Predestination

Predestination, in theology, is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God, usually with reference to the eventual fate of the individual soul.[1] Explanations of predestination often seek to address the "paradox of free will", whereby God's omniscience seems incompatible with human free will. In this usage, predestination can be regarded as a form of religious determinism; and usually predeterminism.

Juan de la Abadía, 'The Elder' - Saint Michael Weighing Souls - Google Art Project
Juan de la Abadía el Viejo: Saint Michael Weighing Souls

Christianity

History

New Testament period

There is some disagreement among scholars regarding the views on predestination of first-century AD Judaism, out of which Christianity came. Josephus wrote during the first century that the three main Jewish sects differed on this question. He argued that the Essenes and Pharisees argued that God's providence orders all human events, but the Pharisees still maintained that people are able to choose between right and wrong. He wrote that the Sadducees did not have a doctrine of providence.

The biblical scholar N. T. Wright argues that Josephus's portrayal of these groups is incorrect, and that the Jewish debates referenced by Josephus should be seen as having to do with God's work to liberate Israel rather than philosophical questions about predestination. Wright asserts that Essenes were content to wait for God to liberate Israel while Pharisees believed Jews needed to act in cooperation with God.[2] John Barclay responded that Josephus's description was an over-simplification and there were likely to be complex differences between these groups which may have been similar to those described by Josephus.[3] Francis Watson has also argued on the basis of 4 Ezra, a document dated to the first century AD, that Jewish beliefs in predestination are primarily concerned with God's choice to save some individual Jews.[4]

In the New Testament, Romans 8–11 presents a statement on predestination. In Romans 8:28–30, Paul writes,

We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.[5]

Biblical scholars have interpreted this passage in several ways. Many say this only has to do with service, and is not about salvation. The Catholic biblical commentator Brendan Byrne wrote that the predestination mentioned in this passage should be interpreted as applied to the Christian community corporately rather than individuals.[6] Another Catholic commentator, Joseph Fitzmyer, wrote that this passage teaches that God has predestined the salvation of all humans.[7] Douglas Moo, a Protestant biblical interpreter, reads the passage as teaching that God has predestined a certain set of people to salvation.[8] Similarly, Wright's interpretation is that in this passage Paul teaches that God will save those whom he has chosen, but Wright also emphasizes that Paul does not intend to suggest that God has eliminated human free will or responsibility. Instead, Wright asserts, Paul is saying that God's will works through that of humans to accomplish salvation.[9]

Patristic period

Origen, writing in the third century, taught that God's providence extends to every individual.[10] He believed God's predestination was based on God's foreknowledge of every individual's merits, whether in their current life or a previous life.[11]

Later in the fourth and fifth centuries, Augustine of Hippo (354–430) also taught that God orders all things while preserving human freedom.[12] Prior to 396, Augustine believed that predestination was based on God's foreknowledge of whether individuals would believe, that God's grace was "a reward for human assent".[13] Later, in response to Pelagius, Augustine said that the sin of pride consists in assuming that "we are the ones who choose God or that God chooses us (in his foreknowledge) because of something worthy in us", and argued that it is God's grace that causes the individual act of faith.[14] Scholars are divided over whether Augustine's teaching implies double predestination, or the belief that God chooses some people for damnation as well as some for salvation. Catholic scholars tend to deny that he held such a view while some Protestants and secular scholars affirm that Augustine did believe in double predestination.[15]

Augustine's position raised objections. Julian of Eclanum expressed the view that Augustine was bringing Manichean thoughts into the church.[16] For Vincent of Lérins, this was a disturbing innovation.[17] This new tension eventually became obvious with the confrontation between Augustine and Pelagius culminating in condemnation of Pelagianism (as interpreted by Augustine) at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Pelagius denied Augustine's view of predestination in order to affirm that salvation is achieved by an act of free will.

The Council of Arles in the late fifth century condemned the position "that some have been condemned to death, others have been predestined to life", though this may seem to follow from Augustine's teaching. The Second Council of Orange in 529 also condemned the position that "some have been truly predestined to evil by divine power".[18]

In the eighth century, John of Damascus emphasized the freedom of the human will in his doctrine of predestination, and argued that acts arising from peoples' wills are not part of God's providence at all. Damascene teaches that people's good actions are done in cooperation with God, but are not caused by him.[19]

Middle Ages

Gottschalk of Orbais, a ninth-century Saxon monk, argued that God predestines some people to hell as well as predestining some to heaven, a view known as double predestination. He was condemned by several synods, but his views remained popular. Irish theologian John Scottus Eriugena wrote a refutation of Gottschalk.[20] Eriugena abandoned Augustine's teaching on predestination.[21] He wrote that God's predestination should be equated with his foreknowledge of people's choices.[22]

In the twelfth century, Thomas Aquinas taught that God predestines certain people to the beatific vision based solely on his own goodness rather than that of creatures.[23] Aquinas also believed that people are free in their choices, fully cause their own sin, and are solely responsible for it.[24] According to Aquinas, there are several ways in which God wills actions. He directly wills the good, indirectly wills evil consequences of good things, and only permits evil. Aquinas held that in permitting evil, God does not will it to be done or not to be done.[25]

In the thirteenth century, William of Ockham taught that God does not cause human choices and equated predestination with divine foreknowledge.[26] Though Ockham taught that God predestines based on people's foreseen works, he maintained that God's will was not constrained to do this.[27]

Reformation

John Calvin rejected the idea that God permits rather than actively decrees the damnation of sinners, as well as other evil.[28] Calvin did not believe God to be guilty of sin, but he considered it an unfathomable mystery that God seems to simultaneously will sin and to also not will sin.[29] Though he maintained God's predestination applies to damnation as well as salvation, he taught that the damnation of the damned is caused by their sin, but that the salvation of the saved is solely caused by God.[30] Other Protestant Reformers, including Huldrych Zwingli, also held double predestinarian views.[31]

Views of Christian branches

Eastern Orthodoxy

The Eastern Orthodox view was summarized by Bishop Theophan the Recluse in response to the question, "What is the relationship between the Divine provision and our free will?"

