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The Hell's Best Secret teaching is very popular, and is making an impact on Churches and Christians, crossing denominational borders, and having an influence on Christian movies, television, and radio.

But, just because it's popular, and having an impact, does not mean that it's necessarily true, or even doctrinally supportable. There are plenty of detractors, and those that simply don't agree with the premise, the teaching, or Ray Comfort himself.

I suspect that the teaching is not supportable from the perspective of Calvinism, because inherent in the teaching is the assumption that sinners have a choice in whether to come to Christ. Otherwise, what would be the point in talking about an "incorrect motive" for drawing sinners to Christ?

However, not being a Calvinist myself, I'm not sure. Sometimes my understanding is slightly (or way) off. I'm curious as to whether or not my assumption is correct, and if so, if someone can provide a review of the teaching from a Calvinist perspective. I'd be curious to see a high-level reaction along with an analysis of how the teaching agrees with, or conflicts with, each of the five points of Calvinism.

Note, this is not a "refute this" question. I'm not going for "Is the teaching true?". Likewise, I'm not looking for other criticisms, such as whether or not this teaches Lordship Salvation, or other critiques, unless if is relevant to the application of Calvinism. Those would be separate questions. I'm specifically looking for the application of a specific doctrinal view to a specific teaching.

To be honest, I'm more hoping to increase my understanding of Calvinism and applying it, than the truth or error of this teaching.

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Calvinism is simply the doctrine of determinism, that the future is determined. But since we are not told what that determined future is (we couldn't be told--- we would just do something else), this has no effect on the necessity of preaching or the quality of the preaching.

The Calvinist is just placing God outside space and time, so that the future is as visible as the past. But this doesn't mean that it is pointless to do stuff, because the future outcome is contingent on what happened. This is the old paradoxes of determinism, and they vanish with careful thinking.

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Interesting perspective, but it sort of side-steps the question, rather than answers it. I am curious as to how you come to the conclusion that "Calvinism is simply the doctrine of determinism". (Bot not here in comments - if you have an article to link to, that would be great.) It certainly includes determinism, IMO, but I think that may be a bit of oversimplification, and missing a lot of the point. I'm specifically looking for a better understanding of the nuances of Calvinism as applied to a teaching, and this sort of goes the opposite direction. Thanks for taking the time, thought. – David Oct 7 '12 at 16:59
@DavidStratton: There are no nuances, you are confusing the issue of determinism with "lacking a choice". This is just a logical fallacy, and it is implicit in predestination doctrines that it does not preclude free choice, despite people's intuition. – Ron Maimon Oct 8 '12 at 18:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The teaching of Sovereign Grace is at odds with the basic premise behind the Hell's Best Kept Secret teaching.

One of the assumptions of HBKS is that the motive of the potential convert's desire for salvation matters.

  • If the motive is to have "love, joy, peace, fulfillment, and lasting happiness" - the promises of the "modern gospel", the ,motive will be impure. The potential convert will, not understanding the Law, and that they are in violation of it, has no reason to feel repentance, "without which you cannot be saved" as Mr. Comfort says. In short, they won't even have the ability to repent, because they won't know what they need to repent of.
  • If the Law is used to show the true nature of sin, and the potential convert sees themselves in their true nature, they will have the knowledge of sin that may or may not drive them to true repentance. They'll at least have the chance to repent if they understand their lost state.

However, if the doctrines of Sovereign Grace and Unconditional Election are true, as Calvinism teaches, then the motive of the potential convert is a non-issue. The technique used to reach the person is a non-issue. So, in short, the teaching is based, from a Calvinist perspective, on a faulty premise, and therefore, wrong.

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