Pastor Lumpkins, with all due respect:

I must wonder if you’ve actually been reading the responses offered to the position you, Dr. Allen, and Mr. Byrne are espousing, or whether you’re simply dismissing them, as you seem to do quite frequently in your meta, including your response to me. When practically every 5-point calvinist, upon encountering this definition of hyper-calvinism, repudiates it, does this not give you pause? Does it not make you wonder if, perhaps, you may have misunderstood the position of hyper-calvinism, and that of mainstream, 5-point calvinism? Now, far be it from me to suggest that you take a look at historical discussions concerning hyper-calvinism, but I do think they might be useful.

Let’s move along to your rejoinder(s).

1) To make a distinction between my saying Dr. Ascol “has no time to respond” and that “[he] will not take time to respond” is absurd, Razorkiss–the old distinction without a difference assertion.

But even if your point well taken, what does such have to do with whether or not leaders should insult rather than just keep silent?

The distinction I make is very germane, given that your assertion was that he had no time – that was not what was said. Second, to call a germane distinction “absurd”, is simply to stretch credulity 😀 When you’re wrong, please be kind enough to admit it? There is a significant difference between “has not the time”, and “will not take the time”. If you don’t see that difference, my apologies, but that does not make the distinction go away. “Has not the time” speaks to scheduling inability – “will not take the time” speaks to unwillingness to spend the time to do something. The two are, in fact, different. I’m sorry that your desire seems to be to dismiss the clarification outright, but the fact remains. The fact also remains that you made the point, to wit, that although Dr. Ascol had no time to reply, he did take the time to “insult” Dr. Yarnell. The assertion seems to be that his claim to have no time to do so is somehow false, given that he does respond in some fashion. Given that a response would take quite a bit of time, and the short sentence he does write would not, is this a valid assertion? The plea to a supposed “distinction without difference” fails, sir, miserably. It is an attempt to evade, and no more. I’m really not inclined to let you 😀

As to your second point, that, somehow, it’s an “insult” – his comments are, in fact, “rife with innuendo and misrepresentation”. If you don’t like the characterization, I really can’t change your mind, I do realize – but your opinion really does not entail that it is in fact an insult. Upon my reading of Dr. Yarnell’s closing comments, as referenced, they are indeed full to the brim of such commentary. If you don’t like it, too bad. I find that characterization wholly accurate, sir.

2) Concerning your query: “is Tony Byrne’s continued misrepresentation really worth linking to?”

False assumption #1: That Byrne continually misrepresents.

Mr. Byrne is flatly wrong when he discusses the definition of hyper-calvinism. He’s also wrong in applying “desire” to hyper-calvinism, in any. Given the fact that his concept of “desire” is wrapped up in his definition of hyperism, it’s very much to the point. I would have to say that “false” assumption 1 can be very easily demonstrated by the fact that he does misrepresent, (however those who are not calvinists understand his comments) in that his concept of “desire” is what he attributes to a definitional understanding of hyperism. This is not the case.

I find it quite amazing that the more substantive comments I made were completely ignored – while you focus on the comments I make concerning your lack of rigor in treating Dr. Ascol’s comments. In regards to Mr. Byrne, you don’t focus on the argument, but on your own opinions concerning Mr. Byrne. Those, sir, are obvious. You linked to the man in your post. So, yes, we’re aware of your leanings. I’m not really concerned with examining your presuppositions, but with examining Mr. Byrne’s constant intent to redefine what hyper-calvinism consists of. The controversy is about that very thing. What hyper-calvinism is.

Mr. Byrne’s position is consistently ahistorical. If you examine all of the hyper-calvinistic controversies in reformed, and especially in baptist history, you will find that they all revolve around two things. 1) The free offer of the gospel, and 2) the duty of all men to believe savingly in Christ.

Those two things are what hyper-calvinism, historically, denies. We can add a third distinctive of hyper-calvinism, too – that “hyper-calvinists tend to stress the secret (or decretive) will of God over His revealed (or preceptive) will.” This is very true – BUT – as Phil Johnson’s Primer points out, Yet that distinction is an essential part of historic Reformed theology. This, sir, is what this supposed “definitional” distinction continually, erroneously, and doggedly denies. Yes, yes, there is a common belief in two wills of God. These two wills are not denied by anyone in the debate… quite right. That is NOT the issue at hand – as Mr. Byrne rightly points out – but, the issue at hand is ALSO NOT what Mr. Byrne DOES point out, either!

