Disbelieving the Predestinarian God

by Fr Alvin Kimel

It was just a routine medical procedure, one that is encouraged for all who reach my “advanced” age. Yet the pre-surgical instruction contained this warning: “It is extremely rare, but death remains a remote possibility.” And so the morning of the procedure I privately offered to God my confession and asked for his forgiveness. When the anesthesiologist asked me to take five deep breaths, I recited to God the prayer of my Lord: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.” And I fell asleep.

No fear. No apprehension. No concern that I might awaken to find myself in Hell or even in one of the horrifying medieval visions of purgatorial fire. None of the terrors that Protestant apologists tell me that we Catholics should and must experience because of our theological understanding of justification, final judgment according to works, purgatory, indulgences, and the temporal penalties of sin. Certainly I am under no illusion that I am too good a person to be damned. My need for both infinite mercy and radical sanctification is all too apparent, both to myself and to all who know me.

Miserere mei, Deus, secundum magnam misericordiam tuam.

I am a sinner, a man who struggles with disbelief, selfishness, and evil every moment of his waking existence. I know my unworthiness, and the despair of unworthiness, too well; yet as I contemplated my possible, albeit unlikely, death, I became very much aware that I do not dread the final judgment. Perhaps I should. Perhaps I will when my death seems imminent. But on that day of surgery I did not. At this moment I do not.

I do not because of who I believe God to be.

And I do not because of who I do not believe God to be.

I do not believe God to be the absolute predestinarian of Augustine, Calvin, Beza, and Bañez. I do not believe God to be a God who has eternally decreed, before prevision of irrevocable rejection of divine love and forgiveness, the eternal salvation of some and the eternal reprobation of the rest. I am convinced that for all of his greatness, St Augustine went tragically astray on this matter of predestination and that his theory has had pernicious repercussions on the spiritual lives of Western Christians. The theory of absolute predestination calls into question, at the most fundamental level, the identity and character of God as revealed in Jesus Christ.

I realize the sweeping nature of this judgment. To those who disagree, all I can say is go back and reread the New Testament. If you still disagree, then consider what it means for God to be an eternal trinitarian community of absolute and infinite love. Consider what it means that the eternal Son of God should assume human nature, should bear the sins of humanity unto suffering and death, should rise again as the New Adam and ascend to the right hand of the Father. And then go back and reread the New Testament.

The God and Father of Jesus Christ intends the eternal salvation of every human being he has made and will make, without exception. If God did not die on the cross for the sins of mankind, then he does not truly desire “all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” and the Apostle Paul is made a liar (1 Tim 2:4). If God has unconditionally reprobated just one person, then God is not absolute love. If God has chosen to rescue from the damnable mass of humanity only some but not all, then he is not Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I have heard all the counter-arguments. I have read the predestinarian exegesis of the controverted biblical texts. I have listened to the rhetoric about how God is glorified by the reprobation of the ungodly, that his decision to elect some but “pass over” the rest must be truly just, though we cannot presently fathom its justice. Not only am I not persuaded but I am offended to the core of my being. John Wesley described the doctrine of absolute predestination as blasphemy, and surely that is what it is:

Such blasphemy this, as one would think might make the ears of a Christian to tingle! But there is yet more behind; for just as it honours the Son, so doth this doctrine honour the Father. It destroys all his attributes at once: It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust. More false; because the devil, liar as he is, hath never said, “He willeth all men to be saved:” More unjust; because the devil cannot, if he would, be guilty of such injustice as you ascribe to God, when you say that God condemned millions of souls to everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, for continuing in sin, which, for want of that grace he will not give them, they cannot avoid: And more cruel; because that unhappy spirit “seeketh rest and findeth none;” so that his own restless misery is a kind of temptation to him to tempt others. But God resteth in his high and holy place; so that to suppose him, of his own mere motion, of his pure will and pleasure, happy as he is, to doom his creatures, whether they will or no, to endless misery, is to impute such cruelty to him as we cannot impute even to the great enemy of God and man. It is to represent the high God (he that hath ears to hear let him hear!) as more cruel, false, and unjust than the devil!

Why do Western Christians fear God? Might not it be because the God who saves and damns in absolute, inscrutable determination still haunts our imaginations? When confronted with such a deity, we will always urgently ask the question “How can I get a gracious God?” Hidden deep below all conscious thought lies the knowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, God has abandoned us, abandoned “me,” unto perdition. And so God himself becomes our enemy. The holy Creator becomes Satan!