Answer: The fact that the Kingdom of God is "taken by force" presupposes personal effort. When the Apostle Paul says, "it is not of him that willeth," this means that one's efforts do not produce what is sought. It is necessary to combine them: to strive and to expect all things from grace. It is not one's own efforts that will lead to the goal, because without grace, efforts produce little; nor does grace without effort bring what is sought, because grace acts in us and for us through our efforts. Both combine in a person to bring progress and carry him to the goal. (God's) foreknowledge is unfathomable. It is enough for us with our whole heart to believe that it never opposes God's grace and truth, and that it does not infringe man's freedom. Usually this resolves as follows: God foresees how a man will freely act and makes dispositions accordingly. Divine determination depends on the life of a man, and not his life upon the determination.[32]

Catholicism

Catholicism teaches the doctrine of predestination, while rejecting the classical Calvinist view known as "double predestination". This means that while it is held that those whom God has elected to eternal life will infallibly attain it, and are therefore said to be predestined to salvation by God, those who perish are not predestined to damnation. According to the Catholic Church, God predestines no one to go to hell, for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end."[33] Catholicism has been generally discouraging to human attempts to guess or predict the Divine Will. The Catholic Encyclopedia entry on predestination says:[34]

God, owing to His infallible prescience of the future, has appointed and ordained from eternity all events occurring in time, especially those that directly proceed from, or at least are influenced by, man's free will.

The heretical seventeenth and eighteenth centuries sect within Roman Catholicism known as Jansenism preached the doctrine of double predestination, although Jansenism claimed that even members of the saved elect could lose their salvation by doing sinful, un-repented deeds, as implied in Ezekiel 18:21–28 in the Old Testament of the Bible.

Pope John Paul II wrote:[35]

The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all.

Grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation.

The Catholic Catechism says, "To God, all moments of time are present in their immediacy. When therefore he establishes his eternal plan of "predestination", he includes in it each person's free response to his grace."[36]

Catholics do not believe that any hints or evidence of the predestined status of individuals is available to humans, and predestination generally plays little or no part in Catholic teaching to the faithful, being a topic addressed in a professional theological context only.

Augustine of Hippo laid the foundation for much of the later Catholic teaching on predestination. His teachings on grace and free will were largely adopted by the Second Council of Orange (529), whose decrees were directed against the Semipelagians. Augustine wrote,

[God] promised not from the power of our will but from His own predestination. For He promised what He Himself would do, not what men would do. Because, although men do those good things which pertain to God’s worship, He Himself makes them to do what He has commanded; it is not they that cause Him to do what He has promised. Otherwise the fulfilment of God’s promises would not be in the power of God, but in that of men"[37]

Augustine also teaches that people have free will. For example, in "On Grace and Free Will", (see especially chapters II–IV) Augustine states that "He [God] has revealed to us, through His Holy Scriptures, that there is in man a free choice of will," and that "God's precepts themselves would be of no use to a man unless he had free choice of will, so that by performing them he might obtain the promised rewards." (chap. II)

Thomas Aquinas' views concerning predestination are largely in agreement with Augustine and can be summarized by many of his writings in his Summa Theologiæ:

God does reprobate some. For it was said above (A[1]) that predestination is a part of providence. To providence, however, it belongs to permit certain defects in those things which are subject to providence, as was said above (Q[22], A[2]). Thus, as men are ordained to eternal life through the providence of God, it likewise is part of that providence to permit some to fall away from that end; this is called reprobation. Thus, as predestination is a part of providence, in regard to those ordained to eternal salvation, so reprobation is a part of providence in regard to those who turn aside from that end. Hence reprobation implies not only foreknowledge, but also something more, as does providence, as was said above (Q[22], A[1]). Therefore, as predestination includes the will to confer grace and glory; so also reprobation includes the will to permit a person to fall into sin, and to impose the punishment of damnation on account of that sin."[38]

Protestantism

This table summarizes the classical views of three different Protestant beliefs.[39]

Topic Lutheranism Calvinism Arminianism
Election Unconditional election to salvation only Unconditional election to salvation only, with reprobation (passing over)[40] Conditional election in view of foreseen faith or unbelief

Lutherans historically hold to unconditional election unto salvation. However, some do not believe that there are certain people that are predestined to salvation, but salvation is predestined for those who seek God.[41] Lutherans believe Christians should be assured that they are among the predestined.[42] However, they disagree with those who make predestination the source of salvation rather than Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection. Unlike some Calvinists, Lutherans do not believe in a predestination to damnation.[43] Instead, Lutherans teach eternal damnation is a result of the unbeliever's sins, rejection of the forgiveness of sins, and unbelief.[44]

Martin Luther's attitude towards predestination is set out in his On the Bondage of the Will, published in 1525. This publication by Luther was in response to the published treatise by Desiderius Erasmus in 1524 known as On Free Will. Luther based his views on Ephesians 2:8–10, which says:

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

The Belgic Confession of 1561 affirmed that God "delivers and preserves" from perdition "all whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without respect to their works" (Article XVI). Calvinists believe that God picked those who he will save and bring with him to Heaven before the world was created. They also believe that those people God does not save will go to Hell. John Calvin thought people who were saved could never lose their salvation and the "elect" (those God saved) would know they were saved because of their actions.

