Calvinism is often a hot topic, but misconceptions and straw men abound, particular when Calvinists are labeled as being “Hyper-Calvinists.”
Often a Hyper-Calvinist is someone more Calvinistic than you, as you define it. But, can you distinguish between Hyper-Calvinism, Calvinism, and Arminianism?
I commend to you the best and most succinct explanation of those distinctions I’ve encountered.
From Tom Ascol, “From the Protestant Reformation to the Southern Baptist Convention: What Hath Geneva To Do with Nashville?”
The Arminian looks at this premise and says, “Agreed! We know that all men are held responsible to repent and believe the gospel [which is true, according to the Bible]; therefore we must conclude that all men have the ability in themselves to repent and believe [which is false, according to the Bible].” Thus, Arminians teach that unconverted people have within themselves the spiritual ability to repent and believe.
The hyper-Calvinist takes the same premise (that man’s ability and responsibility are coextensive) and says, “Agreed! We know that, in and of themselves, all men are without spiritual ability to repent and believe [which is true, according to the Bible]; therefore we must conclude that unconverted people are not under obligation to repent and believe the gospel [which is false, according to the Bible].”
In contrast to both of these, the Calvinist looks at the premise and says, “Wrong! While it looks reasonable, it is not biblical. The Bible teaches both that fallen man is without spiritual ability and that he is obligated to repent and believe. Only by the powerful, regenerating work of the Holy Spirit is man given the ability to fulfill his duty to repent and believe.” And though this may seem unreasonable to rationalistic minds, there is no contradiction, and it is precisely the position the Bible teaches.