Wednesday, August 5, 2009

DAVID CHANSKI: HYPER CALVINISM: Contrasting Historic Reformed Theology with its Counterfeits

MP3 Available Here

DAVID CHANSKI, successor of Albert N. Martin at Trinity Baptist Church of Montville, NJ will address the theme: "HYPER CALVINISM: Contrasting Historic Reformed Theology with its Counterfeits".

Many if not most Evangelicals who are NOT themselves "Calvinists", or, believers in the doctrine that God has total, sovereign control over ALL things, including the salvation of men, frequently erroneously apply the disparaging term "HYPER-Calvinist" to EVERYONE who believes in the Doctrines of Sovereign Grace. Pastor David Chanski, who strongly affirms ALL "Five Points of Calvinism", will set out to prove that this improper use of a derogatory label is reckless behavior, and reveals that those who do so are uninformed or misinformed (and so-called scholars who do so have no excuse). Today's broadcast is also intended to steer those professing to be Calvinists away from the deadly cliff of genuine Hyper-Calvinism.

When he graduated from Trinity Ministerial Academy, our guest Pastor David Chanski moved from the northern New Jersey area. Since 1989, he has served the Lord as Pastor of the Providence Reformed Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Now, nearly 20 years after his departure, Pastor Chanski, with his wife and two of his children, has returned to Trinity Baptist Church to serve as one of their elders.

Trinity Baptist Church of Montville may be the most well known Reformed Baptist congregation on the globe. The church first organized in March 1967. They embrace the great biblical doctrines of the Protestant Reformation, sometimes referred to as the doctrines of grace and most fully expressed in the London Baptist Confession of Faith of 1689.

Their purpose as a church is "to glorify the God of the Scriptures in promoting His worship, evangelizing sinners, edifying saints, planting and strengthening churches, and showing benevolence to the needy. We are committed to the proclamation of God's perfect Law and the glorious Gospel of His grace throughout the world, and to the defense of the 'faith which was once for all delivered to the saints'."

1 comment:

YnottonY said...

When addressing this controversial subject, it is important to appeal to authoritative sources on the history. I didn't hear any of that during this interview, unfortunately. Since you recommended Iain Murray's book on hyper-Calvinism at the end, you could have used that good historical source to get at the nature of subject. For example, Murray addresses how they deny God's universal love for all [Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching (Carlisle, Penn.: Banner of Truth Trust, 2000), 98]. We know that Dr. Sam Waldron would agree with Murray on that point. Murray makes very strong points on the hyper-Calvinistic denial that God desires and wishes the salvation of all men, since it is "the real point in dispute in connection with the free offer of the gospel" [Ibid., 88-91]. In fact, Murray summarizes his book as follows: "The book is intended to show the momentous difference between evangelistic Calvinistic belief and that form of Calvinism which denies any desire on the part of God for the salvation of all men" [Iain H. Murray, "John Gill and C. H. Spurgeon," Banner of Truth 386 (November 1995), 16].

Given this interview, one is left with the impression that one is only a hyper-Calvinist if:

1) One denies human responsiblity.
2) One denies that the Gospel should be preached to all, or
3) One denies that Arminians [or anyone denying any of the TULIP points] are regenerate.

First, those who historically denied "duty-faith" did not deny human responsiblity altogether. They just denied that all men were responsible to believe in an evangelical sense, as not all have that ability. Since responsiblity entails ability, they argued, not all could be responsible to believe the gospel in the supernatural sense. They're only responsible to believe it in the legal, civil or natural sense. Again, Iain Murray makes this point in his book [see Spurgeon v. Hyper-Calvinism: The Battle for Gospel Preaching (Carlisle: Banner of Truth, 2000), 127-129]. Robert W. Oliver also deals with the issue as it relates to John Gill [The Banner of Truth 284 (May 1987) 30-32].

Secondly, classic hyper-Calvinists were not against preaching to all. They were against indiscriminate or free offers. Iain Murray makes this point [see source above], as well as Dr. Curt Daniel in his doctoral dissertation on the subject [see Curt Daniel, Hyper-Calvinism and John Gill (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Edinburgh, 1983), 448-449.

Overall, I was disappointed with this interview, due to the lack of an appeal to the historic sources. As a result of this lack, the definitions used for hyper-Calvinism during the show seemed to be merely grounded in Chanski's [and Arnzen's] own subjective opinion. It was as though Chanski was postmodern on the subject, i.e. as though he has his relative opinion, others have theirs, and it may not be possible to get at the objective facts of what a hyper-Calvinist is historically.

Also, if one uses Calvin, the other Reformers, and the Puritans on such subjects as the love of God for all, the will of God that all be saved by the free offer, the general grace of God for all and the duty of all to believe savingly, then the historic lights are turned on, and we can see who goes beyond even the high supralapsarian Calvinists in the past, i.e. those who are hyper on those points.

Grace to you,

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