Predestination


#1

HELP!!!

I’m freaking out. I’m reading parts of Revelation & some verses say that God has written down peoples names in the Book of Life from Creation (13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 20:15). Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but, I’m really freaking out. Compare this to Rev 3:5, which states something about NOT being blotted out/erased, MEANING EITHER, God doesn’t do this or he does (see Psalm 69:28). Because, if God BLOTS people’s names, then, they USED to be saved, then lost salvation. BUT, that seems to conflict with those Revelation passages about which I am inquiring.

Thank you all so so so so so so so so much. I’m really uneasy about this.


#2

Hello adstrinity,

God is spiritual and Omni-Present to the whole of physical time which He created. God does not live one day and then the next as we in the flesh do. Jesus tells us that we will be judged upon judgement day as to whether we go to heaven or hell. Obviously anything written down upon judgement day, by our Omni-Present to all physical time God, would exist spiritually from before creation.

Mankind has free will and they can choose to love, obey and remain faithful to God or they can reject God at any time. One can be baptized into life and then latter reject that baptismal life through sin. Without going into a long explination, I think that it is this coming into saving grace and exiting saving grace that Jesus is refering too. Jesus certianly believed in man’s free will to follow God and enter into life or to choose to reject God to one’s eternal damnation.

Peace in Christ,
Steven Merten
www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com

**NAB REV 3:5 **

"The victor will thus be dressed in white, and** I will never erase his name from the book of life** but will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and of his angels.**EXO 32 **

The LORD answered, "Him only who has sinned against me will I strike out of my book. Now, go and lead the people whither I have told you. My angel will go before you. When it is time for me to punish, I will punish them for their sin." Thus the LORD smote the people for having had Aaron make the calf for them. NAB REV 22:12

“Remember, I am coming soon! I bring with me the reward that will be given to each man as his conduct deserves. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End! **Happy are they who wash their robes so as to have free access to the tree of life **and enter the city through its gates Outside are the dogs and sorcerers, the fornicators and murderers, the idol-worshipers and all who love falsehood.


#3

OMgoodness!!! Duh!!! smacks forehead WHY didn’t I see this before?!!! You are right & I thank you EVER so much!!!

God bless you & Mary keep you!!!


#4

these articles may help, if you have any more questions on this topic:

Catholic Predestination
Predestination
Molinism
Thomism
Which Body is Closer to Augustine: Reformed Protestants or Present-Day Catholics?
A Tiptoe Through TULIP
Predestination, Catholicism, and Calvinism
Are All True Christians Predestined to Persevere?
St. Augustine on Grace and Predestination
Grace and Predestination
Predestination
Chosen in Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination
The Presumption of Election in Protestant Thought
Predestination and the Catholic Church
Calvinist Confusion Concering Election, Valid Baptism, and Christian Brotherhood
The “Ransom Theory” of Atonement in the Fathers
Augustine Debate on Universal Atonement
Calvin, Supralapsarianism, and God’s Sovereignty
Reflections on Judgment and Sufficient Knowledge for Salvation
Dialogue on the Nature of God’s Foreknowledge and Sovereignty
Providence
Leibniz, Divine Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom *
Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb’s Paradox *
note: also see the “Calvinism” section of the entry***Non-Catholic Christian Denominations***

pax christi,
phatcatholic


#5

[quote=phatcatholic]these articles may help, if you have any more questions on this topic:

Catholic Predestination
Predestination
Molinism
Thomism
Which Body is Closer to Augustine: Reformed Protestants or Present-Day Catholics?
A Tiptoe Through TULIP
Predestination, Catholicism, and Calvinism
Are All True Christians Predestined to Persevere?
St. Augustine on Grace and Predestination
Grace and Predestination
Predestination
Chosen in Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination
The Presumption of Election in Protestant Thought
Predestination and the Catholic Church
Calvinist Confusion Concering Election, Valid Baptism, and Christian Brotherhood
The “Ransom Theory” of Atonement in the Fathers
Augustine Debate on Universal Atonement
Calvin, Supralapsarianism, and God’s Sovereignty
Reflections on Judgment and Sufficient Knowledge for Salvation
Dialogue on the Nature of God’s Foreknowledge and Sovereignty
Providence
Leibniz, Divine Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom *
Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb’s Paradox *
note: also see the “Calvinism” section of the Non-Catholic Christian Denominations entry

pax christi,
phatcatholic
[/quote]

Wow. You went to a lot of work to gather all this. Thank you!!! May God bless you abundantly! Wow.


#6

[quote=phatcatholic]these articles may help, if you have any more questions on this topic:

Catholic Predestination
Predestination
Molinism
Thomism
Which Body is Closer to Augustine: Reformed Protestants or Present-Day Catholics?
A Tiptoe Through TULIP
Predestination, Catholicism, and Calvinism
Are All True Christians Predestined to Persevere?
St. Augustine on Grace and Predestination
Grace and Predestination
Predestination
Chosen in Him: The Catholic Teaching on Predestination
The Presumption of Election in Protestant Thought
Predestination and the Catholic Church
Calvinist Confusion Concering Election, Valid Baptism, and Christian Brotherhood
The “Ransom Theory” of Atonement in the Fathers
Augustine Debate on Universal Atonement
Calvin, Supralapsarianism, and God’s Sovereignty
Reflections on Judgment and Sufficient Knowledge for Salvation
Dialogue on the Nature of God’s Foreknowledge and Sovereignty
Providence
Leibniz, Divine Foreknowledge, and Human Freedom *
Divine Foreknowledge and Newcomb’s Paradox *
note: also see the “Calvinism” section of the Non-Catholic Christian Denominations entry

pax christi,
phatcatholic
[/quote]

Great resources! I’m adding them to my list of favs.


