The Doctrine of Predestination Essay

The Doctrine of Predestination Essay

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The Doctrine of Predestination
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”1 Arguably, this verse from Genesis is one of the most well known verses in the Bible aside from John 3:16. It is a universal Christian belief that God created the world and all of its inhabitants, making Him all-powerful. As Christians recognize God’s omnipotence, they also acknowledge that God is all-knowing. Although Christians in general recognize God’s omniscience, there is internal debate regarding how far this omniscience goes, specifically in regards to the doctrine of predestination and election. According to A Handbook of Christian Theology, written by Arthur A. Cohen and Marvin Halverson, predestination is defined as “a Christian theological doctrine developed commonly on the basis of the Old Testament conception of an elect people and the teaching... that God continues to redeem HIs people by choosing individuals to receive the gift of faith in Christ.”2 The understanding of this doctrine and the Biblical references in which it is mentioned vary greatly in the Christian community, but ultimately there are two major understandings named after two great Christian leaders, Calvanism, named after John Calvin, a French theologian who lived during the Protestant Reformation and was an incredibly influential pastor, and Arminianism, named after Jacobus Arminius, which was the Latinized name of the Dutch theologian Jakob Hermanszoon who also lived during the time of the Protestant Reformation.3 These two men were extremely influential in forming two of the leading Christian views of the doctrine of predestination. Generally, Calvin’s view leaned more towards the idea that the salvation of human beings is ultimately decided upon by God by...

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...ould ultimately reject Him. I believe that the death of Christ covered all sins and all people and that it is our choice to ultimately choose or reject this gift. I agree with the point made by Peter Laitres in his article that “believers need to spend much more time in THE Word of God, rather than reading and following men and books ABOUT the Word of God.”21 Ultimately, we are flawed beings with limited understanding. I remind myself constantly that God is totally outside of my understanding. He is outside of time, outside of gender, outside of everything that we can understand. Predestination is something that I feel we will not fully understand until we come face to face with God and until that happens, we should only focus on loving God and loving others instead of creating petty rivalry over certain doctrines which are agreed upon as unessential for salvation.

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