But even if the hard predestinarianism is pushed into the theological and homiletical background, it continues to do its insidious work. If we are unsure, even to the tiniest degree, that God wills the good of every human being—if “I” am uncertain that he wills “my” good—then we must find ways to negotiate with him. Hence the rise of that quid pro quo transactionalism that often characterized late medieval spirituality and church life, against which Martin Luther so powerfully protested. To what extent does this transactionalism still shape the spiritual lives of Catholics and Protestants today?

I know that I traduce the vast theological work of St Augustine. Augustine speaks profoundly of the love and mercy of God throughout his homilies and tractates. In his De Trinitate he brilliantly unfolds the mystery of the triune God who is infinite love. But the controversy with the Pelagians forced him to subtly divorce love and grace. Augustine did not explicitly draw the conclusion of double predestination, yet how close he came. Driven by the logic of irresistible grace, he found himself incapable of affirming the universality of the salvific will of the Creator. But for anyone of sensitive conscience, the fine distinction between reprobation and preterition hardly matters. The damage is done. Both positions call into question the truth and reality of God’s love for the individual sinner. Am I the object of divine love or divine hatred?

There are many days, too many days, when I do not know if I believe in God, when I do not know if God exists. But I do know whom I struggle to believe. He is the God made known in Jesus Christ. He is the God who is a holy communion of absolute love and gladness. He is the God who searches for the one lost sheep and upon finding it hoists it upon his shoulder and restores it to the flock. He is the God who turns his house upside down until he finds the one silver coin he has lost. He is the God who was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our inquities; by his stripes we are healed. This is the only God worthy of our belief. This is the only God deserving of our faith and adoration. In the words of Hans Urs von Balthsar:

Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed. This is the achievement, the “work” of faith: to recognize this absolute prius, which nothing else can surpass; to believe that there is such a thing as love, absolute love, and that there is nothing higher or greater than it; to believe against all the evidence of experience (“credere contra fidem” like “sperare contra spem“), against every “rational” concept of God, which things of him in terms of impassibility or, at best, totally pure goodness, but not in terms of this inconceivable and senseless act of love.

I do not fear the God who is Holy Trinity. I fear my own freedom to turn from this God, to hide myself in an impenetrable egotism and despair which will forever close me to the roar of his love. I fear that my self-will will ultimately triumph over my desire for the supreme and ultimate Good. I fear that I am becoming, have become, a person who declares to infinite Love, “My will, not thine, be done.” I fear also the purifying suffering that I must endure, both in this life and beyond, to free me from my bondage to self and the goods of this world. But I do not fear the God of Jesus Christ. I know that if God does truly exist, then at the moment of my death he will meet me as the Crucified, still bearing the marks of his sacrifice on his hands. Judge and Judged, Priest and Victim, absolver of sins and victor over death—to this Jesus I entrust my future; to his Father I commend my spirit. Amen.

~ by Fr Aidan Kimel on 15 December 2007.

64 Responses to “Disbelieving the Predestinarian God”

  1. Beautifully raw. Fr. Al, thank yoy.

  2. Amen. Amen. Amen. There is no other God. Thank you, Fr. Alvin.

  3. [...] here for the whole [...]

  4. Thank you father, I truly needed this.

  5. [...] 16, 2007 by kevinburt Disbelieving the Predestinarian God — by  Fr. Al [...]

  6. [...] Fr. Alvin Kimel’s latest post on [...]

  7. Father, bless.

    When you wrote, “Hidden deep below all conscious thought lies the knowledge that perhaps, just perhaps, God has abandoned us, abandoned “me,” unto perdition,” you accurately described an agonizing dilemma that once caused me great confusion and nearly cost me my faith.

    Thank you so much for this excellent post. And welcome back.

    W.H.

  8. Amen! Indeed it comes down to this in the end.

    Adjutorium nostrum in nomine Domini / Qui fecit coelum et terram.

  9. Wow. Amen, indeed. God desires to save us infinitely more than we ourselves are capable of desiring to be saved.

  10. amen!
    Glad to see you post!
    I am very glad to have had lunch with you @ Fordham! I pray all is well!

  11. Bless,

    As always a great read. I look forward to more!

    “Fear is the beginning of wisdom”

    “Fear Him who is able to destroy body and soul in hell”

    Fear can be a good thing and is necessary part in our spiritual journey home. When someone acquires fear, you can be sure he has some faith. You can not fear what you do not in a deep way believe to exist. A person, that has the fear of God, not only believes in God, but is motivated by that fear to fulfill the commandments of God.

