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Did Calvin say this?

Discussion in 'Ask a Calvinist' started by Light of the East, Feb 28, 2021.

  1. Light of the East

    Light of the East Orthodox Inquirer Supporter

    United States
    I am writing a book and I need a tad of help.

    Is this an accurate statement about Calvin, and if not, please correct me.

    Calvin taught God creates foreknowing those whom He would predestine to salvation and those whom He would pass by, thus allowing them to receive the natural consequence of their fallen and depraved state.

    Thanks for the help
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  2. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc We are saved purely by the work and grace of God. Supporter

    United States

    That would be a mostly accurate statement. He believed that God foreordained the sheep of God from before the foundation of the world.
  3. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

    I find the statement confusing, because I'm not sure how foreknowledge is involved. There are people who say that God foreknew who would accept and reject his offer, and that his predestination is on that basis. That's not Calvin's position, because for him God's predestination has nothing to do with anything about us, actual or foreseen. Otherwise it wouldn't be pure grace.

    It's worth noting that this doctrine isn't a big a part of Calvin's theology as many assume. His commentaries and other writing generally treat faith as a requirement for salvation. They typically give the impression that faith is our decision. It's main in passages where it becomes an issue, and specific treatments of the doctrine, that he notes that our decision is ultimately the result of God's plan. You could read much of Calvin without realizing his position on predestination. The requirement for faith is discussed a lot more.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2021
  4. Paulomycin

    Paulomycin Well-Known Member

    United States
    A quibble: "creates foreknowing" implies that God creates His own omniscience. <-- Possible red flag.
  5. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

    "Predestination, by which God adopts some to the hope of life, and adjudges others to eternal death, no one, desirous of the credit of piety, dares absolutely to deny. But it is involved in many cavils, especially by those who make foreknowledge the cause of it. We maintain, that both belong to God; but it is preposterous to represent one as dependent on the other. When we attribute foreknowledge to God, we mean that all things have ever been, and perpetually remain, before His eyes, so that to His knowledge nothing in future or past, but all things are present; and present in such a manner, that He does not merely conceive of them from ideas formed in His mind, as things remembered by us appear present to our minds, but really beholds and sees them as if actually placed before Him. And this foreknowledge extends to the whole world, and to all the creatures. Predestination we call the eternal decree of God, by which He has determined in Himself what would have to become of every individual of mankind. For they are not all created with a similar destiny; but eternal life is fore-ordained for some, and eternal damnation for others. Every man, therefore, being created for one or the other of these ends, we say, he is predestinated either to life or to death. This God has not only testified in particular persons, but has given a specimen of it in the whole posterity of Abraham, which should evidently show the future condition of every nation to depend upon His decision. "When the Most High divided the nations, when he separated the sons of Adam, the Lord's portion was His people; Jacob was the lot of His inheritance." Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion
  6. BoB/335

    BoB/335 New Member

    United States
    I LOVE hearing these things right from the horses mouth! (Or in this case from the other end!)

    I hear Calvinists all the time push the idea that God chose some for salvation and attribute God chooses the rest for damnation as “Hyper” Calvinism but your quote above from Calvin’s Institutes pretty much settles that argument!

    I find it interesting that this discussion ended after that presentation. Guess it left some speechless!
  7. JM

    JM Particular Baptist Supporter

    I don't see the problem. God creates evil and sent Isaiah to preach until the people were completely reprobate (Isa. 6). No biggie. Simple reading comprehension will bing one to the conclusion that God literally hates some and will not save them.