Home > Calvinism > “21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism”: The Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Misunderstandings

“21 Misunderstandings of Calvinism”: The Eleventh, Twelfth, and Thirteenth Misunderstandings

By Sam Waldron

I’ve dealt with four misunderstandings of Calvinism related to the doctrine of total depravity. Now I am dealing with a number of misunderstandings related to the doctrine of unconditional election. Here are the seventh, eighth, and ninth of those (numbers 11-13 overall).

II. Misunderstandings related to Unconditional Election

(7) It is not the duty of the non-elect to believe in Christ for salvation! Calvinists do not believe in the free offer of the gospel.

This is, indeed, the doctrine of a few Hyper-Calvinists, but it has never been the doctrine of mainstream Calvinism. The 1689 Baptist Confession (7:2) affirms: “Moreover, man having brought himself under the curse of the law by his fall, it pleased the Lord to make a covenant of grace, wherein he freely offereth unto sinners…..

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

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  1. Truth2Freedom
    December 21, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Reblogged this on Truth2Freedom's Blog.

  2. Louie
    December 22, 2015 at 1:52 am

    With question 7 he cited the LBCF but stopped before the next part which states “and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal Life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.” So does not our own confession define the sinners who are freely offered the covenant of grace?

    As for question 8 it seems he is trying to say what I thought with question 7, which is the well meant offer, and God’s desire to save all men. But he cites a section that is very similar to what the LBCF is saying. As seen ” Article 8: The Earnest Call of the Gospel
    Nevertheless, all who are called through the gospel are called earnestly. For urgently and most genuinely God makes known in the Word what is pleasing to him: that those who are called should come to God. God also earnestly promises rest for their souls and eternal life to all who do come and believe.”

    Am I misunderstanding this as well? As for our confession it never addresses the two points he charges as Hyper-Calvinism. I would assume this is because of the sections on God’s decrees, and effectual calling.

    Overall if he defines Hyper-Calvinism the way he does, then we have a few well known theologians he would have to call Hyper-Calvinists. Such as James R. White (a fellow Baptist), Gordon H. Clark, and Robert L. Reymond. Men who have a different definition of Hyper-Calvinism, and the free gospel offer, when compared to Dr. Waldron. Again I love much of what Dr. Waldron has written and said! But these two points are off when claiming to hold to traditional, historical reformed theology as far as I understand the documents cited.

    • January 2, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Welcome to my blog Louie. Thank you for your visit and thank you for reading my articles.

      To answer your first question I will quote what you said and your question:

      With question 7 he cited the LBCF but stopped before the next part which states “and promising to give unto all those that are ordained unto eternal Life, his Holy Spirit, to make them willing and able to believe.” So does not our own confession define the sinners who are freely offered the covenant of grace?

      My view is that God freely offers life to sinners through the gospel. Even though natural man cannot move or incline himself towards the life offered in the gospel nevertheless, God does offer it to them. The offer is not a false or fake offer. Since man cannot move himself towards receiving the life that is offered in the gospel, God takes it upon himself, in the form of a promise, to give life to those who he ordained to eternal life. Calvinism recognizes that in the gospel presentation, there is an outward and inward calling. Those who are not ordained to eternal life receive the outward call, but those that are ordained to eternal life, receive an outward and inward call. The inward calling is made effectual by the Holy Spirit, by making them willing and able to believe. So yes, our confession defines those to whom the covenant of grace is given, namely those who are ordained to eternal life.

      As for your point you raise concerning question 8:

      Andrew Fuller had to move Baptists back towards pure Calvinism during his lifetime. Many during that time were preaching hyper-Calvinism which teaches that we are not to preach to everyone. This is one of the main tenets of hyper-Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinists teach that we are to only preach to those who are elect. Those we see who are moved by the gospel are the ones to whom we should preach. This view is still prevalent among Primitive Baptists.

      Hyper-Calvinists also deny the phrase ‘Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient for all, but only efficient for the elect.” The first part of the phrase ‘sufficient for all’ is where hyper-Calvinists stumble. Therefore they preach to only those of whom they believe to be elect.

      Hyper-Calvinists also deny common grace. Common grace is defined as God’s benevolence towards all men. God providentially cares for the non-elect, as well as the elect, by providing food, clothing, etc…., to all. Some have more common grace, than others do. For instance, someone born in the United States has been born into a nation where the gospel is preached every Sunday, whereas someone born in an Islamic country may have never heard it. However, common grace is to be distinguished from saving grace. Those who argue that there is no such thing as common grace are only arguing semantics. Common grace is not defined as grace that saves, but is defined as God’s benevolent love or providential care of all men in general.

      As for White, Clark, or Reymond on hyper-Calvinism: I do not believe that these men teach any different than Waldron does concerning this matter. All of these men (as far as I know) would adhere to what I have stated above. Namely, that we are to preach to all mankind and that Christ’s atonement was sufficient for all.

      To read a short biography of Andrew Fuller’s life and fight against hyper-Calvinism, click here.

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