Reformed Theology

ElderDad's picture

There may have previously been a thread on this subject, but I don't find it high enough in the list to see it. Therefore, I will start a thread and let it take its course. The purpose of this topic is to provide a place other than the Study of the Gospel of John, where it has become a side issue with considerable activity. Unfortunately, it is off-track there, so here it is in the open forum. The purpose is to give a place to post items dealing with traditional Reformed Theology. Because CCEL comes out of the Reformed community, there are many books dealing with Reformed Theology and Preaching in the CCEL library. However, in keeping with the ecumenical effort of the founders and supporters of this site, there are also books in the CCEL library that disagree with Reformed Theology. Sooooo, let me remind all participants in this forum, "Keep it loving, or keep it at home."

tomgroeneman's picture

someone please explain

I just reread Calvin on election and predestination and I have come across a question that I had previously which presents an apparent inconsistency in the thinking of Reformed Theologians. Calvin clearly states that God does indeed will that some should perish- the double predestination mentioned by Dan.

"By predestination we mean the eternal decree of God, by which he determined with
himself whatever he wished to happen with regard to every man. All are not created on equal terms,
but some are preordained to eternal life, others to eternal damnation; and, accordingly, as each has
been created for one or other of these ends, we say that he has been predestinated to life or to death."
[Institutes, Bk. 3 Ch. 21]

and also

"THE human mind, when it hears this doctrine, cannot restrain its petulance, but boils and
rages as if aroused by the sound of a trumpet. Many professing a desire to defend the Deity from
an invidious charge admit the doctrine of election, but deny that any one is reprobated (Bernard.
in Die Ascensionis, Serm. 2). This they do ignorantly and childishly since there could be no election
without its opposite reprobation. God is said to set apart those whom he adopts for salvation. It
were most absurd to say, that he admits others fortuitously, or that they by their industry acquire
what election alone confers on a few. Those, therefore, whom God passes by he reprobates, and
that for no other cause but because he is pleased to exclude them from the inheritance which he
predestines to his children."
[Institutes, Bk. 3 Ch. 23]

Calvin asserts that the reprobation of some is the result of God's own will or His pleasure. This seems to be in contradiction with the testimony of Scripture like John 3:16-17 and others. The one verse that states God's intention most emphatically is 1 Timothy 2:4

"who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth."

If Reformed Theology is superior to others what is the explanation for this discrepancy?

Tom Groeneman




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