Take the 2-minute tour ×
Christianity Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for committed Christians, experts in Christianity and those interested in learning more. It's 100% free, no registration required.

How do those who hold views similar to hyper-Calvinism deal with these verses:

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

Heb 2:8 Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him.

Tit 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;

These verses imply to me that God is not causing everything especially sin (Titus 1:2 points out God cannot lie).

I'm given to understand that Hyper-Calvinism and select others believe that God directly causes all things, sin and evil included. This implies to me that they believe God's Kingdom is already fully manifested because God's dominion is absolute rather than something we should pray to be manifested. I would also guess that they believe the kingdoms of this world have become the Kingdom's of God. The logic here and the verses above appear in contrast to each other.

I prefer quotes from the New Testament, if your answer will include Scripture.

share|improve this question
❶ I don't think we have any actual Hyper Calvinists or even experts in such here, so expect good answers to this to take a long time to show. ❷ This is really more than one question. Could you pare this down to just the bit about the understanding of the "kingdom". The bit about everything else you see wrong with the view should be broken out into individual questions. ❸ Are you sure Hyper Calvinism is really what you're interested in? This is a relevant question to ask of normal Calvinists. The general Reformed view of that prayer and what "kingdom come" is probably more interesting. –  Caleb Aug 22 '13 at 7:44
❹ If you want answers from any sort of Calvinist or Reformed circles, you'll want to open it up to the full Bible. The restriction to NT only is silly for a group that sees the whole Bible as being relevant when interpreted correctly in context. –  Caleb Aug 22 '13 at 7:45
I edited this to hopefully clear up the wording, which is what I would blame for the downvotes. –  fredsbend Aug 22 '13 at 21:29
@Caleb How did you make those cool numbers in your comment?! –  Jas 3.1 Aug 30 '13 at 16:03
For more info on a Calvinist take on God causing sin, etc., see this chapter in an upcoming book. –  metal Aug 30 '13 at 21:21

2 Answers 2

I'd like to preface my answer by asserting that:

  1. Any systematic theology will fail to some degree to sum up the totality of God's revealed will in scripture.
  2. Hyper-Calvinism is generally speaking an ill-defined term. It is more usually used as an invective to disparage those who deviate from whatever flavour of Calvinism one adheres to, or as a bogey-man by one who doesn't like Calvinism of any kind.

Based on the wording of your question, your definition of Hyper-Calvinism seems to include assigning ultimate causal responsibility for sin and evil to God.

This you disagree with on the basis of scripture including:

These verses imply to me that God is not causing everything especially sin (Titus 1:2 points out God cannot lie).

You then assert that there is a logical fallacy in the 'super sovereignty' position:

This implies to me that they believe God's Kingdom is already fully manifested because God's dominion is absolute rather than something we should pray to be manifested […] The logic here and the verses above appear in contrast to each other.

Underlying both positions appears to be the logical assumptions that good would not cause evil and that perfection would not need to be attained via imperfection, both of which are usually derived from ideas about the simplicity of God.

So, you say "These verses imply to me that God is not causing everything especially sin", I would say "What do you mean by causes?". Do you mean 'is sovereign over', 'could prevent', 'ultimately controls and ultimately initiates'? These I would assert. Or do you mean 'is morally responsible for'? This I would deny as an oxymoron: The judge cannot be held responsible by the creature:

19You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” 20But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? ESV

The point here is that there is no objective ultimate moral standard that God adheres to aside from the ultimate moral standard that God sets himself. If God is in some sense the creative force behind evil, for his own reasons, then there is no-one in a position to tell Him that to do so is 'wrong'.

Or do you mean 'it would just be silly for God, who loves good and is himself good, to ever cause evil to happen'? This I would equally deny:

  • Although evil is undeniably evil in scripture, and there is no ambiguity that God hates evil[1], it is not true to say that evil cannot result in good. Indeed, the goodness of God is made more manifest as He turns even wickedness, suffering and evil towards his good purposes:

    2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. ESV

    3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ESV

    and the ultimate example:

    27for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. ESV

  • Now you may say, "yes, God can work good out of evil, but surely there must be a better way to achieve his aim if He truly is sovereign over all?" To which I would respond "There is no better way. God is not only good, He is also wise, far beyond mere human understanding. But in human terms, consider that God's glory is evidenced not least in showing grace towards his enemies, manifested at the cross. None of this would be possible without the presence of evil and rebellion in God's creation:

    32For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all. ESV

In summary:

  • God can be the ultimate cause of sin without sinning Himself.
  • God is building a better 'kingdom' than the garden of Eden, but pain is the path to gain in this case.
  • God is not simple, and neither are his ways.

[1]I'm speaking here of absolute evil, rather than the generalised/relative sense of 'harm' or 'disaster'.

share|improve this answer
Thanks Jack that seems to explain your position well. –  caseyr547 Aug 23 '13 at 18:50

The same issues with respect to God's Kingdom and prayer (as well as evangelism and other human activities) apply to (ordinary) Calvinism. In general such issues are simply explained by the fact that human beings are acting within time and that human actions are intermediate causes.

This means that the prayer of the righteous is effective, that God ordained such intermediate causes to bring about the Kingdom.

That the Kingdom is not yet established in fullness is a human perspective. We do not see now the fullness of the Kingdom, but at some point this fullness will be apparent even to humans. In faith "we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him" (Romans 8:28, NIV), but at some point faith will become sight. When speaking to humans, it is appropriate that God accommodate the speech to human limitations.

In a similar way, Christ was killed at a specific point in time (only about two thousand years ago) and yet Christ was also "slain from the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8, NIV). ("from the foundation of the world" here might be associated with "whose names have not been written in the book of life", but associating such with the slaying of the lamb seems to be the preferred reading and both establish a sense of God's effective purpose being outside of time.)

With respect to reconciling God being the author of sin and Titus 1:2, I suspect that a hyper-Calvinist would argue that God's creating a liar who is ordained to lie does not make God a liar. That humans are held responsible despite God's sovereignty is shown clearly in Romans 9:19-21 (NIV):

One of you will say to me: "Then why does God still blame us? For who resists his will?" But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?'" Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

This text holds God blameless (having the right to act thus) for the evil done by creatures who cannot resist his will. Presumably, a hyper-Calvinist would interpret the text to apply to a more involved causation.

share|improve this answer
-1 your not a Calvinist and only answered based on a suspicion –  caseyr547 Aug 22 '13 at 19:34
just so that you know hyper Calvinist do not believe that God created a liar, they do not believe in choice. They believe God caused a man to lie like a puppet is caused to move on strings there is a big difference. –  caseyr547 Aug 22 '13 at 19:41
+1 I think you've actually got the right understanding of Calvinism in your answer, regardless of whether or not you are hyper-Calvinist :) –  Affable Geek Aug 22 '13 at 20:30
@PaulA.Clayton but my question wasn't about Calvinism but Hyper-Calvinism which is something completely different. –  caseyr547 Aug 22 '13 at 21:42
@caseyr547 On God's Kingdom and prayer, Calvinism and hyper-Calvinism share beliefs. Looking at the Wikipedia article on Hyper-Calvinism--yes, this might be inaccurate--, it is not even clear if your argument is with hyper-Calvinism or just ordinary Calvinism (e.g., as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith). The distinction seems to be more about the view of Limited Atonement than Divine sovereignty. –  Paul A. Clayton Aug 22 '13 at 22:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.