Wednesday, November 26, 2008

James White -- "High" or "Stiff"?

JAMES "The Great Exegeeter" WHITE?

Breaking News! At long last, we may have
acceptable terms to apply to James White's "Calvinism."

There is a lot of palabber (and palaver, too) on some blogs about "Calvinism," "Hyper Calvinism," "Uber Calvinism," etc. etc. It's all very amusing how there seems to be what Phil Johnson describes as different "hues" of Calvinism. One size does not seem to fit all.

A couple of the most amusing comments I've read are (1) Phil's reference to his own "hue" as "middle" Calvinism between the "high" and "low" Calvinists, and (2) James White's reference to his "hue" as a "stiffer form" of Calvinism. Phil refers to James' Calvinism as being of a "higher" sort than Phil's.

There's been a big fuss lately about James' being called a "hyper" Calvinist. Some are saying that he is hyper, while James is denying it, and Phil is supporting James' denial. But very recently Phil has said that James is "a higher sort of Calvinist than I," and since James did not squawk I suppose it may be acceptable for James to be called a "high" Calvinist -- or even a "stiff" Calvinist.

Phil says:

"I often find myself standing in the middle, urging low Calvinists not to be so quick to label their high brethren 'hyper,' and likewise urging high Calvinists not to be so quick to dismiss their low brethren as crypto-Arminians. From my position, it is absolutely clear that there are many different hues of Calvinism; we are not a monolithic community."

It appears that the "definition" of "Calvinism" in this period is rather subjective -- every man describes it according to that which is right in his own eyes.

So then, what really constitutes "hyper" Calvinism? Is it simply "theory" as opposed to "practice"?

If one says he believes in preaching the Gospel to every man, yet he does not preach it to any, is that "hyperism"?

If one says he believes the death of Christ is sufficient to save every man who believes, yet he does not seek to get any one to believe, is he a hyper?

If one says he believes the invitation to believe on Christ is universal, yet he does not invite any one to believe, is that "hyperism"?


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