Hyper-Calvinism is a form of Calvinist theology that emphasizes the sovereignty of God and God's eternal decrees to the point that it negates the necessity of any human action to achieve salvation, especially evangelism. To those whom God has elected, God's grace is irresistible; their acceptance of the Gospel is not related to any other activity.
   The emergence of Hyper-Calvinism is generally attributed to Cambridge Congregational minister Joseph Hussey in England, author of God's Operations of Grace but No Offers of Grace, published in 1707. Its most gifted exponent was John Gill (1697-1771), who presented his perspectives in A Body of Divinity (1767). Gill, one of the most learned British Baptists of his day, presented his theology as in part an attack on Methodist Arminianism. It gained considerable support among Baptists at the end of the century and was used by opponents of the Baptist Missionary Society. Andrew Fuller emerged as the major opponent of Hyper-Calvinist views, which he countered in his The Gospel Worthy of All Acceptance; or, The Obligation of Men Fully to Credit and Cordially Approve Whatever God Has Made Known (1785).
   Hyper-Calvinism continues to have some support among Strict Baptists in the United Kingdom and Primitive Baptists in the United States, and it is the dominant position of the Protestant Reformed Church. However, it is opposed by most Calvinists, who see it as a theological error as grave as Arminianism.
   See also Calvinism; predestination.
   Further reading:
   ■ David Jack Engelsma, Hyper-Calvinism & the Call of the Gospel: An Examination of the "Well-Meant Offer" of the Gospel (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1994)
   ■ John Gill, A Body of Doctrinal Divinity: Or, A System of Evangelical Truths, Deduced from the Sacred Scriptures (London: Printed for the author, 1769)
   ■ Herman Hoeksema, Reformed Dogmatics (Grandville, Mich.: Reformed Free Publishing Association, 1966)
   ■ John R. Rice, Hyper-Calvinism: A False Doctrine (Murfreesboro, Tenn.: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 1970).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

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