Friday, March 14, 2008

Hyper and Hybrid -- what's the difference?

"IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN
HYPER AND HYBRID CALVINISM?"

There is a difference. What has usually been identified as Hyper Calvinism is rejected by most professing "Reformed" Calvinists. Some of them even have articles on the Internet against elements of what has passed as Hyper Calvinism. I know of no Reformed Calvinist who will admit to being a Hyper. For instance, Pedobaptist Iain Murray says there is "no evidence that Hyper-Calvinism is recovering strength"
(Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism, page xiv).

However, Hybrid Calvinism is a popular theoretical mixture which departs from Creedal Calvinism to affirm the post-creedal development of the non-creedal "ordo salutis," and perhaps most of the Reformed Calvinists of this age are Hybrid Calvinists. Many of them like to refer to themselves as "Monergists," when in fact they are semi-Pelagian.

For several months on The Calvinist Flyswatter we have conclusively demonstrated that the Reformed version of "Calvinism" advocated by many in our time is not what is presented in the historic Creeds and Confessions of the past. Rather, the "Calvinism" of this version is a post-seventeenth century hybrid variety which is advocated in the writings of the Reformed Pedobaptists (baby regenerationists) such as W. G. T. Shedd, the Hodges, Louis Berkhof, John Frame, R. C. Sproul and similar pedobaptists. It is also the basic theory held by the Primitive Baptist ("Hardshell") Church.

This Reformed Pedobaptist version is based on the presumption that (1) the "elect children" of believers are "regenerated" by the Holy Spirit in early infancy before, at, or shortly after "baptism," and (2) other "elect" who grow to a more mentally mature age are supposedly regenerated by a "direct operation" of the Holy Spirit so as to be "born again before faith in Christ."

These views are articulated most thoroughly in the systematic theologies written by Dr. W. G. T. Shedd and Dr. Louis Berkhof. Berkhof is endorsed by Iain Murray and The Banner of Truth as holding a "unique place in contemporary literature, expounding Christianity according to the historic Reformed position" (BT catalog 2002, page 19).

This doctrine was obviously concocted by pedobaptists as the justification for the "baby regeneration" idea whereby pedobaptists claim that "covenant children" inherit "regeneration" as a blessing of the supposed "Abrahamic covenant." C. H. Spurgeon denounced this pedobaptist distortion, saying "there never was a grosser piece of knavery under heaven" than the use a portion of Acts 2:39 as if it taught the pedobaptist theory (Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Volume 32, Sermon #1925, "Jesus and the Children," page 569).

Since pedobaptists teach that their infants are "regenerated" before faith, they also allege that consistency requires that it must be the case that adults are also "regenerated" before faith. This view is compatible with the Hardshell Baptist theory that the "elect" are "regenerated" without or before faith in Christ.

While Hybrids among the Baptists do not agree with the "infant" part of this "Reformed" doctrine, they nevertheless hold to the "regeneration before faith," or "born again before faith" part of it. Thus, they are basically "Hardshell" on this point of teaching, and this accounts for their negative attitude in regard to aggressive methods which are used to wins souls to Christ.

C. H. Spurgeon rattled the cages of the Hypers and Hybrids of his day with red-hot evangelistic appeals in sermons such as #227 "Compel Them to Come In," #279 "Come and Welcome," and #531 "The Warrant of Faith." You may read these sermons at the Spurgeon Archive and also at Spurgeongems.org.

Also, in his sermon "Prevenient Grace," Spurgeon affirms that while the Holy Spirit works in the lost person before the new birth, the person is "not saved as yet," not yet "effectually called," has not yet come to a "decision," and has "not believed." "Believe, therefore," Spurgeon exhorts, "and you are at once justified and at peace with God" (#656 Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, pages 596-600).

3 Comments:

At Saturday, March 15, 2008 9:16:00 AM, Blogger J. Brian McKillop said...

...regenerated by a "direct operation" of the Holy Spirit so as to be "born again before faith in Christ."

As a Calvinist and also a Baptist, I object to your consistent equating of the term "regeneration" with the phrase "born again," which seems to be the reason you refer to us as Hybrid Calvinists.

I see salvation as a logical process which begins with regeneration. God brings a lost individual to life through the preached word, thus enabling that individual to respond. That is regeneration, but it cannot be said that the individual is born again at that point in the process.

God regenerates and provides the faith to respond and the sinner without fail responds and is born again (justification). He then proceeds to live a changed life (sanctification) and at some future date, when he is ushered into the presence of God, will experience glorification.

 
At Saturday, March 15, 2008 11:28:00 AM, Blogger Stephen Garrett said...

Brother Bob:

When these Hypers give us book, chapter, and verse, which shows that infants experince regeneration, and which define regeneration as they define it, THEN we will listen to them, hey?

God bless

Stephen

 
At Saturday, March 15, 2008 10:52:00 PM, Blogger Bob L. Ross said...

"REGENERATED" BUT
NOT "BORN AGAIN"?


J. Brian McKillop said:

I see salvation as a logical process which begins with regeneration. God brings a lost individual to life through the preached word, thus enabling that individual to respond. That is regeneration, but it cannot be said that the individual is born again at that point in the process.

Since there is a variety of views on what constitutes "regeneration,"
no one could object to your right to have your own view, too. "It's a free country," isn't it?

Your view, however, does seem to be open to the unusual paradox that it has a "regenerated" person who has "life," but is not yet "born again" -- in which case it would appear that such a person is a "regenerated" unbeliever.

Despite this, you could probably mount a following for this view. If the Hybrids can get a following for their "born again before faith" doctrine, you could probably get some to believe that a person can be "regenerated before being born again."

 

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