This ahistorical, incoherent, irrational concept of “desire” imported from an alien theology has nothing to do with historic calvinism, OR hyper-calvinism. It is foreign to the debate, and foreign to the issues which actually DO define the hyper-calvinism debate. That is the point which we have been making, all along. To try to make the effectual denial of Limited Atonement the linchpin of the hyper-calvinism argument is asinine, to say the least, and absolutely ridiculous, to say the most of it. It has no connection, whatsoever, to the actual terms of the debate, concerning hyper-calvinism. It is a complete misunderstanding of even the terms outlined in Phil Johnson’s Primer, let alone the historical discussion of the subject; even a cursory examination of the historical debate concerning hyper-calvinism, across any and all reformed traditions, will show you as much. If there was as much effort put into study of the actual terms that are discussed in the debate itself, rather than clinging to a novel, modern, redefinition of it, which has been debunked by every person involved thus far, there would be far, far less confusion about the issue, and no little progress.

False Assumption #2: That Tony’s post to which I linked is about Hyper-Calvinism proper. It is not. It is about Ascol & White’s fuzzy differences from one another

I didn’t think it was – per se. In fact, that has been my contention all along. That this silly, imported distinction belongs solely to Mr. Byrne. So, I would agree in that respect (but in that respect alone). It ISN’T about hyper-calvinism, in that sense. However, your own words don’t seem to agree, when you reference it as discussing hyper-calvinism in the context of your introduction to it!

Also, Tony Byrne has an excellent post that needs much consideration. He poses questions to both Ascol and White. By the way, Ascol has now publicly stated that he essentially agrees with White. Does that mean White comes off the Hyper-Calvinist list or Ascol goes on it? I think that will be an interesting consideration.

Hrmm? You reference his post – reference Dr. Ascol’s statement that they agree with other in what they are meaning – and then, ask if this means Ascol should go onto the hyper-calvinist list. Now, I do recognize that you may be finally seeing that this has nothing to do with the “list” – you other comment is “White comes off the Hyper-Calvinist list“. Frankly, sir, if there was a list, it would be entirely of Mr. Byrne’s making, given he seems to be the only person making this claim, that a denial of “God’s universal saving will” is somehow hyper-calvinism! Regardless, you can hardly claim that this has nothing to do with hyper-calvinism, as the discussion of whether God has this so-called will is what Mr. Byrne is defining as hyper-calvinism, and which Dr. Allen defined it as, in his presentation! In other words, what sort of silly equivocation to you expect me to fall for? That is _exactly_ the entire _point_ of Byrne’s post! To try to play divide and conquer, by either making Ascol deny that he believes the same thing, or making both out to be hyper-calvinists. Either way, he still isn’t denying his assertion that to deny God’s supposed “universal salvific will” is somewhow hyper-calvinism! Which is, you must admit, the main contention, no? So, because he doesn’t mention hyper-calvinism in the post – only discusses the point of contention by which Mr. Byrne is defining people AS hyper-calvinist – we’re not discussing hyper-calvinism? Obfuscation, anyone?

Sir, I engage in apologetics against every imaginable sort of belief system, and many of them happen to be intra-mural Christian debates. Such argumentation does not impress me. Such argumentation is childish, seeks only to obscure, not to get at the truth, and I can only assume, after watching your interaction with your own commenters, that you have a marked disinterest in seeking the truth of this matter. Your responses demonstrate it, quite conclusively. You dismiss whatever doesn’t fit into your neat little box of authoritative figures. If this were a Roman Catholic I was corresponding with, I would understand that mentality. From a Baptist, it is quite amazing. I’ve read quite a bit of the historical debate concerning hyper-calvinism. I do so, because I debate real, live hyper-calvinists. Since I do, I find great help and comfort in the study of those who have gone before in this discussion – just as I would find great help and comfort in reading Athanaius, when debating a Jehovah’s Witness.

