Luther and Calvin; Predestination

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In Loraine Boettner’s book The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination Boettner describes predestination as; “Predestination teaches that from eternity God has had one unified plan or purpose which he is bringing to perfection through this world order of events.” (Pg. 205) Luther strongly agrees with predestination. In The Bondage of Will Luther states “So that neither is there here any willingness, or "Free-will," to turn itself into another direction, or to desire any thing else, while the influence of the Spirit and grace of God remain in the man.” (Section XXV) Luther believes that free will cannot exist because either we are a slave to evil/original sin or we are compelled towards good by God’s grace. This compelling nature of grace or sin is what drives Luther’s belief in predestination, “For if we believe it to be true, that God fore-knows and fore-ordains all things; that He can be neither deceived nor hindered in His Prescience and Predestination; and that nothing can take place but according to His Will, (which reason herself is compelled to confess;) then, even according to the testimony of reason herself, there can be no "Free-will" - in man, - in angel, - or in any creature!” (Sec. CLXVII) Luther believes that God cannot have free will in order to maintain his foreknowledge and predestination of events. Calvin agrees with predestination based on Gods foreknowledge. In Institutes of Religion Calvin states “We, indeed, ascribe both prescience and predestination to God; but we say, that it is absurd to make the latter subordinate to the former. When we attribute prescience to God, we mean that all things always were, and ever continue, under his eye; that to his knowledge there is no past or future, but all things are prese... ... middle of paper ... ...estination of our lives is directly collated with his power and foreknowledge and does not mean that Christ’s sacrifice and the sacraments become useless, only a piece of the plan. Works Cited Boettner, Loraine. The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1936. Print. Moffat, James. Predestination. New York: Loizeaux, n.d. Print. Hillerbrand, Hans Joachim. The Protestant Reformation. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. Print. Erasmus, Desiderius, and Martin Luther. Discourse on Free Will. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2013. Print. McNeill, John T., and Ford Lewis Tr. Battles. Calvin: Institutes of the Christian Religion. Phil.: Westminster, 1960. Print. Neal, Gregory S., Rev. "John Calvin: The Church and Predestination." (1997): n. Print. Luther, Martin, J. I. Packer, and O. R. Johnston. The Bondage of the Will. Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1957. Print.

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