    The fathers talk of three types of motivations to fulfill the commandments: (1) fear of punishment, as represented by the slave who fulfills the masters will out of fear of punishment (2) hope for reward, as represented by the hired servant who seeks a payment for his services (3) love of God, as represented by the son who fulfills the commandments of his father out of love for his father.

    St. Anthony says, “I no longer fear God, but I love Him.”

    The problem is not that God does not love us, but that we do not love God. We know this, because we don’t keep His commandments. We know this, because we crucified Him.

    Therefore, I would suggest that fear is the beginning of our spiritual journey. This fear motivates us to fulfill the commandments (that is to participate in the suffering of Jesus). When we fulfill the commandments we begin to come to a meaningful knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (because we imitate Christ). It is this knowledge that engenders love of God, because like God, we love.

    Your statements about fear are peripheral to your main point that God is love and that predestination is inconsistent with God’s character. On this point I could not agree with you more.

    Seeking your prayers, Marc K.

  12. If predestiny, as hardlined and outlined by the guys you mention like Calvin, if predestiny does exist, then what is the point of Christ’s death? Pointlessness? No!!! Predestiny in their view cannot and does not work, it sounds like the works of ancient Mesoptamian and Greek religion.

    However, I know of people who call what they believe predestiny, in that those in their lifetime believe in and obey Jesus will be predetermined (lest they falter along the way) reach onto heaven; those who fail shall be predetermined for hell, unless they hear God’s calling. That is the nutshell I was given.

    Me? I don’t believe in anything with the root “destiny” in it. I believe that a Will exists, the general Plan for life, but each man has his own freedom to choose as he wants, but that there are both karmic (you can substitute “spiritual” here) and physical consequences for those actions.

  13. I appreciate your thoughts and struggles with this doctrine. It is something that I have often struggled with. Yet it is also one to which I cannot claim I know one way or the other. The reason that I am scared to go the direction you have gone; to take the ultimate responsibility of our salvation out of God’s hands and to put it in ours by removing the doctrine of predestination, is that I am not strong enough to hold onto that salvation. If God has not chosen me and drawn me to him with his irresistible grace, then I am worried that my doubts will be strong enough to overcome my faith. If, however, my salvation rests not in my hands but in the hands which have been pierced for my transgressions, I can rest assured that nothing will separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus my Lord.

    I pray that God will continue to bless you and give you peace of mind as you seek him.

  14. May your posts increase!

  15. Fr. Alvin,

    Help me out. I don’t understand Wesley’s quote as it appears here. Shouldn’t it read “dishonour?” What am I confusing?

    “Such blasphemy this, as one would think might make the ears of a Christian to tingle! But there is yet more behind; for just as it honours the Son, so doth this doctrine honour the Father.”

  16. I am very grateful Fr. Kimel for your post. Perhaps six or seven years ago I was led out of such beliefs as you here criticize by the writings of George MacDonald. From him I learned that God is good and loving, and that goodness and love is unqualified. This is truly “good news”, the revelation of Jesus Christ. “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

    “Rather than believe such ugly folly of Him whose very name is enough to make those that know Him heave the breath of the hart panting for the waterbrooks; rather than think of Him what in a man would make me avoid him at the risk of my life, I would say, ‘There is no God; let us neither eat nor drink, that we may die! For lo, this is not our God! This is not He for whom we have waited!’ But I have seen his face and heard his voice in the face and the voice of Jesus Christ; and I say this is our God, the very one whose being the Creator makes it an infinite gladness to be the created.” from “Justice” in “Unspoken Sermons” by George MacDonald

  17. Glad to see you’re posting again

  18. If God truly wanted perfection, he would not have created man. He relishes in our difference and waits to see what his garden will produce next. Death is not an ending but just a change. To fear death is to fear to live because we would not exist without either. I have died and come back with a peace that is most welcome. I am not afraid to die, I wait with wonder for the next step on my journey. If I am not to see the face of God, no matter. I have had my gifts and would not have otherwise.

  19. I just do not understand why someone would conclude that grace is irresistable. Isn’t one’s own experience rather: resisting the Holy Spirit is the norm rather than the exception? Hence, given that I know less about the Father than the Son and less about the Son than the Spirit, I guess I must be misunderstanding what is meant by irresistable grace by those who promote that doctrine.

