A Theological and Historical Examination of John Gill's Soteriology in Relation to Eighteenth-Century Hyper-Calvinism

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A Theological and Historical Examination of John Gill's Soteriology in Relation to Eighteenth-Century Hyper-Calvinism

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Title: A Theological and Historical Examination of John Gill's Soteriology in Relation to Eighteenth-Century Hyper-Calvinism
Author: White, Jonathan
Advisor: Nettles, Thomas J.
Abstract: This dissertation is a theological and historical examination of John Gill's

soteriology that argues against classifying him as a Hyper-Calvinist. Gill's complex

theology, as well as the difficulty of defining Hyper-Calvinism, argues against labeling

Gill as such. Chapter 1 is a survey of historical evaluations of Gill concerning his

relationship to Hyper-Calvinism. Evidence is presented showing that many of the

evaluations are suspect due to a historiographically-biased paradigm.

Chapter 2 surveys numerous approaches to defining Hyper-Calvinism. This

displays the incredible lack of agreement on a definition and therefore is problematic

concerning labeling Gill as a Hyper-Calvinist. A working definition is suggested, based

on an evaluation of the Modem Question controversy.

Chapter 3 examines eternal aspects of Gill's soteriology. It is argued that while

foundational to Gill's soteriology, these aspects are not the totality of his soteriologyand

thus he remains within the confines of historic Calvinism.

Chapter 4 examines God-ward aspects of Gill's soteriology. His view of the

love and grace of God is presented, especially concerning the discriminating aspects

between the elect and non-elect.

Chapter 5 examines the anthropological aspects of Gill's soteriology,

specifically dealing with man's responsibility. The complex nature of this aspect shows

the difficulty of the issue. On this point Gill does show some affinity with Hyper-Calvinism.

However, his nuanced position cautions against a simple categorization of his

position as Hyper-Calvinism.

Chapter 6 examines the legal aspects of Gill's soteriology, specifically the

issue of Antinomianism. Gill is easily defended against the charge of either doctrinal or

practical Antinomianism.

Chapter 7 deals with evangelistic aspects of Gill's soteriology, specifically his

view concerning the offer of the gospel. Careful examination of this aspect shows that

while Gill rejected the idea of "offering" the gospel, he accepted the idea of preaching the

gospel to all.

Chapter 8 deals with practical aspects of Gill's soteriology. Issues of Gill's

view of evangelism and missions, as well as his relationship to the perceived decline of

Particular Baptists in eighteenth century England are examined. Chapter 9 sets forth some

proposals resulting from the study.

URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10392/3828
Date: 2010-12

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