In this common, loose sense of the term, to affirm or to deny predestination has particular reference to the Calvinist doctrine of unconditional election. In the Calvinist interpretation of the Bible, this doctrine normally has only pastoral value related to the assurance of salvation and the absolution of salvation by grace alone. However, the philosophical implications of the doctrine of election and predestination are sometimes discussed beyond these systematic bounds. Under the topic of the doctrine of God (theology proper), the predestinating decision of God cannot be contingent upon anything outside of himself, because all other things are dependent upon him for existence and meaning. Under the topic of the doctrines of salvation (soteriology), the predestinating decision of God is made from God's knowledge of his own will (Romans 9:15), and is therefore not contingent upon human decisions (rather, free human decisions are outworkings of the decision of God, which sets the total reality within which those decisions are made in exhaustive detail: that is, nothing left to chance). Calvinists do not pretend to understand how this works; but they are insistent that the Scriptures teach both the sovereign control of God and the responsibility and freedom of human decisions.

Calvinist groups use the term Hyper-Calvinism to describe Calvinistic systems that assert without qualification that God's intention to destroy some is equal to his intention to save others. Some forms of Hyper-Calvinism have racial implications, as when Dutch Calvinist theologian Franciscus Gomarus however argued that Jews, because of their refusal to worship Jesus Christ, were members of the non-elect, as also argued by John Calvin himself, based on I John 2:22–23 in The New Testament of the Bible. Some Dutch settlers in South Africa argued that black people were sons of Ham, whom Noah had cursed to be slaves, according to Genesis 9:18–19, or drew analogies between them and the Canaanites, suggesting a "chosen people" ideology similar to that espoused by proponents of the Jewish nation. This justified racial hierarchy on earth, as well as racial segregation of congregations, but did not exclude blacks from being part of the elect. Other Calvinists vigorously objected to these arguments (see Afrikaner Calvinism).

Expressed sympathetically, the Calvinist doctrine is that God has mercy or withholds it, with particular consciousness of who are to be the recipients of mercy in Christ. Therefore, the particular persons are chosen, out of the total number of human beings, who will be rescued from enslavement to sin and the fear of death, and from punishment due to sin, to dwell forever in his presence. Those who are being saved are assured through the gifts of faith, the sacraments, and communion with God through prayer and increase of good works, that their reconciliation with him through Christ is settled by the sovereign determination of God's will. God also has particular consciousness of those who are passed over by his selection, who are without excuse for their rebellion against him, and will be judged for their sins.

Calvinists typically divide on the issue of predestination into infralapsarians (sometimes called 'sublapsarians') and supralapsarians. Infralapsarians interpret the biblical election of God to highlight his love (1 John 4:8; Ephesians 1:4b–5a) and chose his elect considering the situation after the Fall, while supralapsarians interpret biblical election to highlight God's sovereignty (Romans 9:16) and that the Fall was ordained by God's decree of election. In infralapsarianism, election is God's response to the Fall, while in supralapsarianism the Fall is part of God's plan for election. In spite of the division, many Calvinist theologians would consider the debate surrounding the infra- and supralapsarian positions one in which scant Scriptural evidence can be mustered in either direction, and that, at any rate, has little effect on the overall doctrine.

Some Calvinists decline to describe the eternal decree of God in terms of a sequence of events or thoughts, and many caution against the simplifications involved in describing any action of God in speculative terms. Most make distinctions between the positive manner in which God chooses some to be recipients of grace, and the manner in which grace is consciously withheld so that some are destined for everlasting punishments.

Debate concerning predestination according to the common usage concerns the destiny of the damned: whether God is just if that destiny is settled prior to the existence of any actual volition of the individual, and whether the individual is in any meaningful sense responsible for his destiny if it is settled by the eternal action of God.

Arminians hold that God does not predetermine, but instead infallibly knows who will believe and perseveringly be saved. This view is known as conditional election, because it states that election is conditional on the one who wills to have faith in God for salvation. Although God knows from the beginning of the world who will go where, the choice is still with the individual. The Dutch Calvinist theologian Franciscus Gomarus strongly opposed the views of Jacobus Arminius with his doctrine of supralapsarian predestination.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) rejects the doctrine of predestination, but does believe in foreordination. Foreordination, an important doctrine of the LDS Church,[45][46] teaches that during the pre-mortal existence, God selected ("foreordained") particular people to fulfill certain missions ("callings") during their mortal lives. For example, prophets were foreordained to be the Lord's servants (see Jeremiah 1:5), all who receive the priesthood were foreordained to that calling, and Jesus was foreordained to enact the atonement.

The LDS Church teaches the doctrine of moral agency, the ability to choose and act for oneself, and decide whether to accept Christ's atonement.[47]

Types of predestination

Conditional election

Conditional election is the belief that God chooses for eternal salvation those whom he foresees will have faith in Christ. This belief emphasizes the importance of a person's free will. The counter-view is known as unconditional election, and is the belief that God chooses whomever he will, based solely on his purposes and apart from an individual's free will. It has long been an issue in Calvinist–Arminian debate. An alternative viewpoint is Corporate election, which distinguishes God's election and predestination for corporate entities such as the community "in Christ," and individuals who can benefit from that community's election and predestination so long as they continue belonging to that community.

Supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism

Infralapsarianism (also called sublapsarianism) holds that predestination logically coincides with the preordination of Man's fall into sin. That is, God predestined sinful men for salvation. Therefore, according to this view, God is the ultimate cause, but not the proximate source or "author" of sin. Infralapsarians often emphasize a difference between God's decree (which is inviolable and inscrutable), and his revealed will (against which man is disobedient). Proponents also typically emphasize the grace and mercy of God toward all men, although teaching also that only some are predestined for salvation.

In common English parlance, the doctrine of predestination often has particular reference to the doctrines of Calvinism. The version of predestination espoused by John Calvin, after whom Calvinism is named, is sometimes referred to as "double predestination" because in it God predestines some people for salvation (i.e. unconditional election) and some for condemnation (i.e. Reprobation) which results by allowing the individual's own sins to condemn them. Calvin himself defines predestination as "the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. Not all are created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestined to life or to death."[48]

On the spectrum of beliefs concerning predestination, Calvinism is the strongest form among Christians. It teaches that God's predestining decision is based on the knowledge of his own will rather than foreknowledge, concerning every particular person and event; and, God continually acts with entire freedom, in order to bring about his will in completeness, but in such a way that the freedom of the creature is not violated, "but rather, established".[49]

Calvinists who hold the infralapsarian view of predestination usually prefer that term to "sublapsarianism," perhaps with the intent of blocking the inference that they believe predestination is on the basis of foreknowledge (sublapsarian meaning, assuming the fall into sin).[50] The different terminology has the benefit of distinguishing the Calvinist double predestination version of infralapsarianism from Lutheranism's view that predestination is a mystery, which forbids the unprofitable intrusion of prying minds since God only reveals partial knowledge to the human race.

Supralapsarianism is the doctrine that God's decree of predestination for salvation and reprobation logically precedes his preordination of the human race's fall into sin. That is, God decided to save, and to damn; he then determined the means by which that would be made possible. It is a matter of controversy whether or not Calvin himself held this view, but most scholars link him with the infralapsarian position. It is known, however, that Calvin's successor in Geneva, Theodore Beza, held to the supralapsarian view.

Double predestination

Double predestination, or the double decree, is the doctrine that God actively reprobates, or decrees damnation of some, as well as salvation for those whom he has elected. Augustine made statements that on their own seem to teach such a doctrine, but in the context of his other writings it is not clear whether he held it. Augustine's doctrine of predestination does seem to imply a double predestinarian view.[15] Gottschalk of Orbais taught it more explicitly in the ninth century,[20] and Gregory of Rimini in the fourteenth.[51] During the Protestant Reformation John Calvin also held double predestinarian views.[52][53] John Calvin states: "By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms, but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death."[54]

Open theism

Open theism advocates the non-traditional Arminian view of election that predestination is corporate.[55] In corporate election, God does not choose which individuals he will save prior to creation, but rather God chooses the church as a whole. Or put differently, God chooses what type of individuals he will save. Another way the New Testament puts this is to say that God chose the church in Christ (Eph. 1:4). In other words, God chose from all eternity to save all those who would be found in Christ, by faith in God. This choosing is not primarily about salvation from eternal destruction either but is about God's chosen agency in the world. Thus individuals have full freedom in terms of whether they become members of the church or not. Corporate election is thus consistent with the open view's position on God's omniscience, which states that God's foreknowledge does not determine the outcomes of individual free will.

Middle Knowledge

Middle Knowledge is a concept that was developed by Jesuit theologian Luis de Molina, and exists under a doctrine called Molinism. It attempts to deal with the topic of predestination by reconciling Gods sovereign providence with the notion of libertarian free will. The concept of Middle Knowledge holds that God has a knowledge of true pre-volitional counterfactuals for all free creatures. That is, what any individual creature with a free will (e.g. a human) would do under any given circumstance. Gods knowledge of counterfactuals is reasoned to occur logically prior to his divine creative decree (that is, prior to creation), and after his knowledge of necessary truths. Thus, Middle Knowledge holds that before the world was created, God knew what every existing creature capable of libertarian freedom (e.g. every individual human) would freely choose to do in all possible circumstances. It then holds that based on this information, God elected from a number of these possible worlds, the world most consistent with his ultimate will, which is the actual world that we live in.

For example:

  • if Free Creature A was to be placed in Circumstance B, God via his Middle Knowledge would know that Free Creature A will freely choose option Y over option Z.
  • if Free Creature A was to be placed in Circumstance C, God via his Middle Knowledge would know that Free Creature A will freely choose option Z over option Y.

Based on this Middle Knowledge, God has the ability to actualise the world in which A is placed in a circumstance that he freely chooses to do what is consistent with Gods ultimate will. If God determined that the world most suited to his purposes is a world in which A would freely choose Y instead of Z, God can actualise a world in which Free Creature A finds himself in Circumstance B.

In this way, Middle Knowledge is thought of by its proponents to be consistent with any theological doctrines that assert God as having divine providence and man having a libertarian freedom (e.g. Calvinism, Catholicism, Lutheranism), and to offer a potential solution to the concerns that Gods providence somehow nullifies man from having true liberty in his choices.

Islam

Qadar (Arabic: قدر‎, transliterated qadar, meaning "fate", "divine fore-ordainment", "predestination")[56] is the concept of divine destiny in Islam.[57] It is one of Sunni Islam's six pillars of faith, along with belief in the Oneness of God, the Revealed Books, the Prophets of Islam, the Day of Resurrection and Angels.