  20. While I will say that I disagree with you theologically, for I am a strong believer in predestination, the perseverence of the saints, etc., etc., I agree with your sentiments. Unlike the terror you describe being instilled by the doctrines of grace, they are of great comfort to me. I know that my salvation is not dependant on my performance, but on God’s grace. I too fail too often, but I know that I server a God who is “faithful and just” to always forgive me. I also can look back at my life and see that while I was running from God with all my might, his grace would not let me go, and he brought me home. This is comforting. “Whosoever will” still holds true, and I am a strong believer in evangelism. No one who desires God will be excluded from salvation. No one will be left in the cold while their heart cries out for mercy. God saves all those who come to him.

    At any rate, while I would be glad to discuss them, I am not here to quibble over doctrinal differences. I’m sure we are polar opposites on many issues, as I am more reformed in theology. However, I share your common love for the Lord, and I strongly believe that if you love Christ and place your faith in his finished work alone for salvation, I can call you brother. If you have a free moment, you might like to check out my Christianity related blog, Always Ready: http://alwaysready.wordpress.com

  21. Pontificator,

    Amen indeed.

    Regards,
    Nathan

  22. Your post is a balm to this spirit that has been wounded for many years by those horrible doubts about the nature of salvation. And your honesty is refreshing. We all doubt at times, and I continue daily with this simple prayer: Lord, let me believe, so that I might understand.

    Blessings.

    Rem

  23. Thanks be to God, Father Al. And welcome back to the blog, even if it is for a single posting! You have been missed very much.

  24. An excellent post, thank you for for writing it. I am also very pleased to see you posting again.

    ICXC
    John

  25. http://mliccione.blogspot.com/2007/12/advent-discipline-right-atheism.html

  26. Thank you, Father, for this excellent post. Truly, as Fr Stephen said, there is no other God than the God Who died upon the Cross. Glory to Jesus Christ forever!

  27. Very good to see your thoughts in cyberspace again!!!
    Thomas Kevin

  28. What do you mean by ‘fear’?

  29. Thank you. This was helpful.

  30. Add me to the list of those thrilled to see you posting again, and hoping strongly that you will continue to do so in the future. Also add me to the list of those firmly convinced of every point you make–save one.

    You write: “I do not fear the God who is Holy Trinity.” Yet we are told that the “fear of God”–not just the fear of our own failings or ability to apostatize or the possibility of purgatory–“is the beginning of wisdom.” Assuming, as I am, that you are treating “fear” in your statement above as something different from the “fear” of the Lord praised in Scripture (and in much of the tradition of the Church), how would you distinguish between these two meanings?

  31. Well said…..thanks!

  32. You’ve given voice to that which many feel but cannot articulate so well. Bravo!

  33. Thank for the post. Louis Bouyer’s Spirit and Forms of Protestantism gives a philosophical explanation of how Protestantism got it wrong on predestination. Also, Stanley Haurewas’ Naming the Silences, was very helpful to me in leaving behind belief in the predestinarian god and coming to peace with suffering in my own life. I do believe predestination can be most harmful to those struggling for hope.

  34. My apologies to all who have been waiting for their comments to be approved. I didn’t realize that moderation was on and so did not check the moderation queue until I was alerted this morning by someone who was waiting for his comment to appear.

  35. Mary, I too noticed the strange use of “honour.” If the text is accurate, and it appears to be, then I can only assume that the word had a wider semantic range during the 18th century.

  36. Thank you, Fr. Alvin, for responding. Without hearing from you for a couple of days, I poured over the text again and again. Finally I came to the conclusion that it did make sense in the ironical, almost sarcastic. The heresy of double predestination honors the Holy Trinity by destroying “… all his attributes at once: It overturns both his justice, mercy, and truth; yea, it represents the most holy God as worse than the devil, as both more false, more cruel, and more unjust.”

    How subtle of Wesley to have treated Calvin’s monstrous Christology in such a way that it damns itself so demonstrably!

    Is this how you read it?

  37. We must be free to love in order to love God authentically.

  38. Father Bless,
    As a former Calvinist I say Amen. As an Eastern Catholic I find great comfort in the same God you now do! When I thought about God as a Calvinist I almost hated him. When I became Catholic it was a relief!

  39. I have missed you, Fr. Al; and I appreciate this post.

    I have determined to express only one opinion about predestination vs human freedom: any theory that rationally explains both is wrong.

    Many years and blessings to you, Father.

