Christian History Institute

Sharing our story of faith across the ages

Articles tagged with predestination


14 Nov 2016

United with Christ in eternity and at the table

by Raymond A. Blacketer | Issue 120

Calvin memorial

IF I SAY LUTHER, you say “95 Theses .” If I say Zwingli, you say “sausage in Lent.” And if I say Calvin, you say “predestination!” Predestination is a biblical theme and a perennial topic of Christian theology: how God’s sovereignty interacts with our free will. It was not something Calvin invented. Why has his name become so closely tied to the doctrine? 

[Calvin memorial]

amazing grace, how sweet the sound. . .

Some theologians throughout church history, like Augustine, have considered salvation the work of God alone creating faith and...

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14 Feb 2002

A Taste of Thomas

by Thomas Acquinas | Issue 73

Objection 1:  It seems that predestination cannot be furthered by the prayers of the saints. For nothing eternal can be preceded by anything temporal; and in consequence nothing temporal can help towards making something else eternal. But predestination is eternal . . .

Objection 2:  Further, as there is no need of advice except on account of defective knowledge, so there is no need of help except through defective power. But neither of these things can be said of God when He predestines. Whence it is said: “Who hath helped the Spirit of the...

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31 Aug 2000


by David Allen | Issue 67

THE VERBAL BATTLE between Augustine and Pelagius raged for a full 25 years before the final condemnation of the latter’s views at the Council of Ephesus in 431. Though Augustine’s views triumphed, not everyone was happy with the outcome.

In Provence, an area of southern France, a group of monks who had all spent time in the important monastery on the Isle of Lérins (opposite the modern resort of Cannes) set about correcting what they saw as the extremism of both Pelagius and Augustine.

John Cassian (360–433), while visiting Egypt to learn...

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31 Aug 1987

Augustine on Astrology

by Augustine of Hippo | Issue 15

FROM THE LOOKS of many modern publications, the ancient “art” of astrology is still very much alive and well—there’s apparently something about the stars that still attracts human attention and superstition as much as it did the young Augustine.

But by the time he was older, his great mind had moved far from trusting in the stars, and had formulated some classic arguments against the validity of planning your life by horoscope.

In his youth, certainly, during his pre-conversion search for truth, he like many others of his age had eagerly...

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30 Nov 1986

It Was Both A Horrible Decree and Very Sweet Fruit

by Frank James III | Issue 12

WHAT WAS RUNNING THROUGH JOHN CALVIN’S MIND as he contemplated the doctrine of predestination? Was he locked in a trance, eyes rolled back, imagining a somber God lurking in the mists of eternity, arbitrarily picking and choosing who would be saved and who would be damned?

No, Calvin’s thoughts about predestination did not originate with morbid and abstract speculations, as some might suppose, but with a pastor’s concern for the people who filled the pews of his church every Sunday. As a pastor, Calvin noticed that people responded...

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