In Islam, "predestination" is the usual English language rendering of a belief that Muslims call al-qada wa al-qadar in Arabic. The phrase means "the divine decree and the predestination". In Islam, God has predetermined, known, ordained, and is constantly creating every event that takes place in the world. This is entailed by his being omnipotent and omniscient. Sunni scholars hold that there is no contradiction in people's deeds (and naturally their choices) being created and predetermined by the creator, since they define free will to be the antonym of compulsion and coercion. People – in the Sunni perspective – do acknowledge that they are free, since they do not see anybody or anything forcing them to do whatever they chose to do. This, however, does not contradict that everything they do, including the choices they make, are predestined and predetermined by God. Consequently, people are already predestined to either heaven or hell at birth, as Sunnis believe; however, they will have no argument on the day of judgment since they never knew in advance what their fate would be, and they do acknowledge that they have choice; which is what moral responsibility comes with.[58]

The concept of human will being predetermined by God's will is stated clearly in the Quran: "Verily this (The Holy Quran) is no less than a Message to (all) the Worlds; (With profit) to whoever among you wills to go straight, but ye shall not will except as God wills; the Cherisher of the Worlds."[59][60]

Predestination is rejected in Shiaism.[61]

Judaism

In rabbinic literature, there is much discussion as to the apparent contradiction between God's omniscience and free will. The representative view is that "Everything is foreseen; yet free will is given" (Rabbi Akiva, Pirkei Avoth 3:15). Based on this understanding, the problem is formally described as a paradox, perhaps beyond our understanding.

Hasdai Crescas resolved this dialectical tension by taking the position that free will doesn't exist. All of a person's actions are predetermined by the moment of their birth, and thus their judgment in the eyes of God (so to speak) is effectively preordained. In this scheme this is not a result of God's predetermining one's fate, but rather that the universe is deterministic. Crescas's views on this topic were rejected by Judaism at large. In later centuries this idea independently developed among some in the Chabad (Lubavitch) movement of Hasidic Judaism. Many individuals within Chabad take this view seriously, and hence effectively deny the existence of free will.[62]

However, many Chabad (Lubavitch) Jews attempt to hold both views. They affirm as infallible their rebbe's teachings that God knows and controls the fate of all, yet at the same time affirm the classical Jewish belief in free will. The inherent contradiction between the two results in their belief that such contradictions are only "apparent", due to man's inherent lack of ability to understand greater truths and due to the fact that Creator and Created exist in different realities. The same idea is strongly repeated by Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Repentance, Chapter 5).

Many other Jews (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and secular) affirm that since free will exists, then by definition one's fate is not preordained. It is held as a tenet of faith that whether God is omniscient or not, nothing interferes with mankind's free will. Some Jewish theologians, both during the medieval era and today, have attempted to formulate a philosophy in which free will is preserved, while also affirming that God has knowledge of what decisions people will make in the future. Whether or not these two ideas are mutually compatible, or whether there is a contradiction between the two, is still a matter of great study and interest in philosophy today.