  40. This is so helpful because I’ve often worried about not fearing hell and damnation, for I know that I am a sinner. Knowing this, why do I not fear God’s wrath? You have hit upon it! Because I know God’s grace and receive it humbly and eagerly through Jesus Christ. God bless you, Father Al.

  41. Question: If God has predestined all to salvation as Gregory of Nyssa taught, then predestination is a wholly happy affair. Has the Catholic Church definitively ruled out the kind of universalism that Gregory taught? Some Orthodox thinkers like Ware and some Catholics like Rahner and Von Balthasar seem open to the possibility of the same.

  42. Joel, the claim that all will most certainly be saved was condemned by the fifth ecumenical council. However, many Catholics believe that it is proper to pray and hope for the salvation of all. There is a critical difference between certainty and hope.

  43. Just wanted to say it is a joy to see you post again (it’s been too long!) and to wish you a Merry Christmas!

  44. Joel, as Fr. Al Kimel has responded, there is a critical difference between certainty and hope. Like the above, I too am opened to a notion that all will be saved. Whether it is true remains to be revealed; still, our Faith mustn’t be contingent on such doctrines of adjudicating who is and who is not to be saved. C.S. Lewis eloquently wrote concerning this in the Great Divorce.

  45. Great post!!!

    Merry Christmas!

  46. Fr Kimel,

    An excellent post. I have linked to it on my blog.

  47. [...] Psychologically it is interesting to me that in theology and philosophy this kind of thing happens quite often, especially if you are Orthodox. Make a criticism of Augustine, and you are labeled a pariah, an ignoramous and your mother was a hampster. But if you’re Catholic, well then, things are much different! This seems to be the case over at Kimel’s blog at his most recent post. [...]

  48. trackback

    http://energeticprocession.wordpress.com/2007/12/27/windows-95-mac-86/

  49. Fr. Alvin,

    I certainly do appreciate the sentiments expressed here. I don’t think I am entirely on board with you, but I think your concerns highlight the fact that the doctrine of predestination has to be handled with great care. As article 17 in the 39 articles tells us, this teaching can easily be abused to the hurt of souls, and you are rightly sensitive to the danger.

    To me, the main point of predestination is simply to remind us that our being in Christ is not of our own doing, but is rooted in his benevolent sovereignty. We are not the captains of our own souls, but are dependent on his ordering of the economy of grace. I recognize there is a tension between the gospel assurances of God’s universal love, and the mystery of predestination, but I believe both have to be held in tension, because both are founded on Holy Scripture, and included in the range of testimony of saintly divines in the catholic church. So long as I am baptized into Christ’s body, and am availing myself of the means of grace through the Word, prayer, and Eucharist, I have no reason to doubt that I am in that state of grace belonging to God’s elect people. I don’t feel like I have to understand the mysteries of the outworking of his purposes to have that assurance.

  50. The “Energetic Procession” fella is claiming that he argued the same points “years ago” and was lambasted by RC’s who now seem to agree with Fr. Kimmel.
    Is this true?
    And…can someone respond to his charge that, somehow, the Scholastics approved of a type of predestination?

  51. Aquinas’ passage on predestination is translated here: http://www.newadvent.org/summa/1023.htm

    To read the text, it looks like you can squeeze it and get some pretty strong Calvin-juice. I’m sure someone more clever can I can read the part on reprobation to avoid the crazy of double-predestination, but it reads as very strongly predestinarian:

    ‘God loves all men and all creatures, inasmuch as He wishes them all some good; but He does not wish every good to them all. So far, therefore, as He does not wish this particular good–namely, eternal life–He is said to hate or reprobated them.’

    However, while in Aquinas’ view reprobation means that a person ‘cannot acquire grace,’ it does not mean that that person’s sins are caused by God’s reprobating them. That said: ‘[Reprobation] is the cause, however, of what is assigned in the future–namely, eternal punishment.’

    Is Scotus online somewhere?

  52. The writings of Fr William Most may be of interest, especially for Catholics:

    Predestination

    Was St Thomas a Thomist?

    Grace, Predestination and the Salvific Will of God

  53. Fwiw, this post has stirred my thinking a bit, and I’ve put down a few thoughts over at evangelicalcatholicity.wordpress.com .

  54. Pontificator and Nekliw, thanks for your most kind clarifications.

  55. Ol’ Energetic Procession’s having a right bee in his bonnet regarding this post.
    I’m surprised, but not much, at how virulent the comments there are.
    And I’m not surprised at how irenic the comments are here.

