Monday, December 1, 2008

Spurgeon's Battles with the Hyper-Calvinists

In the aftermath of the now infamous ( "In famous?") John 3:16 Conference, a debate that is swirling is over Hyper-Calvinism. What is Hyper-Calvinism? Who is one, and who isn't? Is Dr. James White? (He isn't, but why or why not?)

It has become typical for anti-Calvinists, especially those within the Southern Baptist Convention, to freely apply the epithet, Hyper-Calvinist, to anyone who is

a) more Calvinistic than I am, or
b) holding to all five points of the TULIP, or
c) is fierce in their defense of Calvinism, or
d) is unapologetic about showing where my own home-grown soteriology is not consistently Biblical, and does not respect how good my own system makes me feel about God, etc.

Clearly, it's a good time for all who are concerned about things like Truth, to become more familiar with the issues that are at stake in this argument. To that end, may I humbly recommend the following book to your consideration. It will not make you an expert in Hyper-Calvinism, but it will go a long way toward shedding historical and Biblical light on the current controversy.

1516920: Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel  Preaching Spurgeon vs. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching

By Iain H. Murray / Banner Of Truth

In the wide coverage given to Spurgeon's ministry since his death in 1892, one controversy in which he was at the centre has been left largely untouched. It concerned what his Autobiography called 'the first serious attack' on his ministry. Fellow Baptists of Hyper-Calvinistic persuasion condemned him for believing that along with 'impassioned appeal to every sinner to come to Christ and be saved'. To this Spurgeon replied that he was not only teaching what was in the old Baptist Confessions, but, more important, his evangelistic preaching was true to the New Testament itself. After a portrait of Spurgeon as a man living for the Word of God, Iain Murray details the furore which his preaching caused among those who opposed his gospel preaching. 176 pgs.

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