Author Topic: Was Spurgeon a Hyper-Calvinist?  (Read 1159 times)

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Was Spurgeon a Hyper-Calvinist?
« on: August 02, 2015, 12:22:57 AM »
In Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, Iain Murray draws four lessons from that conflict:

1.  “Genuine evangelical Christianity is never of an exclusive spirit.  Any view of the truth which undermines catholicity has gone astray from Scripture.”  Spurgeon disagreed with hyper-Calvinists who “made faith in election a part of saving faith and thus either denied the Christianity of all professed Christians who did not so believe or at least treated such profession with much suspicion.”
2.  Spurgeon “wanted to see both divine sovereignty and human responsibility upheld, but when it came to gospel preaching he believed that there needed to be a greater concentration upon responsibility.  The tendency of Hyper-Calvinism was to make sinners want to understand theology before they could believe in Christ.”
3.  “This controversy directs us to our need for profound humility before God.  It reminds us forcefully of questions about which we can only say, ‘Behold, God is great, and we know him not’ (Job 36:26).”  “It is to be feared that sharp contentions between Christians on these issues have too often arisen from a wrong confidence in our powers of reasoning and our assumed ability to draw logical inferences.”  Spurgeon saw “how a system which sought to attribute all to the grace of God had itself too much confidence in the powers of reason.”
4.  “The final conclusion has to be that when Calvinism ceases to be evangelistic, when it becomes more concerned with theory than with the salvation of men and women, when acceptance of doctrines seems to become more important than acceptance of Christ, then it is a system going to seed and it will invariably lose its attractive power.”

Iain H. Murray, Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism (Edinburgh, 1995), pages 110-122. 


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Re: Was Spurgeon a Hyper-Calvinist?
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2015, 06:18:19 PM »

From his own writings:


There is no soul living who holds more firmly to the Doctrines of Grace than I do, and if any man asks me whether I am ashamed to be called a Calvinist, I answer—I wish to be called nothing but a Christian—but if you ask me, do I hold the doctrinal views which were held by John Calvin? I reply I do in the main hold them, and rejoice to avow it; but far be it from me even to imagine that Zion contains none but Calvinistic Christians within her walls, or that there are none saved who do not hold our views! Most atrocious things have been spoken about the character and spiritual condition of John Wesley, the modem prince of Arminians. I can only say concerning him, that while I detest many of the doctrines which he preached, yet for the man, himself, I have a reverence second to no Wesleyan. And if there were needed two Apostles to be added to the number of the twelve, I do not believe that there could be found two men more fit to be so added than George Whitefield, and John Wesley! The character of John Wesley stands beyond all imputation for self-sacrifice, zeal, holiness, and communion with God. He lived far above the ordinary level of common Christians, and was one “of whom the world was not worthy.” I believe there are multitudes of men who cannot see these truths of Calvinism, or, at least, cannot see them in the way in which we put them, who nevertheless have received Christ as their Savior, and are as dear to the heart of the God of Grace as the most sound Calvinist in or out of Heaven. I do not think I differ from any of my Hyper-Calvinistic Brothers and Sisters in what I do believe, but I differ from them in what they do not believe. I do not hold any less than they do, but I hold a little more, and I think, a little more of the Truth of God revealed in the Scriptures. Not only are there a few cardinal Doctrines by which we can steer our ship North, South, East, or West, but as we study the Word, we shall begin to learn something about the Northwest, and Northeast, and all else that lies between the four cardinal points. The system of Truth revealed in the Scriptures is not simply one straight line, but two—no man will ever get a right view of the Gospel until he knows how to look at the two lines at once. For instance, I read in one Book of the Bible, “The Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come; and whoever wills, let him take the water of life freely.” Yet I am taught, in another part of the same Inspired Word, that, “it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.” I see in one place God in Providence presiding over all, and yet I see, and I cannot help seeing that man acts as he pleases, and that God has left his actions, in a great measure, to his own free will.

JB Horn

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Re: Was Spurgeon a Hyper-Calvinist?
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2015, 07:28:37 PM »
 Most people don't even realize there's more than one form of Calvinism. And they definitely can't explain to you the difference tween hyper Calvinism and that Calvinism that his practice, in say the Southern Baptist.