Originator, Creator, Instigator of sin and evil – wouldn’t he be labeled a “hyper”?”

        My response:

        Well, ya know the old saying, “The Devil’s Advocate”? With all that Author of this and that stuff, maybe Yahweh paid Lucifer a consulting fee, and Lucifer hired an attorney so that his name wouldn’t get dragged thru the mud in Calvinism…keepin it all legal and stuff.

        Cuz ya know what? Lucifer has a minor roll in Calvinism, so he needed financial security, cuz with the rest of Christendom, he’s the sole instigator to sin. He’s got a title role with lots of publicity in the book that I read.

        LOL

        Ed

      2. Good stuff!
        I’d say in Calvinism – Lucifer’s role is to be one more robot – running around among a lot of human robots :-]

    2. Hi Brian – hope you’re well!

      It makes perfect sense – that when a Theology is essentially a library of square-circles and married bachelors
      That people – in order to advertise that product – are going to have to spend a lot of time hiding either the square part of the square- circle – or hiding the circular part of that square-circle.

      And the SEMANTIC pretzels that that theology’s language would evidence – is perhaps what one would expect to see.

  5. One Problem I Find: Traditions of man tend to be the center stumbling block. Some feel the need, the want, to part of a branch history of faith that famous people of pass were apart of…they feel it gives a historic security (validity) for their faith. But in the end their saving faith is not in Jesus, rather but into a movement, a single man-Calvin. I ask, “could Calvin be wrong? He is a man?” They answer “no!” There’s the main problem! “Could your view on Calvinism, or your views on what Calvin states be off compared to Calvin’s original thoughts & motives?” “Do you believe God forced Adam to sin?” (Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, Ch. 23, Sect. 8., Calvin, On the Secret Providence of God, 267., Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Book III, Ch. 23, Sect. 7., etc.)? Even if I show them what Calvin’s states or explain the direct interpretation of what Calvin believes…many claimed Calvinists reject what Calvin actually states for some sort of softer reinterpretation that is false. My wife states that “people need to be not Calvinists but rather Jesus’cists!” I couldn’t agree more. People need to speak of and study Jesus with the passion they do Calvin. The more you study Christ, the more you will drift from the absolutes of Calvin.

    Another Problem I Find: The more you drift from Calvin, the closer you will get to Christ…unless you drift too far which brings you to the other dangerous extreme, Arminianism. Arminianism is the reason why many choose to be a Calvinist. ‘Be one or the other’ they are told. But both take a certain attribute of God to emphasize too much making all His other attributes slightly off.

    Calvinism explodes on God’s omnipotent power-“He must control all” (seemingly from the lack of understanding that God created time itself, is outside of time as well as in all time at one time. Time is a piece of creation that fits in the palm of His hand. He doesn’t know the future because He simply forces it, rather He knows the future because He is already in it, Gen. 1:1, etc.).

    Arminianism is chased to go in the other extreme of too much man’s freewill-man’s power of choice alone. This goes on to the point of emphasizing good merit as the form to be saved or kept saved, rather than the power of Jesus. God is easy to cast you aside since salvation becomes the power of man’s freewill. The reality is that to be a Christian comes from first God choosing you & you choosing Him back (John 3:16). It’s a beautiful picture of a secure marriage relationship, us being each the cells of the bride. We could not have salvation by the vehicle of faith if He did not put forth the power of His grace first (Eph. 2:8-9).

    God has a finished product, us the bride, in whom He made as a finished future person in His infinite, omnipresence through all time at one time aspect. ‘Those who are elect, predestined’ being statements from His eternal aspect. He states if you choose acceptance by faith, you will be of this category. God doesn’t force you, you cannot earn it by your good works. It’s all by God’s love for you in which you return the love back! 1 John 4:19, “We love him, because he first loved us.”

    All aspects of both clans sides are tainted. The Bible is right. Just follow what Jesus states over any man. Please comment your thoughts as I have typed this up quickly and we could add much more.
    -Dr. Mike

    1. Hey Dr. Mike, it seems to me you have misrepresented both sides of the debate. Calvinists readily admit Calvin can be wrong and, indeed, most of the time, disagree with him on many things.

      Arminians don’t say the things you attribute to them.

      Most of us here are not Arminians.

      Cheers!

    2. Dr. Mike Scordato,

      I love what your wife suggests. I’m 55 years old. Call me IGNORANT, but up until about 12 years ago, I had NEVER heard of, guess who? Calvin. Never heard of Arminians. Never heard of even LUTHER. This is how dumb I was, that when the name Martin Luther was being discussed, I thought of the civil rights leader…KING.

      I knew OF Catholics, but had NO CLUE what they believed.

      Look, I have the book. I went to church. Many think that the way to eternal life is Church History. And I’m like, WHY? I don’t care about Church History.

      The only reason that I care about it now…is the EXTENSIVE spiritual abuse that is happening that the internet is exposing. And it’s heartbreaking. It’s so prevalent that people are SCARED TO DEATH to call the police, because someone in hierarchy has a whip and chains to threaten them with, so to speak.

