• Document: THE REFORMED ROAD AND THE SIGNIFICANCE SUPRALAPSARIANISM FOR CALVINISM
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THE “REFORMED” ROAD AND THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SUPRALAPSARIANISM FOR CALVINISM How far have you gone down the “Reformed” road? How far are you willing to go? It is no secret that I believe that Calvinism (in all forms) is unbiblical. And while I admit to having read the writing of a great many different kinds of Calvinists (who hold to very different and sometimes conflicting views concerning what Calvin meant by what Calvin said) I have tried to form my opinion of Calvinism (to the best of my ability) from Calvin Himself. It may be a fault with me, but I believe he deserves at least that much respect from those who claim to represent what he taught to others. Those who seriously and substantially disagree with Calvin (as I do) should be at least as careful to fairly and accurately represent him as those who (generally speaking) believe he got it right on the big issues. The more I read Calvin and consider what is both explicit and implicit in what he said, the more I have come to believe that there are very few real hyper-Calvinists running around. Instead I have found that there is an over-abundance of hypo-Calvinists, especially among those who dominate “Reformed” websites. Almost all of the widely recognized leaders among those who consider themselves Calvinists are hypo-Calvinists. While labels like these are subject to differing definitions (and used as pejoratives by opposing Calvinist camps) I will define a hypo-Calvinist as someone who does not go (logically and theologically speaking) all the way (theologically and logically) with Calvin. Surely, such people who claim to be Calvinists do exist in large numbers. In contrast, a hyper-Calvinist is, by definition, one who goes beyond where Calvin will take you if you travel with him all the way down the Reformed road. While I am not saying that there are no individuals claiming to be “Reformed” that go beyond Calvin, I must confess I have never met one. That may just indicate that I do not get out enough or that there are not that many of them around. It would be very difficult for me (with a straight face) to deny that most Calvinists are hypo-Calvinists. That is because the vast majority of those who call themselves Calvinists or even “mainstream Calvinists” do in fact stop short (often far short) of what Calvin explicitly taught and clearly implied in what he taught. This is especially evident to me when I quote Calvin (as I often do) and my Calvinists friends say something like, “Calvin never said that or that is not what Calvin meant by what he said”. This is despite the fact that Calvin was very careful and clear in telling others what he had in his mind when taught this or that doctrine. What is called “mainstream Calvinism” or “popular Calvinism” and sometimes even “orthodox” or “historic” Calvinism is really “Calvinism-Lite”. I am not talking about confused Arminians (who for whatever difficult to imagine reason) think they are Calvinists. I am referring to five point Calvinists. I am not even referring to those who hold to one or more of the five points of Calvinism but illogically deny one or more points of the so-called doctrines of Grace. Rather, I am speaking about the Calvinism of John MacArthur Jr., R.C. Sproul Sr., J.I. Packer, John Piper and even Lorraine Boettner. Admittedly some popular Calvinists are “’softer” than others. Some Calvinists seemed to be trying to hide their Calvinism or those features of Calvinism that seem harsh and really hard to accept. Some Calvinists (such as James White) seem to be in transition from a softer version to a harder version of Calvinism. Nevertheless, much of what passes for mainstream Calvinism or the Calvinism of Calvin would undoubtedly be considered “wimpy” by Calvin himself. The Calvinism that is more consistent with Calvin (or the Calvinism taught and implied in what Calvin taught) is frequently mislabeled hyper-Calvinism. What hypo- Calvinists refer to as “extreme Calvinism” would more accurately be described as “consistent Calvinism. Most of what passes for “Compatibilism” would not be compatible with Calvin, though many try and make it seem as though it is. It is widely accepted (by infralapsarian Calvinists who know the difference between infralapsarianism and supralapsarianism) that Calvin was a Supralapsarian. So why do the Infralapsarians refer to themselves as “orthodox” Calvinists? Why do they label the Supralapsarian Calvinists as “extreme Calvinists”, “unorthodox Calvinists”, or even “sub-Calvinists”? While I find the more muscular version of Calvinism more unscriptural than what I see in the more anemic version, I am convinced that the Calvinism of Vincent Cheung is much closer to the Calvinism of Calvin than the watered down version of Francis Chan. So why are infral

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