  56. Evagrius,

    Virulent? I think you read into the criticisms of ideas a personal assualt that just isn’t there. Irenecism is hardly the mark of truth. Read some Saint Cyril for instance. In any case, your comments essentially dismiss the problem since they deal with perceived attitudes rather than engage the arguments and so seem to miss the mark.

  57. I’ve never read a personal “assualt” into anything.

    And I stand by my remark. Cyrill could have changed history had he had a more irenic tone, one that still insisted on the truth but with less venom….but that’s perhaps his great fault.

  58. > I appreciate your thoughts and struggles with this doctrine. It
    > is something that I have often struggled with. Yet it is also
    > one to which I cannot claim I know one way or the other. The
    > reason that I am scared to go the direction you have gone; to
    > take the ultimate responsibility of our salvation out of God’s
    > hands and to put it in ours by removing the doctrine of
    > predestination, is that I am not strong enough to hold onto that
    > salvation.

    Pastor Chad: If you’re right to be afraid, and God has not chosen you, does it matter? It doesn’t matter!

    Blessed Nativity,
    luke

  59. Pastor Chad,

    Synergy doesn’t require that it be an all or nothing deal. It also requires a change in one’s view of human nature and the imago dei. THe Calvinistic move is to first create ADam with nature as grace and then in order to stave off works righteousness at the fall it has to completely remove any positive power or value from human nature. This is why Calvinist anthropology isn’t Augustinian anthropology. Since Augustine thinks that grace is added to nature, implying that nature is still intrinsically good.

  60. I appreciated your putting the very Catholic Dominican, Domingo Banez, into your list. Although at times I waver and am inclined to agree with your position against St. Augustine, it is important to note, as you have, that this issue is not really a Protestant-Catholic issue. Molinists like, well, Molina and Thomists like Banez (whether Thomas was one or not!) have been permitted to hold their mutually exclusive doctrinal positions without fear of condemnation as heretics. Calvin’s position is only heretical (if he ever really held it) because he denied the compatibility of the very, very strong view of Providence held by Thomas and human free will, though most of Calvin’s followers believed him to speak somewhat sloppily on this matter. For the Thomists, God’s grace is infallible in its effect though it is not technically irresistible. God infallibly moves us in a way suitable to our nature, not like irrational animals or rocks. Nevertheless, humans, beasts, and rocks all do what God has infallibly decreed beyond all time. This is not what Molina or you believe and it is not enjoined upon Catholics, but it IS orthodox. And I believe that the fact of this position’s orthodoxy could prove to be fruitful for ecumenical exploration. Don’t you think?

  61. [...] I don’t believe God chooses an elect. There’s no need. Everything She created is trying to communicate with us. Those who don’t trust that communication, who don’t trust their own sensations and experiences as communication and communion, don’t really trust God. Or maybe, ironically, they trust men more. I do not fear the God who is Holy Trinity. I fear my own freedom to turn from this God, to hide myself in an impenetrable egotism and despair which will forever close me to the roar of his love. I fear that my self-will will ultimately triumph over my desire for the supreme and ultimate Good. I fear that I am becoming, have become, a person who declares to infinite Love, “My will, not thine, be done.” I fear also the purifying suffering that I must endure, both in this life and beyond, to free me from my bondage to self and the goods of this world. But I do not fear the God of Jesus Christ. (Disbelieving the Predestinarian God) [...]

  62. I have only recently (today) finished my own thoghts on this subject and they are in direct contrast to yours. I didn’t deal with the loving nature of God, at least not as you articulate it, but a quick answer to that objeciton would be this: Who does God love the most? The answer is God. He loves Himself more than us because any affections are only ultimately good and righteous if they are placed in God. And God’s love works hand in hand with his justice and judgment. God’s love for God is so great that any rebellion against Him is worthy of eternal fire and damnation.

    Anyway, the bulk of my reasons why I believe that predestination is the doctrine of the Scriptures when it comes to salvation can be found by going to http://contendersbiblestudy.blogspot.com/2008/01/whosoever-will-and-gods-sovereignty-in.html

  63. “God Loves Himself the most”

    Hmmmm……..ultimate egotism?

    I don’t think so.

    The Trinity…..isn’t ego, is it?

    Something wrong with that notion, “God loves Himself the most”.

  64. Since someone asked about Scotus, I have begun to post some of his comments on the matter.

Comments are closed.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 31 other followers

%d bloggers like this: