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Lutheranism and free will

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Styrmir, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. Styrmir

    Styrmir New Member

    I am a Lutheran, but I have been very confused lately about Lutheran predestination. Lutherans believe that some people are predestined by God, and some aren't. Those who aren't do not necessarily go to hell. How are those that aren't predestined saved if they aren't predestined? They'd have to work towards it, which means that Lutheran theology is self-contradicting right?
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  2. HereIStand

    HereIStand Regular Member Supporter

    United States
    As I understand it, Lutherans hold to single predestination -- the saved are predestined for eternal life, but not that the lost are predestined for eternal death. Lutherans also believe that an inclination to believe can be resisted. This is a good Lutheran reference.
  3. RC1970

    RC1970 post tenebras lux

    United States
    Rather than calling it "self-contradicting", it might be more polite to refer to it as a "happy inconsistency". :)
  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Have you verified if this is in Martin Luther's teachings? To my knowledge, there are people who claim to be Lutheran but they do not all have the same ideas.

    Possibly, predestined means a person is saved. But not predestined does not necessarily mean one goes to hell. I think I have been told that there are Lutherans who believe in Limbo which is like in Roman Catholicism . . . not hell or Heaven.

    I understand that Catholics and Lutherans, if they believe in Limbo, understand that it is not a work your own way thing, but you are purified so then you may enter Heaven. But if it were as you have understood it, I'd say then yes it is contradictory.

    I personally understand that God provides us with His own personal correction > Hebrews 12:4-11 < in this life, no procrastination until after we die.
  5. Nova Scotian Boy

    Nova Scotian Boy Grand Sasquatch

    Imagine someone is at the bottom of the sea and is dead, a boat comes along and the sailor jumps overboard and swims to the bottom of the sea and pulls that decomposing body out of the sea and onto his boat. He breathes new life into him and he is revived. The formerly dead person comes too realizes he is alive pushes the sailor away jumps up and jumps off the boat and swims back to the bottom of the sea and dies. Now the man's salvation was given to him completely by the sailor who you might realize is meant to represent Christ. But his own falling away and damnation was all on his hands.
  6. FireDragon76

    FireDragon76 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Legal Union (Other)
    Lutherans are actually confessionalists. Luther wrote On the Bondage of the Will, a disputation with Desiderius Erasmus where he sounds very similar to Calvinists, but that text is not Confessional Status strictly speaking, and does not contain our precise theology.

    It should not be construed as a philosophical refutation of free will. Above all, Lutheranism is concerned with what the Church proclaims lining up with what has been revealed to us in the Scriptures, more than trying to put philosophers out of business.

    We don't have a doctrine like that. We are reluctant to speculate about things the Bible is silent on.