The Two Wills of God: The Decretal Will vs. The Prescriptive Will

This is just FYI.

The Calvinists speak of two wills: God’s “decretal will” and his “prescriptive will.” If you violate God’s prescriptive will (the moral law), then you will be held morally responsible by him. However, whether or not you violate God’s prescriptive will is ultimately determined by his decretal will. IOW, if you violate the moral law, then it was God’s decretal will for you to violate it. So, while you may not always be in God’s prescriptive will, you are always in his decretal will. (Hopefully, that clarify things for you.)

(By the way, I am not a Calvinist. Neither do I necessarily subscribe to their view. I am simply sharing their view…a view that I believe meshes fairly well with the writings of the Apostle Paul.)

Hello Counterpoint.

Thanks for the thread. I really don’t know a whole lot about Calvinism, but what they write is wrong. No righting it either. It will be interesting to see if you get some nibbles about this “doctrine” of theirs and its defense and or simple explanation.


I’ll paste this here from the other thread since it is more relevant for this one…

I simply can’t understand how this theory can be incorporated into a religious identity. If I genuinely believed that some of us were predestined for heaven while others of us are predestined for hell… I would regard religious identity as an indication of my presumption and unwarranted pride. “I must be one of the elect so this is where I belong”. It would logically make me want to presume that others who don’t measure up to my virtues, are the ‘reprobate’ and therefore unteachable and to be avoided.

By what means can I judge if I’m one of the elect and if I identify as the elect can I be sure that others who identify as the elect have judged themselves accurately? Where does this conviction come from in a man?

If I believed in that theory, my human capacity for love would demand that I reject all notion of religious identity all together because humans in most cultures now have evolved to reject theories that are discriminatory at that level.

God willed all to be saved. But he also elected from all time. But that God selects certain people for salvation and wills others from predestination to eternal damnation doesn’t stand to reason.

I personally find the idea that God predestinates some to heaven and others to hell to be repugnant. Nevertheless, it does seem to accord with the Scriptures.

Why do you believe it is wrong?

Because scripture states God willed all to be saved, it wasn’t for us to question Gods will.

The burden of proof which strays from apostolic teaching is God wills others from predestination to eternal damnation.

Proponents would argue that this teaching leads to gratitude, not pride.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. .” 1 John 4:7-8

I would argue that, unless your church teaches universal reconciliation, then the current religion with which you identify with is teaching some form of discrimination.

I believe the Calvinist would argue that that is God’s prescriptive will, not his decretal will.

Does Catholicism teach all will be saved?

You believe that invoking “free will” somehow makes your position more palatable. It doesn’t for reasons I have clearly articulated in my thread entitled “Free Will, Determinism, Indetrminism, Moral Responsibility, and Salvation.”


You believe that invoking “free will” somehow makes your position more palatable. It doesn’t for reasons I have clearly articulated in my thread entitled “Free Will, Determinism, Indetrminism, Moral Responsibility, and Salvation.”

That’s correct. their understanding doesn’t make them right. In fact they have a new animal which contrasts 2000-years of opposition. Augustine’s work on reprobate was simply a part of a whole as is selectively reading the Council of Orange.

The Church defends scripture, God willed all to be saved. Then also east and west affirm reprobate. The fact some are not saved who-ever that may be since the Church doesn’t determine, they imposed free-will as we discussed. They are responsible for their actions to the greater good of their choice of will to follow their freedom of the developed conscious.

It does make it not only more palatable but logically correct.

Counterpoint, your argument is now one of concern. If you agree that the will to choose is freedom to choose the greater good, which indeed is freedom. Then you would propose God condemns anyway since some are predestined by God to reprobate. Contrary to God willed all to be saved.

The will is subject to freedom of the formed conscious. In other words you have the will to be free and to choose the greater good. How does choosing the greater good resulting in cooperation with justice-responsible love and concern only then to result in condemnation. Wheres that in the Bible?

This is a concession, not a counterargument.

Calvins position can’t be logically arrived at, its riddled with flaws. Its a position which takes the lower road to prove a negative.

1] Biblical exegesis is reduced to a bowl of notes which do not make music. There is no typology in his exegesis.

2] Free-will is convoluted

3] Justice=love contradicts all philosophy and back to Platos Republic

4] No patristic historic support, the truth didn’t arrive from a lie. A lie arrived from the truth.

5] Its not for Calvin to determine who Gods elect are. Its Gods responsibility.

Correction. I am not the one who is proposing that God predestines some individuals for damnation. Paul is. (Apparently, you don’t believe your own scriptures.)

It is true that Peter says that God is not willing that any should perish. But the Calvinist would argue that this refers to God’s prescriptive will, not his decretal will. Also, Peter is speaking to the elect, not the reprobate.

The Calvinist attempts to resolve this apparent contradiction in the Scriptures by proposing two wills. You attempt to resolve this contradiction by pretending that it doesn’t exist. I’m afraid you don’t have that luxury.

Then it would appear that God will be eternally frustrated because his desire that all be saved will not be fulfilled.

The bottom line is that you cannot logically refute my argument: Invoking free will does not make the idea of eternal damnation any more palatable.

Actually I do. They have to prove it does exist. And pretext of scripture doesn’t help their case. Gods predestination of souls to reprobate can’t be quantified. Its a “myth”.

They can’t provide an intelligent argument. They would rather chase pretext of scripture.

You forgot the “choice” in the free-will which in sequence brings us to justice. Justice is not only obedient to God-stronger but also to the weakest. Which is proven by the life sentence example we discussed. And reluctantly this occurs at the expense of our own injury-stronger as elaborated on.

Then you must also acknowledge justice is not for the interest of the stronger. Counterpoint is there any escaping the conclusion that the weaker are commanded to do, not what is for the interest of the stronger, but what is for the injury of the stronger?

So as far as Gods frustration, it could be understood by understanding those who administered the life sentence. It injures the greater good.

Hope this gives a perspective of the incorrect understanding being applied. The premise being of the Calvinist that God predestined to injure himself by injuring intentionally those He willed to save by correctly serving the weak as the stronger. :eek:

Ya, it doesn’t make sense. Your only recourse is “pretext” of scripture and badly understood reading of Augustine and Orange.

Counterpoint I’d say Calvin has a god who needs to see a therapist, He’s for sure self abusive and He abuses himself by intentionally hurting those he loves? Course it could be a total lack of empathy and compassion which makes god, well, a psychopath. He creates to kill to derive pleasure, and astonishingly he creates the greater good?

I’m having trouble seeing this. Seems to me the selective reading created an unacceptable position to sustain.

Hello Longing.

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