Hyper-Calvinism

Hyper-Calvinism has been widely misunderstood. There are different varieties of Hyper-Calvinism but essentially, Hyper-Calvinism does not believe salvation is offered to everyone ("universal offer" or "universal call") and to those it is offered ("the elect"), they do not believe it is their "duty" to repent and believe ("duty repentance" and "duty faith"). A confessional Hyper-Calvinist position is found explicitly stated in the confessional articles of the Gospel Standard (Baptist) Churches, specifically: Articles of Faith of the Gospel Standard Aid and Poor Relief Societies, (Leicester, England: Oldham & Manton Ltd., n.d.).

Article 26 in that publication reads, "We deny duty faith and duty repentance — these terms suggesting that it is every man's duty spiritually and savingly to repent and believe. We deny also that there is any capability in man by nature to any spiritual good whatever. So that we reject the doctrine that man in a state of nature should be exhorted to believe in or turn to God." Article 33 says, "Therefore, that for ministers in the present day to address unconverted persons, or indiscriminately all in a mixed congregation, calling upon them to savingly repent, believe, and receive Christ, or perform any other acts dependent upon the new creative power of the Holy Ghost, is, on the one hand, to imply creature power, and on the other, to deny the doctrine of special redemption."

These articles have been considered to be the historical confession of Hyper-Calvinism, but they do not represent the views and arguments of all Hyper-Calvinists who deny duty faith and the universal offer. The Hyper Calvinists from the 1700s were not around during the time of the Gospel Standard confessions and not all Hyper-Calvinists assent to an agreement with the Gospel Standard confessions. Their views shall be considered by their own statements.

While this position may appear to be a minority view, it had a large influence among the particular baptist denominations during the 1700s and 1800s. In more modern times, the views have been preserved among the Gospel Standard or Strict Baptists churches, and the Primitive Baptist churches.

Calvinism believes that salvation is offered to everyone (universal offer/call) but that God has a "special calling" as Calvin taught (Institutes 3:24:8), that only the elect are "drawn"(Comment on Matthew 23:37, Joel- Obadiah 252, Sermon on Ephesians 1:4-6, Banner of Truth p.48) and their "eyes opened."(John 1:125, Comment on John 3:16)

According to Calvinism, God calls all so men are without excuse and because we don't know who the elect are (only God).


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