December 18, 2007

My Historical Documentation

For those who don't know already, I have been documenting the thoughts of the Puritans and other Calvinistic thinkers on the subject of the revealed will of God for quite some time. I am seeking to show that they held to the following:

1) God's general love for mankind is expressed in a universal will to save, and the benefits of common grace are granted to move men to repentance and salvation.

2) God himself gives well-meant offers to all through the gospel call.

All of the Puritans and Calvinistic thinkers on my blog held to the above two propositions. However, even though they affirmed the content of these two propositions, they were of two sorts:

Type A: Christ suffered for the sins of all mankind

Type B: Christ suffered only for the sins of the elect

This may be illustrated as follows:

Since I am in the Type A category (i.e., classic or moderate Calvinism), I have particularly focused on documenting historical Calvinists in this group. Nevertheless, I respect and recognize as orthodox those who are within the Type B tradition (i.e., high Calvinists), so long as they do not reject the above two propositions. As for those who reject the two propositions above (i.e., hyper-Calvinists who are not within the Type A or Type B groups), they often accuse me of taking men out of context. They not only fail to demonstrate how this is, but they do not even interact with my primary source documentation. How could they? This is about all I expect from what I am documenting. If my critics can only deny my claims without proving their case historically, or even interacting with my sources, then they are successfully refuted, at least in terms of historical matters. What they surely do not have is "a Puritans mind," despite their self-descriptions.


Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your posts. What positions would be held by the ones you put in the "hyper" category?

YnottonY said...

Hi TT,

Those in the "hyper" category deny, among other things, the elements in the first two propositions. That is, they deny:

1) That God loves all mankind (universal love).

2) That God wills the salvation of all in the revealed will (universal saving will).

3) That God is gracious to all (common grace).

4) That God is well-meaning in His gospel offer to all that hear it (well-meant offer).

Those who deny the above are the most common.

Some hypers also deny:

5) That human beings are responsible to believe the gospel savingly (duty-faith).

Still further, some:

6) Elevate the TULIP doctrines to an essential status, such that a denial of one or more of the points is enough to prove that one is unregenerate.

Hope that helps,

Anonymous said...

Thanks Tony. I always thought it to be less than what you described. That was a well thought out answer. Thanks.