Schleiermacher’s twist on predestination
At Experimental Theology, Richard Beck argues that all forms of predestination, no matter how their proponents try to nuance them, ultimately boil down to double predestination. “You’re either an Arminian or you believe in double predestination,” he concludes.
But Beck has missed an important possibility here, it seems to me. What if God predestines everyone to salvation?
This is, in fact, the position that Schleiermacher more-or-less comes to in The Christian Faith. According to Schleiermacher, God does not make specific determinations about each individual’s salvation, rather all humanity is elected in Christ. The “toal efficacy” of Christ’s work can only be demonstrated by the inclusion of all in “the divine fore-ordination to blessedness.” God “regards all men in Christ.” God may temporarily “pass over” some, leaving them in unbelief, but ultimately everyone will be restored. So Schleiermacher at least didn’t think you had to choose between double predestination and Arminianism.