False Assumption #3: That I or the readers here would take your profile on Hyper-Calvinism as representative of scholarly treatises while dismissing Tony Byrne’s

When you do read the debates between calvinists, and hyper-calvinists, in history, you will find exactly what I have outlined in my previous comment, as to what the debate is really about. If you insist on holding to Mr. Byrne’s erroneous definition, you will simply chase your tail around until your head spins, if you ever encounter a real hyper-calvinist. They will stare at you as if you have two heads. Their denial is of any will, whatsoever, for us to even give the command to repent and believe – to preach the GOSPEL to unbelievers, at any time! This is utterly beyond the typical, orthodox calvinist position, which DOES say that God commands all men to repent, believe, and be saved on those grounds. In fact, the hyper-calvinists believes that not only are we not to preach it – but that God does not demand faith as the duty of every man toward God. These are the tenets of hyper-calvinism. This silly strawman which you and your fellows insist on erecting is completely, and utterly wrong. So, make your appeal to authority if you wish. Mr. Byrne has, and my 5-point calvinist brethren will atest to this fact, completely, and utterly erred in his attempt to redefine hyper-calvinism. If it was in ignorance, it would behoove him to study the subject more thoroughly, and perhaps interact with real, live hyper-calvinists more frequently. If it was intentional, (and for a man of his credentials to be this appallingly ignorant of the theological distinctives of a group which was incredibly widespread in the time of Fuller and Spurgeon, was oft-encountered in more recent history, and still exists today, leaves me wondering what or who he has studied on the subject) then Mr. Byrne is guilty of nothing apart from utter libel of several men who have labored for Christ’s church for decades.

Complain how you will about these “mean” calvinists – but understand that it’s practically impossible for a calvinist to take you at all seriously when you stick to blatantly false understandings such as these. I’m quite annoyed at the lengths to which those who promulgate falsehoods will go to defend their obvious errors. If it is simple stubbornness, and refusal to admit your error, I invite you to repent, sir. If it is intentional, sir, shame is the least of your concerns. Dr. White, and Dr. Reymond are no more hyper-calvinist than was Spurgeon, or Fuller. To say so is absolute folly – and frankly, I think by this point you have to know it. To continue to defend it, to obfuscate when rebutted, and to quibble over minutiae while leaving the substantive portions of the argument untouched are symptoms I have encountered quite often, as an apologist. They are signs that your opponent knows quite well that they are wrong, and refuse to admit it. If i come across as harsh – I hope you recognize it for what it is. Righteous indignation at the defamation of good men – one of which is a friend. I’ve read the work of all of the other men defamed by Dr. Allen, but your comments are continually condescending and dismissive. You are the one who is propagating the debate, because, frankly, serious students of hyper-calvinism dismissed Mr. Byrne’s redefinition long ago, when he first started promulgating it. I don’t like our convention being the laughingstock of theological conservatism, because people from our convention make comments of this sort. So, this is one SBCer who is thoroughly disgusted by the complete lack of serious interaction being offered in response to our objections. If you don’t like this sort of language, sir, with all due respect, (for despite the harshness of my words, they are written with the intent of perhaps shocking you into a realization of where your positions stands, that you may perhaps understand the lack of historicity with which these claims are proferred) please stop listening to men who are clearly not students of history, and have clearly not studied calvinism and hyper-calvinism to be able to tell the difference. Stop linking to their articles, and hosting them on your website. If you don’t like this sort of response, please wake up, and please ratchet down the rhetoric. Historic calvinism does not affirm a universal salvific desire on the part of God. Hyper-calvinism has nothing to do with that issue, whether calvinism did, or did not, have that as a characteristic! These things, sir, and incontrovertible, and why a Doctor of Systematic Theology would possibly hold to this position baffles me. Sir, I’m not questioning your faith, or your passion for the people of your church – I am, however, questioning your wisdom in following men who obviously do not know calvinism, yet claim to be experts. I’m not a doctor of theology. I do expect doctors of theology to know more than I do about the subject, and whether the comment offends you, or not, they do not. I’m not impressed by a doctorate. I’m impressed by a theologian. When it comes to calvinism, these men are not theologians. They are crusaders, and it very much seems to me as if they are either woefully ignorant ones, or dishonest ones. I truly fail to see how they could honestly hold the positions they do , in any other way.