Election vs. Predestination: Calvinism vs. Arminianism


I thought election and predestination were largely interchangeable, but in a discussion on Calvinism and Arminianism/Wesleyanism I encountered some different views.


Both Calvinism and Arminianism affirm election and predestination. However, their understandings of these doctrines are different. Arminianism teaches that election is made on the basis of foreseen faith, while Calvinism teaches that election is made on the basis of God's good pleasure and not on the basis of foreseen faith. Arminianism teaches that predestination does not render an event certain to happen, but rather that it is a declaration of God's recognition or foresight that the event is certain to take place. Calvinism, however, insists that predestination renders something certain to happen. So, in the Arminianist's mind, election is God's conditioned choice and predestination is his prescient acknowledgement. So, in Calvinism predestination and election are the same, and in Arminianism they are different. The definitions I provided earlier came from a Calvinistic perspective, because I believe that is the biblical position.

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.