Sunday, August 1, 2010

Hyper-Calvinism: Historical Developments, Caricatured Myths, and Concrete Facts

Reformed theology deals with two kinds of extreme: Arminianism and Hyper-Calvinism (HC). In one extreme, Arminianism overemphasize human response in the free offer of the Gospel and underemphasize the sovereignty of God in showing His compassion on whoever He wills. While, HC overemphasize the efficacy of God acts in all things including evil and underemphasize human responsibility to walk in the newness of life.

Unlike Arminian, HC doesn't bring fruits of evangelism. Arminian may lead Christians to emphasize man's salvation upon self-centered response to God's grace but they still care to go out evangelizing people who need the Lord. HCs not only reject Christ's great commission, they even emphasize the sovereignty of God up to the extent that it diminish the loving kindness of God to His creature who originally created in His image.

Most people who later became mature Christians, came from Arminian understanding of salvation initially. Even though they might never heard a man named Jacob Arminius before. It's later in their live when they began to realize the sovereignty of God and the meaning of unmerited grace. That by grace God enabled us to make a response to His external calling and to regenerate us from our former state being dead in sin to be able to respond to His effectual calling. It's God who works in us both to will and to act so that we may believe and persevere in holiness.

HC should be rejected on the basis of contradicting God's revealed attributes: His love, holiness, and justice. Instead of giving positive results by emphasizing grace, HC brings more negative results. We need to analyze their thought carefully in order to understand its origins and developments. And guarding our self from portraying them into straw men while we studying their theology. As a Christian we're called to love our brothers. This is my open letter to HCs so that we can have a common understanding in following Scripture representation of the Gospel.

By sincerely representing HC theological position correctly, I hope all of us can receive benefits from this and learn to understand each other better. Let us learn to represent the Gospel in truth and love. Theology is important for our edification in our process being conformed to Christ.

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Soli Deo Gloria.

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