Zoroastrianism

Predestination is rejected in Zoroastrian teaching.[63][64] Humans bear responsibility for all situations they are in, and in the way they act toward one another. Reward, punishment, happiness, and grief all depend on how individuals live their lives.[65]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Predestination", The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005. 13 Jun 2011 at Dictionary.com
  2. ^ Levering 2011, p. 15.
  3. ^ Levering 2011, p. 16.
  4. ^ Levering 2011, p. 17.
  5. ^ Levering 2011, p. 25.
  6. ^ Levering 2011, p. 29.
  7. ^ Levering 2011, p. 31.
  8. ^ Levering 2011, p. 32.
  9. ^ Levering 2011, p. 33.
  10. ^ Levering 2011, p. 38.
  11. ^ Levering 2011, p. 39–40.
  12. ^ Levering 2011, p. 44.
  13. ^ Levering 2011, p. 48-49.
  14. ^ Levering 2011, p. 47–48.
  15. ^ a b James 1998, p. 102.
  16. ^ Chadwick 1993, p. 232.
  17. ^ Chadwick 1993, p. 233.
  18. ^ Levering 2011, p. 37.
  19. ^ Levering 2011, p. 60.
  20. ^ a b Levering 2011, p. 70.
  21. ^ Levering 2011, p. 69.
  22. ^ Levering 2011, p. 74.
  23. ^ Levering 2011, p. 80.
  24. ^ Levering 2011, p. 78.
  25. ^ Levering 2011, p. 78–79.
  26. ^ Levering 2011, p. 88.
  27. ^ Levering 2011, p. 89.
  28. ^ Levering 2011, p. 102.
  29. ^ Levering 2011, p. 104.
  30. ^ Levering 2011, p. 105–106.
  31. ^ James 1998, p. 30; Trueman 1994, p. 69.
  32. ^ St. Theophan the Recluse, An Explanation of Certain Texts of Holy Scripture, as quoted in Johanna Manley's The Bible and the Holy Fathers for Orthodox: Daily Scripture Readings and Commentary for Orthodox Christians, pg. 609.
  33. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 1037
  34. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia entry on entry on Predestination
  35. ^ the encyclical Redemptoris Missio, chapter 1, section 10
  36. ^ Catechism of the Catholic Church, section 600
  37. ^ Augustine of Hippo. "In What Respects Predestination and Grace Differ". Anti Pelagian Writings. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  38. ^ Aquinas, Thomas. "Whether God Reprobates any Man". Summa Theologica. Retrieved 23 March 2013.
  39. ^ Table drawn, though not copied, from Lange, Lyle W. God So Loved the World: A Study of Christian Doctrine. Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 2006. p. 448.
  40. ^ Peterson, Robert A.; Michael D. Williams (2004). Why I am not an Arminian. Downers Grove, Illinois: Intervarsity Press. p. 132. ISBN 0-8308-3248-3.
  41. ^ Acts 13:48, Eph. 1:4–11, Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article 11, Election, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 585–9, section "The Doctrine of Eternal Election: 1. The Definition of the Term", and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 124–8, Part XXXI. "The Election of Grace", paragraph 176.
  42. ^ 2 Thess. 2:13, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 589–593, section "The Doctrine of Eternal Election: 2. How Believers are to Consider Their Election, and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 127–8, Part XXXI. "The Election of Grace", paragraph 180.
  43. ^ 1 Tim. 2:4, 2 Pet. 3:9, Epitome of the Formula of Concord, Article 11, Election, and Engelder's Popular Symbolics, Part XXXI. The Election of Grace, pp. 124–8.
  44. ^ Hos. 13:9, Mueller, J.T., Christian Dogmatics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. p. 637, section "The Doctrine of the Last Things (Eschatology), part 7. "Eternal Damnation", and Engelder, T.E.W., Popular Symbolics. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1934. pp. 135–6, Part XXXIX. "Eternal Death", paragraph 196.
  45. ^ "Gospel Topics: Foreordination", LDS.org, LDS Church, archived from the original on 7 December 2014
  46. ^ McConkie, Bruce R. (May 1974). "God Foreordains His Prophets and His People". Archived from the original on 7 December 2014.
  47. ^ "Agency". lds.org. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  48. ^ "Calvin, John. Institutes of the Christian Religion, (Henry Beveridge, trans.), III.21.5". Archived from the original on 29 August 2006. Retrieved 21 June 2006.
  49. ^ Westminster Confession of faith, Ch 3
  50. ^ Here, sub- is opposed to super- or supra- in a sense related to volition and/or necessity. Cf., for relapse of same origin, http://freedictionary.org/index.php?Query=relapse&database=%2A&strategy=exact : L. relapsus, p. p. of relabi to slip back, to relapse.
  51. ^ James 1998, p. 147.
  52. ^ James 1998, p. 30.
  53. ^ Trueman 1994, p. 69.
  54. ^ Calvin, John. Institutes of Christian Religion. Book Three, Chapter 3.
  55. ^ Brian Abasciano (25 October 2013). "The FACTS of Salvation: A Summary of Arminian Theology/the Biblical Doctrines of Grace". Society of Evengelical Arminians. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
  56. ^ J. M. Cowan (ed.) (1976). The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic. Wiesbaden, Germany: Spoken Language Services. ISBN 0-87950-001-8
  57. ^ "Qadar". missionislam.com.
  58. ^ "الجواب في مسألة القدر وشبهة الجبر والاختيار". eltwhed.com. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  59. ^ The Koran; Section 81, Verses 27-29
  60. ^ "موقع الإسلام سؤال وجواب - عربي - islamqa.info". islam-qa.com. Retrieved 29 November 2014.
  61. ^ Need of Religion, by Sayyid Sa'id Akhtar Rizvi, p. 14.
  62. ^ Abasciano, Brian. "The FACTS of Salvation: A Summary of Arminian Theology/the Biblical Doctrines of Grace". Society of Evangelical Arminians (The Facts of Salvation). Retrieved 13 June 2017.
  63. ^ Nicholas Campbell Corff (2012). 201 Billion Galaxies: And Other Religious Discoveries. Trafford Publishing. p. 301. ISBN 9781466962187.
  64. ^ Olsen, Brad (1 March 2014). Modern Esoteric: Beyond Our Senses. CCC Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 9781888729504.
  65. ^ Cavendish, Richard; Ling, Trevor Oswald (1980), Mythology: an Illustrated Encyclopedia, Rizzoli, pp. 40–45, ISBN 0847802868

Sources

Further reading

External links

4th AACTA Awards

The 4th Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards (generally known as AACTA Awards) are a series of awards which includes the 4th AACTA Awards Luncheon, the 4th AACTA Awards ceremony and the 4th AACTA International Awards. The former two events will be held at The Star Event Centre, in Sydney, New South Wales in late January 2015. Presented by the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA), the awards will celebrate the best in Australian feature film, television, documentary and short film productions of 2014. The AACTA Awards ceremony will be televised on Network Ten for the third year running. The 4th AACTA Awards are a continuum of the Australian Film Institute Awards (known as the AFI Awards), established in 1958 and presented until 2010 after which it was rebranded the AACTA Awards when the Australian Film Institute (AFI) established AACTA in 2011.The nominees were announced during a press conference on 2 December 2014 at The Star hotel in Sydney. Predestination and The Water Diviner received the most feature-film nominations with nine, earning a nomination in most of the categories, except for Best Sound. In television, The Code gained the most nominations with ten. Ukraine is Not a Brothel earned six nominations in the documentary field.

Akhirah

ʾĀkhirah (Arabic: الآخرة‎) is an Islamic term referring to the afterlife. It is repeatedly referenced in chapters of the Quran concerning the Last Judgment, an important part of Islamic eschatology. Traditionally, it is considered to be one of the six main beliefs of Muslims, the others including: Tawhid (unitarianism), belief in the angels, belief in the Revealed Books (Scrolls of Abraham, Tawrat, Zabur, Injil and Quran), belief in the prophets and messengers, and belief in predestination.

