Wednesday, March 18, 2009


What’s a Hypo-Calvinist? A Hypo-Calvinist is a Christian who thinks that God suffers from conflicted feelings. God can’t have what he wants. So he’s emotionally frustrated.

When a Calvinist denies this, a Hypo-Calvinist calls him a Hyper-Calvinist.

It’s worth noting that by the standards of Hypo-Calvinism, Benjamin Warfield was a Hyper-Calvinist since Warfield made no allowance for a disjunction between what God wants, intends, decrees, and causes. By the standards of Warfield, the theology of the Hypo-Calvinist is sub-Reformed–which is why his theology is a species of Hypo-Calvinism. As Warfield put it:


Probably nobody deceives himself with such palpable paltering in a double sense. If this is God's universe, if he made it and made it for himself, he is responsible for everything that takes place in it. He must be supposed to have made it just as he wished it to be-or are we to say that he could not make the universe he wished to make, and had to put up with the best he could do?

And he must be supposed to have made it precisely as he wished it to be, not only statically but dynamically considered, that is, in all its potentialities and in all its developments down to the end. That is to say, he must be supposed to have made it precisely to suit himself, as extended not only in space but in time. If anything occurs in it as projected through time—just as truly as if anything is found in it as extended in space—which is not just as he intended it to be-why, then we must admit that he could not make such a universe as he would like to have, and had to put up with the best he could get. And, then, he is not God. A being who cannot make a universe to his own liking is not God. A being who can agree to make a universe which is not to his liking, most certainly is not God.

But though such a being obviously is not God, he does not escape responsibility for the universe which he actually makes -whether as extended in space or in time-and that in all its particulars. The moment this godling (not now God) consented to put up with the actual universe-whether as extended in space or as projected through time, including all its particulars without exception-because it was the best he could get, it became his universe. He adopted it as his own, and made it his own even in those particulars which in themselves he would have liked to have otherwise. These particulars, as well as all the rest, which in themselves please him better, have been determined on by him as not only allowable, but as actually to exist in the universe which, by his act, is actually realized.

Is he to be supposed to be watching from all eternity things which he does not wish to happen, coming, coming, ever coming, until at last they come-and he is unable to stop them?

Why, if he could not prevent their happening any other way he need not have made the universe; or he might have made it differently. There was nothing to require him to make this universe-or any universe at all-except his own good pleasure; and there is nothing to compel him to allow anything which he does not wish to happen, to occur in the universe which he has made for his own good pleasure.

Clearly things cannot occur in God's universe, the occurrence of which is displeasing to him. He does not stand helplessly by, while they occur against his wish. Whatever occurs has been foreseen by him from all eternity, and it succeeds in occurring only because its occurrence meets his wish.

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