The Reformation and Early Modern Period: Causal Chains

Matthew Levering

in Predestination

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604524
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729317 | DOI:
The Reformation and Early Modern Period: Causal Chains

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The fourth chapter argues that the Reformation and early modern period focuses on trying to clarify the causal chain by which God communicates goodness to some and permits others to lack goodness. The result is that predestination becomes the central theological controversy of the early modern period. With the support of some biblical texts, Calvin argues that God actively causes everything, a position that endangers God's innocence. Molina posits a “middle knowledge” wherein God non-volitionally scans all possible causal chains so as to ensure that predestination takes into account what humans freely do. Francis de Sales combines insistence upon God's unlimited love of all rational creatures, with allowance of God's predestination of some rational creatures. The mechanistic approach of Leibniz further distances predestinarian doctrine from the God of love.

Keywords: mechanistic; unlimited love; causal chains; predestination; goodness; theological controversy; innocence; Calvin; Leibniz; Reformation

Chapter.  16771 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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