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What is “Hyper-Calvinism”?

Hyper-Calvinism refers to the view that denies a general call and offer of the gospel or a general responsibility for all to believe it. This emphasizes the sovereignty of God to the point of minimizing actual human responsibility. Those who hold to this viewpoint nearly always hold to a double-predestination/reprobation belief (predestination to heaven and predestination to hell). [However, the opposite is not true. Not all who hold to double-predestination/supralapsarianism/reprobation are Hyper-Calvinists.]1

·         Historically this viewpoint manifested itself in a reluctance to generally offer the gospel or specifically call all to repentance.2

·         This term is sometimes used to broadly (and often negatively) label anyone with a strong(er) view of God’s sovereignty. However, the technical and historical definition of this word should not be confused with being the classic “Five points of Calvinism” As the prefix “hyper” would imply, it is beyond that classic expression.3

For further resources Phil Johnsons article cited above is recommended as well as Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God by J. I. Packer; Unraveling the Big Questions About God by Ken Boa; and Divine Sovereignty and Human Freedom by Samuel Fisk. These will answer a lot of potential questions.


1 See Phil Johnson's excellent article entitled, "A Primer on Hyper-Calvinism." http://www.spurgeon.org/~phil/articles/hypercal.htm Accessed August, 2012.

2 James M. Renihan, "Out From Hyper-Calvinism: Andrew Fuller and the Promotion of Missions," The Reformed Baptist Theological Review 1.1 (January 2004), 47-51. Accessed through Galaxie Software's Theological Journal Library.

3 Jim Ellis, "What is Hyper-Calvinism," Reformed Perspectives Magazine 10.15 (April 6-12, 2008). Accessed online August, 2012: http://thirdmill.org/newfiles/jim_ellis/jim_ellis.Hyper.html

Related Topics: Terms & Definitions