#7

Peace to you, Adstrinity…

The Book of Revalations used to scare me witless (I avoided it at almost all costs!)and then I stumbled across a little (not hardback) book in our Catholic Bookshop in Adelaide here in South Australia - cost me around $15 to $20 Australian dollars if memory serves but then again it was very many years ago. I think this book is titled (its a nightmare trying to locate books in my library here) either : “Revelation - A Message of Hope” or “The Apocolypse - A Message of Hope” by Father Michael Fallon, MSC (Missionary of The Sacred Heart ) and a fellow South Aussie. Father is a scripture scholar and I think I have most of his books anyway. He writes with clarity and so the ordinary person in the street could read it without difficulty.
I’ve just more or less discovered that Father Michael has a website (I’m relatively new to a computer) - here it is :
users.bigpond.com/mbfallon/

I haven’t had a really close look at the website, just a quick check - but there seems to be much of his writings online (I think is the word!)at least certainly from recall some articles and essays of his. I also noted that you can email him with questions etc.

Much luck (blessings) in your search to resolve your quandry and now I’m going back to read properly some of the previous posts!

Send regards
Wings ( prayers !)
Barb

P.S. Another excellent book dealing with a complex subject and also just a small book is “On Opening The Bible” by the American Benedictine monastic monk - Cappuchin I think (also now sadly dec’d): Fr. Thomas Merton. This little book completely revolutionized, or perhaps deepened is a better term, my personal insight, into reflecting/reading Scripture.


#8

Well, from my point of view–which is Methodist doctrine, & maybe or maybe not, not Catholic, but for what it’s worth, there is more than one book mentioned in Revelation.
There is the book that records all who are living. And then there is the book that says who goes to heaven–the book of eternal life… (Even if you think it is the same book, it can still have two sections in it)…
I know that some groups believe that many–even most–people in the world are going to go to hell. I just think that is wrong!!! I know that somepeople will reject God. I just don’t believe that this is a correct teaching. God knows what we are goin to do/ he knows if our hearts were sincere.
I have to think that Jesus death & resurrection saved/saves/will save a lot of people.
But I don’t think we should go around constantly mistrusting God, either.We just have to remember that God is not bound by our concept of time. Time is basically something we use to keep us from confusion of doing everything at once. God, being free of all this, can know who will responmd & accept His offer of forgiveness.


#9

[quote=adstrinity]HELP!!!

I’m freaking out. I’m reading parts of Revelation & some verses say that God has written down peoples names in the Book of Life from Creation (13:8, 17:8, 20:12, 20:15). Maybe I’m reading this wrong, but, I’m really freaking out. Compare this to Rev 3:5, which states something about NOT being blotted out/erased, MEANING EITHER, God doesn’t do this or he does (see Psalm 69:28). Because, if God BLOTS people’s names, then, they USED to be saved, then lost salvation. BUT, that seems to conflict with those Revelation passages about which I am inquiring.

Thank you all so so so so so so so so much. I’m really uneasy about this.
[/quote]

Adstrinity,

In terms of traditional Catholic theology, the answer is fairly simple. The gift of grace and the gift of perseverance are two separate things. God has chosen from all eternity to give certain people (the elect) not only the gift of initial grace (leading them to repent and believe) but also the gift of perseverance. These are the people whose names are written in the book of life. But people whose names are not written in the book of life (they do not persevere to final salvation) can experience grace and still fall away. So I’m not sure what you see as the contradiction here. You seem to have accepted the Calvinist premise that anyone who once experiences grace must be written in the book of life. But that’s the very point at issue.

The question of course remains–on what basis does God choose to give people the gift of final perseverance, counting them among the elect? The majority view today among Catholics seems to be that this is based on God’s foreknowledge of the human response to grace. Historically, though, most of the great theologians of the West (Augustine and Aquinas, for instance) have believed the opposite–that God chooses to save certain people without regard to His foreknowledge of their actions (ante praevisa merita). Rather, the human response to grace is the result of God’s gracious action in us, moving us toward Him. Most Catholics today think of this as “Calvinism,” but in fact this is not the part of Calvinism that the Catholic Church condemns. (Catholics, unlike Calvinists, must find a way to reconcile this doctrine of predestination with human free will–some Calvinists do this also but others see no need to. And similarly, while some Calvinists believe in “single predestination”–that God chooses to save some without positively and unconditionally reprobating others–many believe in “double predestination,” which is heresy for Catholics. The difference is rather academic, since the Thomist/Augustinian doctrine teaches that all those whom God has not chosen to save are damned. But it’s still important, since it draws back from saying that God desires something evil, which is blasphemy. The issue where all Calvinists differ from Catholics is the doctrine of perseverance, to which I referred earlier.) There are plenty of problems with this Catholic Augustinianism, which is why it has fallen out of favor (also it doesn’t fit the growing humanitarianism of our day). But it remains a legitimate option for Catholics.

It would also seem to be just barely legimate to suggest that everyone may be elect. Clearly we can’t know this–Scripture teaches unequivocally that damnation is a real possibility. But some Catholic theologians (Hans Urs von Balthasar, Richard John Neuhaus) have suggested that we can legitimately hope that ultimately no one will reject grace. This would eliminate the problem of God’s goodness with regard to election, leaving only the difficulty (for Thomists/Augustinians) of reconciling election ante praevisa merita with free will. In my view, this is the less serious of the two problems, although it is a puzzler. But everything having to do with free will is a puzzler.

In Christ,

Edwin


#10

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.