What is 4 Point Calvinism?













































However, there is a flaw in the logic of 4-Point Calvinism. In order to demonstrate, consider John 3:16 and John 6:37.
































On the contrary. There is a glaring inconsistency. According to the 4-point Calvinist, God loved the world so much (as per John 3:16), that He gave it His one and only Son, and yet God simultaneously won’t give the world to His Son so that it might be saved (as per the Calvinist doctrine of Preterition at John 6:37). How is that possible? In other words, what God gives with the right hand (in an Unlimited Atonement), He takes away with the left hand in a Limited Election).













Now it should be pointed out that at John 6:37 and 6:44, Arminians agree that not all are given and drawn. But before the 4-Point Calvinist concludes that Arminians are in the same boat, in terms of the contradiction, let me clarify that there are two drawings, one by the Father at John 6:44, and one by the Son at John 12:32, in which the former is limited and the latter unlimited. At John 6:44, God was more than willing to give the whole nation of Israel to His Son (Isaiah 65:2; Matthew 23:37), but they were unwilling. (John 5:40) God had given and drawn the faithful remnant of Israel to His Son, partially through John the Baptist, and those that the Father did not give, wasn’t because He didn’t want to give them (i.e. the Calvinist doctrine of Preterition, otherwise known as Pass-By Calvinism), but because they had rejected Him. Hence, the reason why they were not of the Son’s sheep (John 10:26), was because they were not of the Father’s sheep either. They had rejected the Father, and hence naturally rejected the Son whom He had sent. In contrast, at John 12:32, Jesus does point to the time in which He would draw all men” to Himself (i.e. post Calvary, John 12:32) The difference, then, between the 4-Point Calvinist and the Arminian, in terms of why all men were not given to the Son at John 6:37, is that while the former cites withheld Irresistible Grace (i.e. Preterition), the latter cites a special drawing of the Father’s flock to His Son (i.e. “everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me,” as per John 6:45), contrasted by the post-Calvary, universal drawing by the Son, as per John 12:32. Thus, while the 4-Point Calvinist affirms an “Unlimited Atonement” BUT “Limited effectual drawing”  (i.e. Irresistible Grace), the Arminian affirms an “Unlimited Atonement” AND “Unlimited effectual drawing” (effectual in the sense that Jesus enables those whom He draws, that is, “all men,” with the power of contrary choice, intervening in their unregenerate state in order that they may receive Him, viz. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock” as per Revelation 3:20), and it is in this sense that the Arminian maintains consistency with John 3:16, in terms that the world really does have the Son as Savior, whereas with 4-Point Calvinism, the alleged non-elect are not being given “to” the One whom the Father had already given them. So Ron Rhodes is correct that 4-Pointers are not “Arminian in their theology.”

Perhaps it is for the sake of contradictions like this, that some Calvinists have become 5-Pointers, who then argue thusly:

5-Point Calvinist, John Piper, comments: In order to say that Christ died for all men in the same way, the Arminian must limit the atonement to a powerless opportunity for men to save themselves from their terrible plight of depravity.” (What We Believe About the Five Points of Calvinism, emphasis mine)

What if God is able to compensate for their “terrible plight of depravity,” and without an irresistible grace? Would it still be a powerless opportunity”? That’s why the Calvinist first must assume Calvinism, in order to conclude Calvinism, which is really just Circular Logic. 

The key to the Calvinist argument is the total inability of God, yes God, to reach the unregenerate. The Calvinist, however, will insist that it’s not a matter of God being totally unable to reach the unregenerate, but the unregenerate being totally unable to reach God. But, what if God was capable of giving the unregenerate an opportunity to receive Him? The Calvinist will not wish to address that question at all, but will instead insist that man is too far gone, too far depraved, and yet the Calvinist doesn’t realize that his argument is a double-edged sword!, since by insisting that unregenerate man is too far gone, he is simultaneously saying that he is too far gone for even God to be able to reach (and hence the Calvinist argument that God must preemptively make the unregenerate, regenerate viz. Irresistible Grace). So the Calvinist argument is built upon a presupposition of the total inability of God, without realizing it.

What if God was able to take an unregenerate person, and bring them to the point where they were able to receive Him? If God could give them the power of contrary choice, that is, the ability to decide one way or the other, then if they did choose to receive Christ, through His enablement (otherwise known as Prevenient Grace), then their opportunity would be anything but powerless. So that’s why you have to first assume Calvinism in order to arrive at Piper’s conclusion.
















































4-Point Calvinist, Ron Rhodes, writes: My position is known in theological circles as 4-point Calvinism.As a backdrop, 5-point Calvinists hold to T-U-L-I-P: Total Depravity. Unconditional Election. Limited Atonement. Irresistible Grace. Perseverance of the Saints. As a 4-point Calvinist, I hold to all the above except limited atonement. I point this out simply because it has been the habit of some of the limited atonement persuasion to say that all who hold to unlimited atonement are Arminian in their theology. This simply is not so.” (The Case for Unlimited Atonement)
John 3:16: For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

Ron Rhodes comments: The Greek lexicons are unanimous that ‘world’ here denotes humankind, not the ‘world of the elect.’” (The Case for Unlimited Atonement)
John 6:37: All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.

Ron Rhodes states: That one rejects limited atonement does not in any way mean that one lessens or diminishes the clear scriptural doctrine of the sovereignty of God. Any who make such an allegation are simply uninformed. Without the slightest inconsistency the unlimited redemptionists may believe in an election according to sovereign grace, that none but the elect will be saved, that all of the elect will be saved, and that the elect are by divine enablement alone called out of the state of spiritual death from which they are impotent to take even one step in the direction of their own salvation. The text, ‘No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him’ (John 6:44), is as much a part of the one system of doctrine as it is of the other. (The Case for Unlimited Atonement)
Question:  How is it that God gives His Son to all, but won’t give all to His Son? That’s why 4-Point Calvinism doesn’t add up. God loved them so much that He gave them His Son so that they can be saved, but yet He simultaneously loves them so little that He won’t give them to His Son, so that they can be saved.
Question:  Is the Arminian concept of the atonement powerless?

Answer:  A feast in front of a starving man has the power to fill his stomach, but if he does not eat, he remains hungry. The serpent on the standard, according to Numbers 21:6-9, had the power to heal the snake bites of all who looked upon it, yet any who did not, perished from the venom. Similarly, Christ’s provision for salvation, presented to a condemned sinner, has the power to forgive sin, but for those who do not look to Christ, remain condemned. In this way, a feast does not feed a man unless he eats of it. The serpent on the standard does not heal without a man looking upon it. The cross of Christ does not forgive any man unless he looks to Him. The atonement is a provision.
Question:  What is 4-Point Calvinism?

Answer:  4-Point Calvinism affirms 4 of the 5 Points of Calvinism, while rejecting only the “L” in TULIP, which is the doctrine of a “Limited Atonement.” The 4-Point Calvinist essentially agrees with the Arminian,  that Jesus really did take upon Himself, the sins of the whole world, that is, everyone without exception, having made a universal provision for sins at Calvary, such that whosoever-will that believes in Jesus will be saved. However, the 4-Pointer then agrees with 5-Point Calvinist, that man is so totally depraved, so utterly fallen, that he will never, of his own free will, desire to come to Christ, and therefore the only ones who do in fact become saved, are the ones whom God has secretly, unconditionally chosen before the foundation of the world, called “the elect,” who in time are given an irresistible grace and are secretly drawn to Christ (with all others being passed-by for this special grace), and in becoming Christians, are preserved in the faith by the Holy Spirit, and as such, are eternally secure in salvation. John Calvin’s theology exemplified this, as his commentaries agreed that Jesus is the Savior of all men, having made a universal provision at Calvary, while yet holding to the other 4 points (and even holding a very fatalistic view of humanity). Nevertheless, the point is that 4-Point Calvinists do believe that their brand of Calvinism, even with an Unlimited Atonement, is still very much compatible with the rest of Calvinism. The purpose of this article is to show why the 4-Point Calvinists are mistaken, and why it really is contradicted by the other 4 points, especially Unconditional Election.