Predestination, part 1

RevDrMatthewRichardPr. Matt Richard enters the “Throwdown” ring to discuss his paper, “Why the Doctrine of Predestination Matters.” Is the doctrine of predestination simply some useless wrangling among theologians, or does it really mean something for every Christian? What happened during the 19th century when various Lutheran church bodies debated this doctrine? How can you best answer the age-old question(s), “Why are some saved and not others?”

Read Pr. Richard’s paper, “Why the Doctrine of Predestination Matters”

3 thoughts on “Predestination, part 1”

  1. Hey guys,
    Here is how The Canons of the Synod of Dort answer the questions, “why some do not believe” and “why others do believe”:

    Under the second head of doctrine:

    Article 6
    And, whereas many who are called by the gospel1 do not repent nor believe in Christ, but perish in unbelief, this is not owing to any defect or insufficiency in the sacrifice offered by Christ upon the cross, but is wholly to be imputed to themselves.2

    1 Mt 22:14; 2 Ps 95:8-11; Mt 23:27; Heb 4:6

    Article 7
    But as many as truly believe, and are delivered and saved from sin and destruction through the death of Christ,1 are indebted for this benefit solely to the grace of God2 given them in Christ from everlasting,3 and not to any merit of their own.4

    1 2 Cor 5:18; Col 2:13-14; 2 Eph 2:8; 3 2 Tim 1:9; 4 Eph 2:9; 2 Tim 1:9; Titus 3:5

    Would you say this is an incorrect way of teaching the doctrine of predestination?

  2. Josh:

    Great thoughts! I think where the concern with the Synod of Dort comes about is not necessarily with the articles that you mentioned above, but with article 15. In other words, Article 15 must be consider in the discussion of election along with Articles 6 and 7.

    Article 15 states:

    “What peculiarly tends to illustrate and recommend to us the eternal and unmerited grace of election, is the express testimony of sacred Scripture, that not all, but some only are elected, while others are passed by in the eternal election of God; whom God, out of his sovereign, most just, irreprehensible and unchangeable good pleasure, hath decreed to leave in the common misery into which they have willfully plunged themselves, and not to bestow upon them saving faith and the grace of conversion; but leaving them in his just judgment to follow their own ways, at last for the declaration of his justice, to condemn and punish them forever, not only on account of their unbelief, but also for all their other sins. And this is the decree of reprobation which by no means makes God the author of sin (the very thought of which is blasphemy), but declares him to be an awful, irreprehensible, and righteous judge and avenger thereof.”

    Blessings on your study of this subject!
    Hope this helps.


  3. Thanks for the response!

    So I’m still a little confused. What specifically would Lutheranism disagree with in article 15 that you posted?

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