According to the Islamic beliefs, God will play the role of the qadi, weighing the deeds of each individual. He will decide whether that person's ʾākhirah lies in Jahannam (Hell) or Jannah (Heaven) on the basis of the weight of either good or bad deeds in comparison with one another. The judgment doesn't depend upon the amount of deeds as much as it does on the will behind the deed, deeds are judged on the basis of the will behind it.

Jannah and Jahannam both have various levels. The placement of a person may depend upon the extent of his or her good deeds. It is also said that God may forgive a sin against Himself but not against another.

According to Islam, death is not the end of the life, but it is a transferral from this world to everlasting world. With the withdrawal of the spirit from the body, the soul's life in the Barzakh begins until the Day of Resurrection. According to the deeds of the believer and disbeliever, their Barzakh differs.

Argument from free will

The argument from free will, also called the paradox of free will or theological fatalism, contends that omniscience and free will are incompatible and that any conception of God that incorporates both properties is therefore inherently contradictory. These arguments are deeply concerned with the implications of predestination.

Calvinism

Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism that follows the theological tradition and forms of Christian practice set down by John Calvin and other Reformation-era theologians.

Calvinists broke from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. Calvinists differ from Lutherans on the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, theories of worship, and the use of God's law for believers, among other things. As declared in the Westminster and Second Helvetic confessions, the core doctrines are predestination and election. The term Calvinism can be misleading, because the religious tradition which it denotes has always been diverse, with a wide range of influences rather than a single founder. In the context of the Reformation, Huldrych Zwingli began the Reformed tradition in 1519 in the city of Zürich. His followers were instantly labeled Zwinglians, consistent with the Catholic practice of naming heresy after its founder. Very soon, Zwingli was joined by Martin Bucer, Wolfgang Capito, William Farel, Johannes Oecolampadius and other early Reformed thinkers. The namesake of the movement, French reformer John Calvin, converted to the Reformed tradition from Roman Catholicism only in the late 1520s or early 1530s as it was already being developed. The movement was first called Calvinism, referring to John Calvin, by Lutherans who opposed it. Many within the tradition find it either an indescriptive or an inappropriate term and would prefer the word Reformed to be used instead. Some Calvinists prefer the term Augustinian-Calvinism since Calvin credited his theology to Augustine of Hippo. The most important Reformed theologians include John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, Martin Bucer, William Farel, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, Theodore Beza, and John Knox. In the twentieth century, Abraham Kuyper, Herman Bavinck, B. B. Warfield, J. Gresham Machen, Karl Barth, Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Cornelius Van Til, Gordon Clark, and R. C. Sproul were influential. Contemporary Reformed theologians include J. I. Packer, John MacArthur, Timothy J. Keller, David Wells, and Michael Horton.

Reformed churches may exercise several forms of ecclesiastical polity; most are presbyterian or congregationalist, though some are episcopalian. Calvinism is largely represented by Continental Reformed, Presbyterian, and Congregationalist traditions. The biggest Reformed association is the World Communion of Reformed Churches with more than 100 million members in 211 member denominations around the world. There are more conservative Reformed federations such as the World Reformed Fellowship and the International Conference of Reformed Churches, as well as independent churches.

Causal loop

A causal loop in the context of time travel or the causal structure of spacetime, is a sequence of events (actions, information, objects, people) in which an event is among the causes of another event, which in turn is among the causes of the first-mentioned event. Such causally-looped events then exist in spacetime, but their origin cannot be determined. A hypothetical example of a causality loop is given of a billiard ball striking its past self: the billiard ball moves in a path towards a time machine, and the future self of the billiard ball emerges from the time machine before its past self enters it, giving its past self a glancing blow, altering the past ball's path and causing it to enter the time machine at an angle that would cause its future self to strike its past self the very glancing blow that altered its path.

Films about intersex

Intersex, in humans and other animals, describes variations in sex characteristics including chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals that, according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, "do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies". Intersex is a part of nature and that is reflected in some representations of intersex in film and other media.

Gottschalk of Orbais

Gottschalk (Latin: Godescalc, Gotteschalchus) of Orbais (c. 808 – 30 October 867? AD) was a Saxon theologian, monk and poet who is best known for being an early advocate of the doctrine of two-fold predestination. From his friend Walahfrid Strabo, Gottschalk also received the nickname Fulgentius, after Fulgentius the Mythographer, whom he may have studied intensively.

Johannes Agricola in Meditation

"Johannes Agricola in Meditation" (1836) is an early dramatic monologue by Robert Browning. The poem was first published in the Monthly Repository; later, it appeared in Dramatic Lyrics (1842) paired with Porphyria's Lover under the title "Madhouse Cells."

Agricola's "meditations" serve primarily as a critique of antinomianism. The speaker believes in an extreme form of predestination, claiming that, since he's one of the elect, he can commit any sin without forfeiting his afterlife in heaven.

Laudianism

Laudianism was an early seventeenth-century reform movement within the Church of England, promulgated by Archbishop William Laud and his supporters. It rejected the predestination upheld by the previously dominant Calvinism in favour of free will, and hence the possibility of salvation for all men. It is probably best known for its impact on the Anglican High Church movement and its emphasis on liturgical ceremony and clerical hierarchy. Laudianism was the culmination of the move towards Arminianism in the Church of England, but was neither purely theological in nature, nor restricted to the English church.

Logical order of God's decrees

The logical order of God's decrees is the study in Calvinist theology of the logical order (in God's mind, before Creation) of the decree to ordain or allow the fall of man in relation to his decree to save some sinners (election) and condemn the others (reprobation). Several opposing positions have been proposed, all of which have names with the Latin root lapsus meaning fall.

