Posts tagged ‘double predestination’

April 16th, 2012

Karl Barth on Election and Double-Predestination

by Max Andrews

Predestination is prominent in Barth’s thought.  To Barth, “election” is the sum heart of the gospel.  Barth “responds” to John Calvin by turning Calvin’s pre-destination into salvation for “all” mankind.  This is not universal salvation.  For Barth, election is the greatest gift to the good news of the Gospel.  Calvin understands election and pre-destination as a mystery in God whereby some are elected to salvation and some are elected to damnation.  As Calvin puts this doctrine in the hiddeness of God, he works against his usual theological practice of placing doctrine on God’s revelation and God’s manifestation of His will in Jesus.  Here, Barth points out that we must only reflect on God in His revelation and not, what is not revealed.  Barth’s “double-predestination” has two parts.  As Jesus is the Revelation of God, He is the Choosing God and the Choosing Man.  He is actively choosing and passively chosen.  Secondly, we know who is “elect” because in Christ, man is Chosen for salvation and God in Christ Chooses Himself for damnation.

February 9th, 2012

Theology Thursday: Karl Barth’s Theology

by Max Andrews

Theology Thursday is a new feature on the blog, which gives a brief introduction to a theological person of significance.

Theologian: Karl Barth (1886-1969)

General summary of his theology: Barth has made man contributions to Christian theology. In this post I’ll discuss general theological ideas in Barth’s thought.

If the word of God the task of theology then there is a problem:  of all disciplines theology alone is confronted with an unanswerable question [for us]–What is before birth and after death?.  The question that my finite self overcomes nihilism.  Theology, whether preaching or teaching, the theological task is impossible but necessary because the question must arise in we existing human beings; and so, theology as the human speaking the word of God as God’s own speaking cannot be done; therefore, No.  Yet, theology, in seeking to speak the word of God, to human finitude and human need must be done.  In recognizing that theology cannot be done and cannot answer the question while still pursuing and seeking after the answer is to do two things:  glorify God and may open the field (when God allows it) to the possibility that an answer may come from God to existing human beings.  No human being, though, can say or speak absolutely and unambiguously the word of God as God’s own speaking.  Therefore, any true word of God that comes through our human speech is again still NO and YES, YES and NO, because it both is and is not the word of God.

February 1st, 2012

Word of the Week Wednesday: Supralapsarianism

by Max Andrews

The Word of the Week is: Supralapsarianism

Definition: From the Latin, supra (prior to, below, before), lapsis, (fall).  A term used to denote the logical moment of God’s election of the saints.  Supralapsarianism if the belief that God chose the elect logically prior to the fall of man.

More about the term: Supralapsarianism is generally held by Calvinists and a few Molinists.  Supralapsarianism places the moment of divine election logically prior to the fall of Adam as opposed to logically posterior to the fall, which is known as infralapsarianism. When God chose the elect he did so without viewing them or considering them in their fallen state.  God chose them in a pre-fallen state.  This position can create controversy and may have unsavory implications.  One of the implications is what’s known as double-predestination.  This is the idea that God chose the reprobates (the non-elect) in the same fashion in which he chose the elect.  This isn’t a necessary implication of supralapsarianism since God’s decree of reprobation may be logically posterior to the fall.

This view of soteriology is held by Alvin Plantinga, who is a Molinist with Calvinistic tendencies (there’s a wide spectrum of Molinism ranging from supralapsarianism to Wesleyan).  Plantinga uses this idea in his theodicy, ‘O Felix Culpa’ (O happy sin).  The reason why evil exists is because God first desired the cross of Christ–the means by which God would get the most glory.  In order to bring about the cross there must be sin, thus God permits sin to happen because he desires the cross (which is why evil exists–so God may be glorified by atoning for it).