1999 James A. Fowler
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I. Biblical references
A. Direct references -
pro = before, prior, previous
horizo = to limit, fix a boundary; from horas =
boundary. Get English word "horizon"
in New Testament
4:28 - "whatever Thy hand and purpose predestined to occur"
8:29 -"He predestined to be conformed to the image of His
8:30 - "whom He predestined, He also called..."
Cor. 2:7 - "a mystery, the hidden wisdom, which God predestined
before the ages"
1:5 -"He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus
1:11 - "having been predestined according to His purpose"
B. Related words
- Gk. proginosko
2:23; Rom. 8:29; Rom. 11:2; I Pet. 1:2,20
Choosing - Gk. eklegomai, eklektos
23:35; Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:12; I Pet. 1:2; 2:4,6,9; Rev. 17:14
- Gk. kaleo
8:28,30; I Cor. 1:9; Gal. 1:6; Eph. 4:1; II Thess. 2:14
Placement - Gk. tithemi
Thess. 5:9; Heb. 1:2; I Pet. 2:8
of God - Gk. thelema
1:4; Eph. 1:5,9,11
of God - Gk. boule
2:23; 4:28; Eph. 1:11
of God - Gk. prothesis
8:28; Eph. 1:11; 3:11
of God - Gk. oikonomia
1:10; 3:2; Col. 1:25
of God - Gk. basileuo, basileia
1:15; I Cor. 6:9,10; Rev. 19:6
II. Perspective of relationship between God and man
A. God is absolute, supreme, Almighty,
B. Man is a choosing creature, responsible
for his choices.
C. How can God act without impinging
on man's choices?
D. How can man choose without impinging
on God's action?
III. Historical survey of theological understanding of
A. Early church fathers (Justin Martyr,
Tertullion, Clement of Alex., Origen) emphasized man's freedom
of choice alongside of God's determinative activity.
B. Pelagius (360-420) over-emphasized
human potential and ability
C. Augustine (354-430) reacted against
Pelagianism with strong doctrine of predestination,
and efficient grace.
D. Councils of Arles (473) and Orange
(529) tried to find balance again.
E. Aquinas (1225-1274) emphasized God's
F. Duns Scotus (1265-1308) re-emphasized
will of man.
G. Reformers, Luther and Calvin (16th
cent.), developed more systematic emphasis on divine predetermination
H. Arminius (1560-1609) rejected strict
I. Karl Barth (20th cent.) sought balance
by emphasizing Christocentric understanding of election and
IV. Attempting to find balance between theological extremes.
God determines all things.
Irrelevancy of man's choices.
Man is automaton, puppet
Man's response, responsibility
Man's choices determine all
Irrelevancy of God
God is myth or figure-head
The Pre-horizon of God is Jesus Christ (II Cor. 2:7; Col.
The Chosen One of God is Jesus Christ, and all "in Him"
The Calling of God is unto fellowship with Jesus Christ (I Cor.
The Appointment of God is Jesus Christ (Heb. 1:2)
The Will of God is Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:9)
The Counsel of God pertains to Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:11)
The Purpose of God is in Jesus Christ (Eph. 3:11)
The Administration of God is Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:10)
The Reign of God is by the Lord, Jesus Christ (Mk. 1:15; Col.
God has determined to restore all men who will receive Jesus
Christ by faith unto functional humanity, and by their continued
receptivity to the ontological dynamic of the life of the risen
Lord Jesus, express the glory of God.
A. Biblical predestination is not
a strict, mechanical or logical determinism that fails to take
human freedom of choice and responsibility.
B. Our finite human thinking must keep
a balance and tension between divine determination and human
C. H.A. Ironside - "Nowhere are
we told in Scripture that God predestinated one man to be saved
to be lost...God has predestinated you to be fully conformed
to the image of His Son."
D. Ray C. Stedman - "It (predestination)
simply tells us that God has selected beforehand the
which He is going to move everyone who believes in Christ. That
to the character of Christ."