I think this line needs more explanation:
- Predestination is a belief held by by Calvinists ; according to Calvinists, God's decision is totally arbitrary yet completely just; he does not base his decision on what people have done or will do in the future.
It should elaborate on exactly what God does base his decision on, if that's known. Is it original sin? Or genuinely arbitrary as far as any human can tell? As it stands, Calvinists are left wide open to the charge that, if they're right, then God is extremely unjust for damning people to Hell whether or not they're guilty of anything at all. It would also appear to eliminate any reason for a person to do good rather than evil, if their choices in this life have no bearing whatever on future outcomes. I know there's more to the Calvinist position than this; someone better versed in it ought to flesh this out. --Wesley
Hmmm... this is my first visit to this page. It does need some work, doesn't it? I'll see if I can talk my some of my Calvinist theologian friends to do something with it. --STG
I'm no Calvinist, but I think the line above is pretty accurate. They're not left wide open to the charge that "God is extremely unjust for damning people to Hell whether or not they're guilty of anything at all", because they say that everyone deserves to be damned to Hell and everyone is guilty -- its just that God, rather than damn them all, arbitrarily chose a few to save instead, even though they did absolutely nothing to deserve it and where in no way in themselves any better than those who he damned. -- SJK
Ok... then God is just, but loves some people but not all people, or some people more than others, since he only chose to save some, or is limited in his mercy, or is only able to save some people. It still depicts God as someone I'm not sure I really want to love and worship, both because he doesn't seem to be all good, and because it doesn't matter at this stage whether I choose to love him or not. Predestination does horrible damage to Christianity in this way. But perhaps there's a better way to formulate it, since I know the arguments I just made are not in the least bit original. --Wesley, a sinner
I once heard someone say that the word 'predestined' is written on the inside of heaven's gate, not on the outside, meaning that the concept of predestination is a mystery only God fully understands, but that man's responsibility is to react to the call of God to repent and enter into a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ. I suppose that's how many protestants and evangelicals see it, too. -- TK
Wesley: I know it doesn't sound nice, but I'm pretty sure "God loves some people more than others" is a pretty accurate rendition of the Calvinist position. (Are there any Calvinist theologians out there to confirm this?) -- SJK