      All I’ve known is JESUS, from the book. I am a non-denomination, and NOW I KNOW WHY. I can never join any denomination. I just want FELLOWSHIP with Jesus’ists. I don’t want any other “ists” or “isms”.

      Thank you!!

      Ed Chapman

      1. IGNORANT,
        “Call me IGNORANT, but up until about 12 years ago, I had NEVER heard of, guess who? Calvin. Never heard of Arminians. Never heard of even LUTHER. This is how dumb I was, that when the name Martin Luther was being discussed, I thought of the civil rights leader…KING.”

        Hey IGNORANT,
        Don’t tell me you never heard of Calvin? He’s a fashion designer!! And I bet you don’t even know where Arminia is? It’s right beside Leginia! Those Leginians are much worse than the Arminians, always running around putting their foot in it. And LUTHER, a great singer,… or perhaps that’s Vandross I’m thinking of. I mean the German fella who sparked much religious unrest with the Catholic authorities. Not the civil rights guy, but the RELIGIOUS RITES GUY! The thesis is, is that he was very good with a hammer and a nail.

        Have you heard of Shakespeare? He was in love!💘

      2. Aidan,

        You had said:
        “Hey IGNORANT,
        Don’t tell me you never heard of Calvin? He’s a fashion designer!! And I bet you don’t even know where Arminia is? It’s right beside Leginia! Those Leginians are much worse than the Arminians, always running around putting their foot in it. And LUTHER, a great singer,… or perhaps that’s Vandross I’m thinking of. I mean the German fella who sparked much religious unrest with the Catholic authorities. Not the civil rights guy, but the RELIGIOUS RITES GUY! The thesis is, is that he was very good with a hammer and a nail.

        Have you heard of Shakespeare? He was in love!💘”

        My response:

        I had a good laugh at that, but I’m serious. In my upbringing, we never heard of any of these people. We knew the OBVIOUS cults of Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Mary Baker Eddy, and Ellen G White. That was it.

        But we ain’t never heard of Calvin Klien, except from Back to the Future (I was Fruit of the Looms), or of the Artesians (Except from a beer commercial), or Pelicans, except from a zoo, and of course, Luther, except from some love songs back in the 80’s.

        All I knew of the Catholics was that in elementary school, we had fish sticks on Friday. Why? I have NO CLUE. But their god changed his mind for some reason.

        The VERY FIRST TIME that I heard about INQUISITION was when Madonna said something about that when I learned of her joining a Jewish mystic thing years ago. But I was too wrapped up in MTV to even care about the VARIOUS religions of the world.

        But like I said, it was about 12 years ago, when I learned of a CALVINIST PASTOR suing WOMEN for a half a million dollars, for negative Google reviews, who were all former members of that church, KICKED OUT by the pastor for FAKE discipline reasons, being SHUNNED, that got my curiosity up. Why would a pastor do that? He LOST, and had to PAY the court costs. But still…the attempt that he was doing, and the PUNISHMENT that he thinks he has a right to impose on any of the congregation was nothing short of ABUSE.

        I started watching YouTube video’s of this NEW FOUND belief system, and the very first thing I noticed was how MEAN they were, and the CONSTANT several weeks long teaching of Romans 9 as if it were an indoctrination, and the TWISTED use of Matthew 18 as a form of, what they THINK is a means of CHURCH DISCIPLINE, which I don’t see at all. It was like, WHAT THE…? Who does this?

        But I see that it is VERY INGRAINED in Calvinism, and even if a pastor leaves Calvinism…MUCH of the teachings still are retained, such as Matthew 18 as a form of church discipline, which I don’t see at all. There is STILL fear in a hierarchy.

        I’ve NEVER experienced such things in any church I went to. Then we see the sexual abuses, and it is practically FORBIDDEN to call the cops…people RUN TO THE PASTOR for INSTRUCTIONS on what to do. So, they keep FELONIES in house, and abuse the victim AGAIN, putting the victim in a Matthew 18 disciplinary action IF things don’t go the way that the hierarchy wants. Swift forgiveness of the perp or we will shun you!

        I’ve never seen anything like it in my life. It’s disgusting. Then to hear a Calvinist, who was running for political office a few years back, say something about rape being ordained by God so that good may come out of it made me very angry. The more I learn of this religion, the more grossed out I am. This is not the Christianity that I was raised with. None of it.

        Ed Chapman

      3. Hey Ed,
        I didn’t know Madonna got into some mystic Jewish thing? Some of those celebs have lost the plot!! No, I knew that you were serious about these things, even when you mock the intellectual game playing. That’s the part I was making a bit of fun at. But the other stuff? Listen I’m the same age as yourself, and grew up in a different Catholic Ireland than it is today! They had a lot of power in the country back then, and ran the school system. Fear was much of what I knew growing up going to school. I came from a town, so luckily all we got was fear and corporal punishment, and not just from the religious, but from the lay-teachers as well – it was cultural then. I can now safely say, that these hierarchical systems are not of God. The local churches that I read of in the bible were autonomous with their own eldership – and that’s about as high as its leadership went. But you’re right, none of these represent the Christianity, or the 1st century church we read of in the bible. We all need to get back to New Testament Christianity in its most simplest form!

