Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Predestination, a term expressing the eternal purpose of God, whereby He preordains all that happens. This doctrine has divided Christians into two sections ever since the days when it was raised by Pelagius (q.v.), who upheld the freedom of the will in opposition to Augustine. The latter maintained that all natural impulse to good ceased with the Fall, and his system (which he elaborated with much intellectual skill) was accepted as the orthodox doctrine by the Council of Arausio (529). The doctrine was carried to an extreme point by Gottschalk, a monk of the 9th century, and at the time of the Reformation it was upheld by Calvin with an uncompromising austerity which has made "Calvinism" synonymous with the holding of predestinarian views.