The Elect, Predestination and Free Will



— Set Up -------

Suppose you figured out how to travel in time. You go forward, and meet up with someone you did not know before… You become friends with them, and learn intimate details about their life, and then, watch them die tragically in a car accident.

If you then return to your normal time, and write about this person you knew in the future, and how they died… as long as you don’t ‘change’ the future you know everything about that persons future, you know how they live, and you know how they die.

  1. Does your KNOWLEDGE of such things remove that persons free will? Nope

  2. However, Can you then say that this person is predestined to die in a car accident? Yup

In other words… you have a case where someone can be predestined for something, yet they still have complete free will

— God -----------
Now, as we all know, God is completely and totally OUTSIDE of time. WE CANNOT LOOK AT GOD IN OUR TIME REFERENCE Like the time traveler, he knows how a person will act and do, though the person still has complete free will.

Based on the free will of that person, he can then say this person is predestined for heaven… But his ‘declaration’ does not change a persons free will… Just because god KNOWS what you will choose, does not mean your free will is removed. It is simply him using the knowledge he has access to because he is outside time…

God can easily say, if you are predestined to be elect, you cannot be removed, but the catch is not because we are saved in an instant, Like OSAS, but because god can see our TOTAL life and all the choices when make with our free will, and use that out of our time frame knowledge to say this person is predestined, yet they not loose their free will

Thoughts? Comments?

In Christ


Interesting synopsis. That’s why I disagree with the doctrine of the elect as presented by Calvin and Augustine. GOD will not let someone believe in Jesus and then when they die so “ooopps” you were not part of the elect so you go to hell.

GOD knows who will believe and who won’t.



I believe you are espousing the Molinist view. Personally I think it is the better of the 2 acceptable Catholic “theories” on predestination (the other being Thomist). Read Ludwig Ott’s breakdown of the 2 for more info.


I like it. The time traveler “parable” is a good, simple way to try and explain the argument.



I believe you are espousing the Molinist view. Personally I think it is the better of the 2 acceptable Catholic “theories” on predestination

Good to know my logic is in line with the church :wink: I would hate to have spent all this time trying to figure out predestination/free will quandary only to come up with the wrong answer…

But, one of the advantages of that is if I did differ on the church, at least i would know who was wrong :smiley:

In Christ


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