      4. Aidan,

        Indeed we do.

        Yes, Madonna was raised Catholic, and got into a lot of hot water with Pepsi and MTV with her BLACK JESUS in her video Like a Prayer. The Jewish KABALLA, or something like that is what she got into. Not sure if she’s still in that, or not.

        Ed

  6. Scordato: Arminianism is chased to go in the other extreme of too much man’s freewill-man’s power of choice alone.

    A.B. Strawman.

    Scordato: This goes on to the point of emphasizing good merit as the form to be saved or kept saved, rather than the power of Jesus. God is easy to cast you aside since salvation becomes the power of man’s freewill.

    A.B. Another strawman. I’ll tweak this a bit: “God is easy to cast you aside since salvation becomes the power of mans [unbelief]”. Now it biblically fits: “…but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off” (Rom. 11:22).

    Scordato: The reality is that to be a Christian comes from first God choosing you & you choosing Him back (John 3:16). It’s a beautiful picture of a secure marriage relationship, us being each the cells of the bride. We could not have salvation by the vehicle of faith if He did not put forth the power of His grace first (Eph. 2:8-9).

    A.B. This is consistent with Reformed Arminian-Weslyan.

    1. Carl
      Most folks don’t realize that Arminianism is just Calvinism lite.

      br.d
      Very insightful – and true.
      Even though most Arminians would rightly consider that an insult! :-]

  7. Hi Eric,

    I have enjoyed reading here and appreciate the content being produced by Dr. Flowers and yourself. I have also enjoyed the comments, particularly by those who used to be Calvinists where we get snippets of their “stories”. I wish I could likewise say that the exchanges with Calvinists in the comments section were “iron sharpening iron” but that would be far too generous a description. A few fit that description. Others fit the description of locust swarms – here to destroy, with no other purpose.

    I’d like to make a suggestion that I think would further enhance this already excellent site.

    I have a big ask: Would you consider a post that was exclusively set aside for people to post their stories of leaving Calvinism, similar to this?

    http://evangelicalarminians.org/x-calvinist-corner/

    It would of course have to be moderated so that it didn’t become a rebuttal magnet, and perhaps only reserved for stories – not other comments whether favorable or dismissive. I find it personally very moving and encouraging to read the stories of those who came out of Calvinism, and I often learn as much from their stories as from the biblical deep dives provided in the articles.

    Knowing what attracted people to Calvinism, what they found most compelling, what ultimately convinced them of its fallacy, whether they were saved directly into a Calvinist church, “poached” by a Calvinist from another church, influenced by a book, radio program, podcast, or video into Calvinism is also interesting. It might help you to know what topics to address for future articles if you get feedback on which passages were the most unsettling or reassuring for the Calvinist, which arguments the most compelling for staying/leaving, how they reconciled the double-speak and contradictions of a truly loving God with the one that Calvinism presents, etc.

    I find people’s stories to be fascinating and powerful. However, at present it is very tedious to pick though all of the comments to each article and try to piece people’s stories together. A place specifically set aside for this purpose would be helpful, and perhaps others reading this can chime in with their thoughts on whether such a place would be useful.

    Count my comment as an enthusiastic vote for such a place.

    1. Thank you mrteebs
      I find many of those testimonies very warming and especially telling – in how the Lord leads people out of Calvinism.

      I for one would ask for the possibility of these being comment restricted – so that they don’t become soiled with distasteful emotional comments.

      Good idea!

      Sincere thanks
      br.d

  8. I mentioned this in the comments of the livestream that just concluded. Here is a self-identified (on some points) Hyper-Calvinist. https://www.pristinegrace.org/media.php?id=1667

    “Why going farther and beyond Calvin or traditional “Calvinism” must necessarily be wrong, evil, dangerous? From whence cometh this idea that all development in doctrine should cease after 1648 / or 1689?

    I am a living, breathing “hyper” (“above”, “beyond”) Calvinist on some points and I’m quite OK with that.”

    There are other places on this website where he admits he doesn’t see the logic of the free offer of the Gospel or universal duty faith.

    1. Thanks Thomas

      I see he says his is hyper – which for him means going above and beyond.
      But only on some points.
      The “so-called” free offer of salvation we should be able to recognize as a form of double-speak.
      And that is probably why he disagrees with it.

      There is no such thing as offering [X] to someone that you fully intend to never give [X] to.

      Sugar-pops can be advertised as sugar free – simply by couching the definition of terms.
      Likewise, a non-offered gift can be advertised as offered – simply by couching the definition of terms.

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