November 8, 2008

Conference Chart

Here is a modified pdf copy of the chart I created in 2008 for Dr. David Allen to use at the John 3:16 Conference:

It compares Arminianism, Classic/Moderate Calvinism, High Calvinism and Hyper-Calvinism on 8 different (but related) topics:

1) God's Love
2) God's Will
3) God's Grace
4) Gospel Offers
5) Christ's Death, or the Extent of Expiation and Redemption
6) Sufficiency
7) Human Ability
8) Responsibility

I believe he made enough copies for about 800 people, and I see that one person already has a low quality scan of it online. So, here is a much better copy to distribute.

Also, I did a radio interview (click) (or here) on this chart that may be helpful for further explanation.

Update on 9-27-11: In retrospect, I think it is proper to place William Twisse's name in the classic-moderate category on the atonement. Andrew Fuller's name should be qualified since he changed his position later in life. He was a High Calvinist on the atonement early on, then switched to the moderate camp. Also, William Carey's views are not yet known (insufficient documents), so he should not be listed, not even as a High Calvinist. When I made this chart, I was not sure about Fuller's switch, so I assumed he and Carey were both High-Calvinists. I have updated the "Notable Representatives" section of the chart to reflect these facts and others.


Garrett said...

Hey Tony,

What is your basis for saying that Robert Reymond is a hyper?


Tony Byrne said...

Hi Garrett,

Just before you asked this question, I was in the process of typing out a portion of Reymond's New Systematic Theology that is relavent. He, like other hypers (see Iain Murray here), denies that God in any sense wills the salvation of any of the non-elect. He isn't merely quibbling over terms either. Reymond thinks it is irrational to think that God wills the salvation of all men. He even approvingly refers to John Gill on that point. Here's the reference:

Robert Reymond's Denial of God's Universal Saving Will.

A well-wisher to the souls of men (a John Howe signature line),

Garrett said...


So historically, a person can be labeled a hyper-calvinist based on this one point?

I really am wondering, as I am not that conversant with the historical discussion.



Tony Byrne said...

Hi Garret,

Yes. See this post by Iain Murray:

Iain Murray on Spurgeon, Hyper-Calvinism and God's Saving Will

In the book on Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism, Murray rightly says, "If God has chosen an elect people, then, Hyper-Calvinism argued, he can have no desire for the salvation of any others and to speak as though he had, is to deny the particularity of grace."

This "one point" of denial impacts every other crucial area. For example, John Gill (and classical hypers) did not deny God's love for all humanity or that God gives grace to all of humanity. God's common love and common grace were merely seen as given to temporally preserve the non-elect. God has no actual interest in their ultimate good, i.e. their salvation. In Reformed and Puritan theology, you can see how God's common love and common grace are give to bring men to repentance and faith, as Romans 2:4 suggests.

For a small example, look at what Thomas Manton says:

"Grace comes to save them, and God makes them an offer as though they were worthy; and they judge themselves unworthy, and plainly declare they were altogether not worthy of this grace."

After describing the anger of God working in the misery of the damned in Miscellany #232, Jonathan Edwards said this:

"And all this will be aggravated by the remembrance, that God once loved us so as to give his Son to bring us to the happiness of his love, and tried all manner of means to persuade us to accept of his favor, which was obstinately refused."

You can see that God's common love, favor and grace were all given with a view to the ultimate well-being of those who finally refused his grace in Christ. Common grace, common love and the free offer are essentially tied to God's willingness to save all men. This is why John Murray, in his work on the Free Offer of the Gospel said, "It would appear that the real point in dispute in connection with the free offer of the gospel is whether it can properly be said that God desires the salvation of all men."

Iain Murray is also correct when he said, "Hyper-Calvinists accepted that the gospel be preached to all." Dr. Curt Daniel, in his doctoral dissertation and in The History and Theology of Calvinism makes the same point. Hyper-Calvinists were against offers, particularly well-meant offers, and not against preaching to all.

I would encourage you to go through my Subject Index (or even the Calvin and Calvinism index page) and carefully observe how historic Calvinists and Puritans have common love, common grace and free gracious offers interconnected with God's willingness to save all men. It's in Calvin, Ursinus, Bullinger, Howe, Flavel, Manton, Edwards, etc. The confessional material on "gracious offers" presupposes God's willingness to save throught the offer. These offers of grace are either well-meant of ill-meant. Certainly they are not non-meant.

Grace to you,