Friday, July 05, 2002

Double Predestination-"I'll take Limited Atonement for $600, Alex."Interesting David Heddle piece on the topic. We're getting into pinpoint-angel-census mode, but if an omnipotent, omnitemporal God doesn't save people, he is at best saying "Helen Waite's got your file; if you want help, you can go to Helen Waite." If God's grace is the only way to avoid Hell and He only gives it to some people, the others are doomed. Heddle's response to the idea that God predestines the non-elect to Hell seems to be summed up here
Double predestination would mean that God looks at all men (before they were ever born) and says to the some: “To you I will impute a saving righteousness” and to others “to you I will impute a damning evil”. This would make God the originator of the sin in the reprobate, which is unthinkable. Even worse, when God punished men for sin that he placed in their hearts—well that would be an unjust, unloving, mean and capricious god. Not our God. Maybe Allah, but not our God.
God created an universe that includes sin. Since we are not hard-wired to love God, we are free to not love Him unless He softens our hearts. We may choose not to love God, but He gave people the option not to. Sin didn't sneak up from out of nowhere; it is part of the universe. Our lack of a perfect, 24-7 love of God points to a problematic will that God allows at best. Did God originate sin? If He didn't, how did it get started? My best guess is that he created Man with a mind and will of his own, but a will that can be overruled by God. God didn't originate sin, but He set up a framework for it to exist. He didn't put the doggie droppings on the front yard, but He created the dogs that would do so. If God knows everything and he isn't going to help person X get into Heaven, he is allowing person X to go to Hell if X can't get to Heaven on his own and their are only two destinations. It's then a question of nomenclature whether God merely allows the person to burn or has predestined him to. God could chose to save him, but did not. God knows it from the get-go and is content with it, else He would change it. It's effectively double predestination, even if you don't want to call it that.

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