Explain the doctrine of predestination 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Predestination is the religious belief that all future events have been determined by God. In Christianity, predestination is generally used to refer to the fate of each individual soul. Protestant Christians who ascribe to predestination tend to belong to "Calvinist" denominations, named for 16th-century Reformer and theologian John Calvin.

The Christian debate about predestination revolves around the question of the relationship between God's sovereignty and human free will. The doctrine of predestination (in the Calvinist sense) emphasizes God's sovereignty by holding that he has marked out each soul for salvation or damnation. Often, people who teach predestination also teach "total depravity," the idea that humans are completely sinful and incapable of choosing salvation on their own; thus, they can only be saved by God's grace.

Opponents of predestination (often referred to as Arminians in Protestant circles) claim that predestination denies humans free will, because it prevents souls from having the free choice to choose to accept salvation.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team