Governed by Our Own Logic: Hyper-Calvinism (Lloyd-Jones)

 There are various ways to define hyper-Calvinism.  For example, we might explain it as a system of doctrine that rejects the free offer of the gospel based on a low view of man’s responsibility.  We might also explain it in terms of biblicism or rationalism.  Some have rightly called this the quest for illegitimate religious certainty.  This approach is the avenue Lloyd-Jones took in his discussion of learning and believing the doctrinal truths of Scripture:

I must not hesitate to believe a doctrine because I cannot fit it in; neither must I reject a doctrine because I cannot understand it. If this is the truth of God, and the thing is clearly taught, then I am to accept it whether I understand it or not.

…We must never allow ourselves to be governed by our own logic or by our own desire to have a perfect system. It is a danger to which we are all exposed. We instinctively like to have a complete system; we do not like gaps or ragged edges. It is again because we are all philosophers. It is because the philosopher always wants a complete whole, wants to be able to understand everything, wants to be able to state everything, and we are all like that. The danger is, you see, that we press our own logic and our own schemes to a point which goes beyond the teaching of the Scripture. At that point we are again guilty of sin and of error. We must give full weight to every statement of Scripture. We must never minimise one or ignore it in order that our scheme may be complete.

I could give you many illustrations of that. There are people, for instance, who have always been described as hyper-Calvinists, and that is their trouble. They go beyond the Scripture and are driven by their own logic and by their own arguments, and they claim things which cannot be demonstrated from the Scriptures. They are so anxious to have a perfect scheme that they fall into that very subtle and dangerous trap.

David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, God the Father, God the Son (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1996), 39.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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