Repentance : Legal vs True

by James C. Heard

Repentance is an old-fashioned word, not much used by the modernists and liberals of our day. True repentance and true belief are inseparable. True repentance and true faith are the products of a quick­ened heart – a work of regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Spiritual life must precede spiritual acts.

Legal repentance is that regret and reluctance that arises in a person after having done something that they should not have done. This repentance arises from a fear of punishment denounced against sin, but it is not accompanied with the hatred of sin and self. This person may be sorry for that which has been com­mitted, but will not be grieved that they have offended a HOLY GOD. Legal repentance fears Hell and dreads punishment, for criminals are always sorry that they face punishment (however, sorrow itself is not true repentance).

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Hyper-Calvinism: the perennial misnomer

GRANT SWART

In response to those who often refer to a group of people mistakenly labeled “hyper”-Calvinists, I felt it imperative to outline a few important distinctions between true Calvinist doctrine and what is referred to as “hyper”-Calvinism. If the 17 points I have listed below are those which supposedly distinguish and constitute “hyper”-Calvinism, then by that very implication, those points cannot also be what Calvinists believe. If those are the points which allegedly separate “hyper”-Calvinists from Calvinists, then those points cannot be ascribed to both sides, for then they would not be distinguishing points.

Nowhere in Calvin’s theology did he teach any of the 17 points which I list toward the end of this article, yet these points are perennially ascribed to those who agree with the doctrines of Grace. I might remind the reader here that TULIP was not Calvin’s invention, but was an acronym for the pronouncements of the Synod of Dort (1618) tasked with defending biblical doctrine, not Calvinism per se, against obvious destructive heresies of the time. Even so, it is clear that, when the doctrines as laid out in the five points of Calvinism or TULIP are understood, none of the distinguishing 17 points as I have listed below can be ascribed to TULIP. It is quite clear therefore that the term “hyper”-Calvinism is a misnomer and has no foundation in or relation to true Calvinism.

“Hyper”-Calvinism is a term which has been brandished as a whimsical weapon by those who Continue reading