The doctrine of predestination has been discussed variously throughout history. The following will serve as a concise summary of the various views.
Pelagius was a monk who lived in the fourth century. He taught that man was not born with original sin (i.e. a sinful nature inherited from Adam). When it came to salvation Pelagius taught that grace was not needed for salvation. Man, by his own inherent power, could essentially save himself. As a result, one will not typically find a discussion of God’s predestination in regards to Pelagianism.
Semi-Pelagianism, though being a slight improvement over rank Pelagianism, also denies the place of God’s predestinating work in salvation. SP teaches that grace is necessary for salvation, but maintains that man first initiate it. It is only after he, by his own will and inititative, takes the first steps that God provides saving grace.
Arminianism was developed by Jacob Arminius, a Dutch theologian who lived in the latter half of the 16th century. Arminius wanted to preserve the biblical doctrine of predestination. However, he was not comfortable with the Calvinistic understanding of it.
In contrast to semi-pelagianism, Arminianism teaches that the first steps of grace are taken by God. God offers prevenient grace to the unregenerate man. This grace is always resistible. Therefore, when one believes, it is not grace which makes one to differ from another person, but naturally produced faith.
This being said, one can note that there is a fine line between semi-Pelagianism and Arminianism.
In this view the decree of God consists in God’s foreknowledge of events to come (a la Romans
8:28, note: this foreknowledge is equated with foresight). God, having absolute knowledge of future events, foresaw who would believe and who would not. On this basis he determined to give the former eternal salvation and the later eternal punishment. In this conception, creation, the fall, Christ, the proclamation of the gospel and the offering of grace to all, persevering faith and unbelief precede predestination and are not included in it. The decree of predestination is nothing more than the assignment to eternal life or eternal punishment.
Comments: When it comes to God’s foreknowledge, we must recognize that it ought not to be equated with foresight. For one, if God is said to know the future events that happen, we must ask what basis is it that he knows them? If they are bound to occur, it must be because he first ordained that they come to pass that way. Secondly, the idea of “knowing” in the Bible is not simply intellectual comprehension. God’s knowledge of someone is personal, representing a relationship.
Finally, the usage of the word foreknowledge in Scripture indicates that it is equated with foreordination and divine appointment.
Acts 2:23 - Here, determined purpose and foreknowledge are linked by a Greek grammatical form called the Granville-Sharp Rule. This makes the two nouns synonymous. It is used for emphasis, like saying right and good or evil and bad. The word determined here is formed of the same verb from which predestination is derived.
1Peter 1:20 - Peter declares the coming of Christ was both arranged and appointed by God. The word foreordained here is PROGINOSKO - foreknow. In the case of Christ, God’s foreknowledge was more than merely predictive. It would be absurd to say the Father merely foreknew the coming of Christ. Jesus was appointed to the office of Christ. All circumstances relating to His coming were arranged in advance. History was made for Christ, not Christ for history.
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Traditionally Lutheranism has held to a form of predestination called “single predestination.” This is the idea that God has determined who will be saved.
We recognize that there are different senses in which the Bible talks about election. There is the election of corporate Israel, who would be a distinct people among the nations set apart for God’s purposes and service (Deut 4:37; Hosea 13:5). There is the election of certain individuals to some particular office or to the performance of a particular duty too (Jer. 1:5). Yet when we talk about election we usually mean the sovereign choice of individuals to be children of God and heirs of eternity.
Matt 22:14, Acts 2:23; Acts 13:48; Rom. 11:5; 1 Cor. 1:27-28; Eph. 1:4; 1 Thes. 1:4; 2 Tim. 1:9; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:10
The Calvinistic view incorporates the Lutheran view, but also includes the idea of reprobation—the belief that God not only appoints the exact number of the saved, but also determines who will be damned. This is commonly referred to as double predestination.
Philosophically, the point may be made that if God has chosen some, in not choosing others he has chosen their eternal destination. Yet, it is not to reason alone that we are left. The Scriptures make it clear that the decree of God did include reprobation in his divine counsel.
Isa 6:9; Mal 1:2-3; Mt 11:25-26; Lk 2:34; Jn 12:39-40; Rom 9:11-13,17-22; 11:7; 1 Thes 5:9, 2 Thes 2:11; 1 Pet 2:6-8, and Jude 4.
 Bavink, The doctrine of God. p. 384.
 Roger Smalling, Does Foreknowledge Explain Election?
 Berkoff, Systematic Theology.
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