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.

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3 thoughts on “Schleiermacher’s twist on predestination

  1. Camassia says:

    Richard’s reaction to the post’s first comment indicates that he agrees with you (which is not surprising, since he’s a universalist). I think he was just shooting at some of the sketchier Reformed arguments on the subject.

  2. Ah, thanks for pointing that out–I should’ve looked at the comments. (I mainly just used it as an excuse to write about Schleiermacher’s account of election anyway. ;))

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