Question 29: What is the position of Calvinism?

Answer: In short, there are three schools of thought in Calvinism: Hyper-Calvinism, Strict Calvinism, and Moderate Calvinism.

Hyper-Calvinism holds to the five points of Calvinism. Furthermore, it holds to the view that God not only predestined some to salvation, He also predestined everybody else to hell even before they were created.

Strict Calvinism holds to the five points of Calvinism, but does not hold to double predestination. It would therefore teach that predestination applies only to salvation. God predestines some for salvation and passes the rest by. The doctrine then goes on to emphasize that Yeshua died only for the elect and not for anybody else.

Moderate Calvinism only accepts four points of Calvinism and rejects the fifth point, which is limited atonement.  In Moderate Calvinism, we believe that Yeshua died for the whole world and provided salvation for the whole world. However, only the elect will be given the ability to believe.  What keeps unbelievers from believing is their own sin and not a lack of election. Therefore, at the great white throne judgment, no one will be able to claim that his unbelief is based on the fact that salvation was not provided for him. Salvation was provided for him, but his sin kept him from believing.

For more details see Dr. Fruchtenbaum’s book ‘God’s Will and Man’s Will,’ published by Ariel Ministries.

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Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.