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Single predestination?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by DeFyYing, Mar 9, 2022.

  1. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    You are correct. It's illogical but you aren't supposed to notice apparently.
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Your solution presumes that the reason someone sins has to do with the way God created that one person vs the way He created the person next to them. As if in the case of 1/3 of the angels falling -- if God had not created the 1/3 that fell - no one would have fallen since in the end it is the fault of the way God created them. The problem with that is that it underestimates the full impact of creating free will and the fact that when a person sins it has nothing to do with how God created them.
     
  3. DeFyYing

    DeFyYing New Member

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    I figured that it's a mystery since time would be seen from a higher dimension, like a 2D character trying to make sense of a 3 dimensional plane. But I'd love to hear your guys' thoughts, I guess I just hesitate to reject it because it seems to be the backbone of a lot of Western theology like the Thomist and Lutheran traditions.
     
  4. fhansen

    fhansen Oldbie

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    God, simply, predestines no one to hell, as the Catholic Church teaches that He doesn't. That would make Him the author of evil, worse than Satan, to predestine a created being to eternal torment, without regard to his will IOW.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
  5. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Passing by the angel's fall in that they are not involved in most definitions of inherited or original sin or any imputed sin from Adam, humans are indeed said to be created as being sinful in this doctrine, under the judgment of suffering and death through no choice of their own but by their creation. This fact is only escapable by doublethink, that HE can't create sinners but this doctrine say HE does but HE cannot so He Did Not so it means something else and we won't think about it anymore!!
     
  6. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    Many mysteries are just blasphemies that seem true but don't make sense because they are not true, sigh.
     
  7. BobRyan

    BobRyan Junior Member Supporter

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    Well that is true in the sense of "the way they came into being - the way they were born" etc. However that is a huge problem for Calvinism and predestination since if that is what determines outcomes - then
    1. All angels would have chosen to remain sinless (and so also Adam and Eve) since all were created sinless
    2. All humans born on Earth (as opposed to created on Earth) would reject the Gospel since all are born with sinful natures

    And clearly both sides of the debated topic agree that those two outcomes are not what we actually have in real life. So the outcome is most certainly not determined solely by the way God created them or solely by the nature they had when they were born.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2022
  8. HatGuy

    HatGuy Some guy in a hat

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    I have noticed a ton of Lutherans admit it's illogical and be quite proud of that.

    I tend to agree with them. The Lutheran Confessions try and only present what the Bible says - and the Bible itself acknowledges some sort of predestination, but never acknowledges double predestination.

    The fact that double predestination seems "logical" if one accepts "single predestination" does not mean that double predestination is Biblical - and quite frankly does not mean double predestination is the only rational option you have. There may be other options we aren't aware of due to our very limited knowledge of how the world works from eternity etc.

    This is probably why I'm inclined to agree with the Lutherans. Logic is useful but it's not a test of doctrinal, philosophical or moral truth. In fact, logic can lead to the exact opposite.
     
  9. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Or " single predestination" is incorrect also and we are misunderstanding what is meant by predestination.

    Treatise of the Faith and Practices of the Free Will Baptists of 1935
    “The call of the Gospel is co-extensive with the atonement to all men, both by the word and strivings of the Spirit, so that salvation is rendered equally possible to all; and if any fail of eternal life, the fault is wholly his own.”

    • Option #1: The term predestination describes God electing certain people to put their faith in Christ and go to heaven when they die, while not choosing others. This position defines predestination in relation to salvation.
    • Option #2: The term predestination describes God’s will for believers, e.g. God has predetermined that all believers become like Christ. This position defines predestination in relation to sanctification.
     
  10. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    If you really want to get into it, you'd want to read Luther's "Bondage of the Will".

    In short, God wants to save everyone. But rather than trying to answer a single question, "Why are you saved or damned?", it breaks it into two questions.

    If you are saved, He created the faith in you and predestined you for salvation. In other words, salvation is monergistic, all God.

    If you are damned, God wants you to be saved but you rejected Him and therefore are predestined by your own disbelief. In other words, damnation is monergistic as well only now, it is all on you.
     
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  11. TedT

    TedT Member since Job 38:7

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    While I agree with this, I have questions about how it relates to the inability of any sinner to do anything that will save themselves so, without grace, any and all sinners would refuse HIM...since all sinners are enslaved to sin or our Lord was babbling about that.

    If grace breaks that addictive slavery it must be an active force, not a mere dangling carrot...how can it be fair if it is effective only for some but not for all???
     
  12. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Luther himself wrote

    The fatuous idea that a person can be holy by himself denies God the pleasure of saving sinners. God must therefore first take the sledge-hammer of the Law in His fists and smash the beast of self-righteousness and its brood of self-confidence, self wisdom, and self-help. When the conscience has been thoroughly frightened by the Law it welcomes the Gospel of grace with its message of a Savior Who came-not to break the bruised reed nor to quench the smoking flax-but to preach glad tidings to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, and to grant forgiveness of sins to all the captives.


    This grace of God is a very great, strong, mighty and active thing. It does not lie asleep in the soul. Grace hears, leads, drives, draws, changes, works all in man, and lets itself be distinctly felt and experienced. It is hidden, but its works are evident.
     
  13. ViaCrucis

    ViaCrucis Evangelical Catholic of the Augsburg Confession

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    This is what is called the Crux Theologorum, the "Theologian's Cross". The burden that the faithful theologian is compelled to bear in order to confess God's word faithfully: That it is simultaneously true that God has predestined us in Christ, chosen us in Christ, and our election is unconditional; and also that God desires the salvation of all and that none should perish. Thus the Crux, the burden, is that we have to admit, believe, and confess both even if we cannot reconcile it with our reason. What arises from the Crux Theologorum is a question: "If God has chosen whom He will save, and if God desires all to be saved, then how is it that any are not or won't be saved?" and the answer the theologian must give is, again, on the basis of Scripture, that man is responsible for his own damnation by his own (fallen, sinful) willful choice.

    In a sense it is very similar to C.S. Lewis' remark that in the end there are two kinds of people, "Those who say to God, 'Thy will be done.' And those to whom God will say, 'Very well, have it your way.'"

    -CryptoLutheran
     
  14. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I would say that within a group there can be different ideas, even while there might be some one official claim. A group can have some official idea because of prayer . . . or because of politics.

    I would say that Romans 9:21 shows that God has not only chosen to put each person in the saved or the unsaved group, but every person is a vessel with a special purpose know always to God. And He is the hands-on Potter of each of us. So He is so personal with each human.

    And if God knows how each vessel will come out, this is because He is in control of how each one will become. I see that you can not, really, know a future thing unless you are in control of what will happen.

    So, destiny is not only about who is condemned or saved, but there is our Father's good overall purpose > Roman's 8:29 > and how each person is used for this.
     
  15. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    In my opinion predestination is a quagmire. Single predestination is not logically defensible (and the merit of Lutheranism lies in the fact that Lutherans do not attempt to defend it logically). Double predestination is not morally, or even metaphysically, acceptable.

    I don't think anyone has solved the problem of predestination, and I don't think anyone ever will. Heck, if someone manages to give a proper solution to the problem of predestination, this would probably mean that that she is equal to or greater than God himself (for it would mean that she has a perfect understanding of God's will and of God's providential plan). All of the historical debates, such as the Thomists vs. the Molinists or the Calvinists vs. the Arminians, result in intractable argument.

    This is a great question, by the way.
     
  16. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    I am no expert on Lutheranism, but from what I have seen the Lutheran approach to predestination is as good, or better than, any of the other approaches. I personally hold to Aquinas, but he wrote very little on the topic and later "Thomists" fell quickly into what I would consider to be errors.

    So yeah, the Lutheran approach isn't perfect, but the problem is extraordinarily difficult, and there simply are no perfect solutions. Abandoning Lutheranism because it doesn't have a perfect handle on predestination would be like getting rid of your car because it doesn't fly.
     
  17. hedrick

    hedrick Senior Veteran Supporter

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    I don’t think the issue here is any different from the morality of God designing a world where most people will be tormented forever. Predestination makes the problem more obvious. But is there really a difference between deciding that only a few specific people will be saved and setting up a system where he surely must know that only the same few will be saved? In both cases, assuming you believe in compatibilism (which is generally part of predestinarian theology), the people who are damned made responsible choices that produced that result. In either case, we have to assume that God has no obligation to save everyone, or even most people, so there is no moral problem with the way things are.

    If you’re going to start judging God morally, I think the only acceptable theologies are universalism or open theism.
     
  18. zippy2006

    zippy2006 Dragonsworn

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    No, I don't think that's right. Let me just expand on my position before responding.

    It seems to me that single predestination could only be straightforwardly logically consistent if Pelagianism is true (which I am assuming is a non-Christian position). In that case there would be three sets of persons: 1) Those who God saves, 2) Those who save themselves, and 3) Those who are damned, but who could have saved themselves.

    Now, in response to your claims I would focus on compatibilism (and therefore determinism, for determinism is precisely what the Pelagian counterfactual avoids). First we would do well to recognize that the only philosophical compatibilists are the Calvinists. Nevertheless, rather than philosophical compatibilism, the issue at stake is whether humans have freedom vis-a-vis their own salvation, and that sort of freedom is generally referred to as Pelagianism. For example, Lutherans affirm that humans are free in their choices, but they deny that any of the things we have freedom to choose will bring us salvation. It is only God's gratuitous decision that effects our salvation, and therefore there is a sort of salvific determinism at play, which goes hand in hand with the commonsensical meaning of 'predestination.' Again, this plagues all attempts at single predestination, not just Lutheran attempts.

    To start simple and to focus only on salvific determinism, let's consider universalism and open theism. Universalism surely doesn't necessarily avoid salvific determinism; in fact it is often accused of salvific determinism. Open theism does avoid salvific determinism, but it is not the only option for avoiding it. Classical theists such as Boethius held to an account of divine foreknowledge which does not result in salvific determinism, and which open theism contradicts.

    You are apparently relying on the premise that damnation can never be just, even if compatibilism is false and humans possess (libertarian) free will. I think that premise is demonstrably false. More to the point, it seems to me that universalists are double predestinarians in new garb, for they are relying on the exact same problematic premise which says that humans do not possess true freedom or responsibility. The universalist and the double predestinarian are in agreement insofar as they both hold that damnation must always be God's fault, not man's. Thus the two moral extremes come full circle and touch in the denial of man's responsibility.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2022
  19. DeFyYing

    DeFyYing New Member

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    Hey guys, just wanted to add something which I heard from a discussion recently. Basically I was confused about which stage is it that one is not saved: are they given the gift of faith but they reject it, or did they not receive the gift at all? And from my findings, it seems the former is true, which is plausible since Lutheranism teaches that grace is resistable. In summation, I am at much more peace now
     
  20. BPPLEE

    BPPLEE Well-Known Member

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    It's like if you saw a door that says all who will may enter. It's up to you. You decide to go in and there is a table with a place mat with your name on it. On the back of the door it says ordained before the foundation of time
     
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