On the Bondage of the Will

On the Bondage of the Will (Latin: De Servo Arbitrio, literally, "On Un-free Will", or "Concerning Bound Choice"), by Martin Luther, was published in December 1525. It was his reply to Desiderius Erasmus' De libero arbitrio diatribe sive collatio or On Free Will, which had appeared in September 1524 as Erasmus' first public attack on Luther after Erasmus had been wary about the methods of Luther for many years. At issue was whether human beings, after the Fall of Man, are free to choose good or evil. The debate between Luther and Erasmus is one of the earliest of the Reformation over the issue of free will and predestination.

Predestination (film)

Predestination is a 2014 Australian science fiction thriller film written and directed by Michael and Peter Spierig. The film stars Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, and Noah Taylor, and is based on the short story "—All You Zombies—" by Robert A. Heinlein.

Predestination in Calvinism

Predestination is a doctrine in Calvinism dealing with the question of the control that God exercises over the world. In the words of the Westminster Confession of Faith, God "freely and unchangeably ordained whatsoever comes to pass." The second use of the word "predestination" applies this to the salvation, and refers to the belief that God appointed the eternal destiny of some to salvation by grace, while leaving the remainder to receive eternal damnation for all their sins, even their original sin. The former is called "unconditional election", and the latter "reprobation". In Calvinism, people are predestined and effectually called in due time (regenerated/born again) to faith by God.

Calvinism places more emphasis on election than do other branches of Christianity.

Predestination in Islam

Qadar (Arabic: قدر‎, transliterated qadar, meaning "fate", "divine fore-ordainment", "predestination," but literally "power") is the concept of divine destiny in Islam. It is one of Islam's six articles of faith, along with belief in the Oneness of Allah, the Revealed Books, the Prophets of Islam, the Day of Resurrection and Angels. This concept has also been mentioned in the Quran as the "Decree" of Allah.

Qadariyah

Qadariyah (or Qadariya) is an originally derogatory term designating early Islamic theologians who asserted that humans possess free will, whose exercise makes them responsible for their actions, justifying divine punishment and absolving God of responsibility for evil in the world. Some of their doctrines were later adopted by the Mu'tazilis and rejected by the Ash'aris.Qadariya was one of the first philosophical schools in Islam. The earliest document associated with the movement is the Risala by Hasan al-Basri, which was composed between 75/694 and 80/699, though debates about free will in Islam probably predate this text.According to Sunni sources, the Qadariyah were censured by Muhammad himself by being compared to Zoroastrians, who likewise deny predestination. It is reported in Sunan Abu Dawood:

Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar: The Prophet said, "The Qadariyyah are the Magians of this community. If they are ill, do not pay a sick visit to them, and if they die, do not attend their funerals."

Sarah Snook

Sarah Snook (born 28 July 1987) is an Australian actress. She is known for her roles in the films Sisters of War (2010), Not Suitable for Children (2012), These Final Hours (2013), Predestination (2014), The Dressmaker (2015), and Steve Jobs (2015). For Predestination, she won the AACTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role. In 2018, she began starring in the HBO black comedy series Succession.

Theology of John Calvin

The theology of John Calvin has been influential in both the development of the system of belief now known as Calvinism and in Protestant thought more generally.

The Encyclopedia of Christianity suggests that:

His theological importance is tied to the attempted systematization of the Christian doctrine. In the doctrine of predestination; in his simple, eschatologically grounded distinction between an immanent and a transcendent eternal work of salvation, resting on Christology and the sacraments; and in his emphasis upon the work of the Holy Spirit in producing the obedience of faith in the regenerate (the tertius usus legis, or so-called third use of the law), he elaborated the orthodoxy that would have a lasting impact on Reformed theology.

Time travel in fiction

Time travel is a common theme in fiction and has been depicted in a variety of media, such as literature, television, film, and advertisements.The concept of time travel by mechanical means was popularized in H. G. Wells' 1895 story, The Time Machine. In general, time travel stories focus on the consequences of traveling into the past or the future. The central premise for these stories oftentimes involves changing history, either intentionally or by accident, and the ways by which altering the past changes the future and creates an altered present or future for the time traveler when they return home. Some stories focus solely on the paradoxes and alternate timelines that come with time travel, rather than time traveling itself. They often provide some sort of social commentary, as time travel provides a "necessary distancing effect" that allows science fiction to address contemporary issues in metaphorical ways.Time travel in modern fiction is sometimes achieved by space and time warps, stemming from the scientific theory of general relativity. Stories from antiquity often featured time travel into the future through a time slip brought on by traveling or sleeping, or in other cases, time travel into the past through supernatural means, for example brought on by angels or spirits.

Unconditional election

Unconditional election (also known as unconditional grace) is a Reformed doctrine relating to Predestination that describes the actions and motives of God in eternity past, before He created the world, where he predestinated some people to receive salvation, the elect, and the rest he left to continue in their sins and receive the just punishment, eternal damnation, for their transgressions of God's law as outlined in the old and new Testaments of the Bible. God made these choices according to his own purposes apart from any conditions or qualities related to those persons.The counter-view to unconditional election is conditional election, the belief that God chooses for eternal salvation those whom he foreknows will exercise their free will to respond to God's prevenient grace with faith in Christ.

Early Lutheran controversies
General terms and concepts
Time travel in fiction
Temporal paradoxes
Parallel timelines
Philosophy of space and time
Spacetimes in general relativity that
can contain closed timelike curves

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