Sam Waldron’s Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel on Hyper-Calvinism

Dr. Sam Waldron:

I have been surprised over the last several years to sense a rise of views which I associate with Hyper-Calvinism or “Half-step Hyper-Calvinism.” Forty years ago I with my wife were new members of the Reformed Baptist Church of Grand Rapids (now called Grace Immanuel Reformed Baptist Church). This church was one of only a handful of Baptist churches in the United States espousing the doctrines of grace. And we were staunch five-pointers. So we were called, of course, Hyper-Calvinists. We always thought this odd because to us five-point Calvinism was just Calvinism and thus could not be Hyper-Calvinism.

Dr. Sam Waldron

As the years wore on, the church grew. More and more of our members began to come from various Dutch Reformed denominations in the large Dutch Reformed community in Western Michigan. We began to be aware that there were folks in that large Dutch Reformed community who really did at some level deserve the name Hyper-Calvinists.

We had discovered the 1689 Baptist Confession of Faith. It was the Confession of our church. In it were not only the doctrines of grace (including particular redemption). In it also we had discovered the doctrines of the free offer of the gospel (chapter 7, paragraph 2) and common grace (14:3). More study assured us that both these doctrines were in the original confessional statement of the doctrines of grace, the Canons of Dort.

Yet at least one of the local Dutch Reformed denominations not only denied the free offer and common grace. It was built on a denial of those doctrines. Its leaders continued in a vehement polemic against the free offer and common grace (Spurgeon’s so-called two track theology) which affirmed both the dimensions of God’s will (known variously as secret and revealed or better as decretive and perceptive).

For this reason, the leaders of RBCGR were frequently engaged in a two front war. We had to fight the Arminianism of the local Baptist churches and institutions, but also the Hyper-Calvinism or Half-step Hyper-Calvinism of the Dutch Reformed denomination mentioned above. We were confident that our Reformed Baptist brethren shared with us our position.

Dr. Curt D. Daniel

Now, however, I am aware of blogs and brothers which have if not verbally, at least virtually, have adopted substantially the views of the Hyper-Calvinism or Half-step Hyper-Calvinism mentioned above. Brother Curt Daniel has a couple of times invited me to speak at the yearly conference of his church in Springfield, Illinois. Since he wrote his dissertation on the subject of Hyper-Calvinism, I talked to him about my concerns. One of the results was the interview which I want to share with you in three blog posts that are to follow.

Interview:

Questions 1-3

Questions 4-8

Questions 9-10

You can also find his 75 part audio series on the History and Theology of Calvinism here.

One Reply to “Sam Waldron’s Interview with Dr. Curt Daniel on Hyper-Calvinism”

  1. Dear Brother Waldron,
    Your blogsite has recently come to my attention and I thank you for keeping the topic of general human responsibility for sin and the general call to repentance and faith as a corollary of grace open to the public eye. However, are you correct in your interpretation of the 2LBC 7:2 and 14:3? You will know that the devout authors saw that the call to repentance and faith was wrongly placed in the Westminster Confession so they moved it to where it no doubt belonged in Chapter 7 on the calling within the Covenant of Grace. This is where our Reformers, The Marrow Men, Gill and Huntington placed it, too. Gill preached that God calls sinners to repentance and faith within His Covenant Promise that whoever calls on His Son in true ‘evangelical repentance’, shall be graciously saved. What is Hyper-Calvinistic here?
    Furthermore, Chap. 14:3 clearly teaches a distinction between Common Grace and Saving faith, a distinction which Gill, Huntington and a number of those you appear to consider ‘Hypers’ also made. This distinction is not always kept amongst those who oppose Gill such as John Murray (a non-Baptist) and Eroll Hulse (a Baptist). In other words, all gospel overtures are not included in God’s general Providence (common grace). We would not expect it to be otherwise, given God’s special revelation concerning the need for repentance and faith.
    Daniel majors on Gill’s allegedly not believing in human responsibility and the general call to repentance and faith, though he has never documented this hypothesis. However, Gill emphasised these aspects arguably more than his contemporaries as, for example, in his Body of Divinity: Vol. II, Of Effectual Calling. You may also have noticed that Daniel and Oliver were the odd-men-out in Haykin’s Life and Thought of John Gill which otherwise kept to a better documented, positive, view of Gill as an evangelist. There are several recent doctoral theses on Gill which confirm that the Fullerite position on Gill is groundless and that Fuller, himself, followed Gill in his doctrine of man’s responsibility. Modern Fullerites are thus ‘Hyper-Fullerites’.
    Yours sincerely in Christ,

    George M. Ella

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *