Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dr. Boyd Hunt on the Atonement, Calvinism

Dr. W. Boyd Hunt (AD 1916-2007) was pastor of First Baptist Church, Houston, Texas, and theology professor (1953-1999) at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He shares some interesting views on the Atonement, Limited Atonement, modified Calvinism, and Hyper-Calvinism. 
“In the post-Reformation period the views of the Reformers were often interpreted with extreme legalism. Hyper-Calvinism, with its view of a literal substitution and limited atonement (i.e., that Christ died for the elect only), developed in this period.

According to hyper-Calvinism, if Christ had died for the nonelect, their suffering eternally in hell would mean the exacting of the penalty twice, once from Christ on the cross and once from the sinner in hell. This, it was charged, would be unjust.

The most virile group of English Baptists in the 18th century were infected with this hyper-Calvinism. Holding to a limited atonement, they were called Particular Baptists, as opposed to General Baptists, who viewed the atonement as unlimited (i.e., that Christ died for all men).

Hyper-Calvinism persisted among Baptists in America longer than in England. It was dominant in the theology of James P. Boyce. The main stream of orthodox thought, however, has followed a modified Calvinism which interprets Christ’s substitutionary death in ethical and non-legalistic terms…It was the view of Edgar Y. Mullins and W. T. Conner.” 
-Dr. W. Boyd Hunt, Encyclopedia of Southern Baptists, Broadman Press, Nashville; 1958.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, November14, AD 2012.

Other articles:
Romans 9, Calvinism, Traditionalism
Calvinism and Being Dead in Sins
Books on Calvinism, Predestination
More articles in lower right margin.


  1. Why was James P. Boyce a hyper-calvinist? Can you explain?

  2. Evidently Hunt considered that Boyce tended toward hyper-Calvinism because he believed Boyce held to Limited Atonement.

    These are the words of Dr. Boyd Hunt and, of course, he is not around to elaborate on his thoughts. While not all would agree, apparently Dr. Hunt believed that Limited Atonement (Christ died only for the elect) is a view of hyper-Calvinism. Different folks have different definitions of a hyper-Calvinist, but this is a definition of some.
    David R. Brumbelow


What do you think?