Definition of predestination in US English:



  • (as a doctrine in Christian theology) the divine foreordaining of all that will happen, especially with regard to the salvation of some and not others. It has been particularly associated with the teachings of St. Augustine of Hippo and of Calvin.

    • ‘The first two doctrines, predestination and the bondage of the fallen human will, had been stressed by strongly Augustinian reformers in the past and came as no surprise to Catholic opponents of the Reformation.’
    • ‘The doctrine of predestination is associated with Protestant pioneer John Calvin of Geneva.’
    • ‘But as Weber acknowledged, its doctrines, especially predestination, were problematic for living in this world.’
    • ‘As we study today's text, it's tempting to invest the majority of our time dealing with the theological issue of predestination.’
    • ‘Hooker saw that the doctrine of predestination was, for most people, a counsel of despair.’
    • ‘This has significant implications for some theological concepts, particularly predestination and free will, which is where I began.’
    • ‘Absalom's final sermon before ordination was on the gospel, heathen, and predestination.’
    • ‘While predestination was central to Calvin's thinking, it was not primary.’
    • ‘Bede's allusions are made in the context of an early medieval theology of grace and predestination.’
    • ‘Insisting as I do on the priority of divine grace, I can accept the doctrine of predestination in certain forms.’
    • ‘Hastings agreed with and supported a strict doctrine of predestination.’
    • ‘In other words, she believed in what theologians call ‘the absolute predestination of Christ.’’
    • ‘Is this some sort of lesson on predestination?’
    • ‘Strangely enough, though Edwards promoted the doctrine of predestination, he preached so strongly about the terrors of separation from God that his listeners flocked to repent and join churches.’
    • ‘He also retained a belief in predestination and in an unfathomable Providence overseeing the affairs of the world.’
    • ‘On this latter point, Kent includes Calvinists and their doctrines of predestination and election.’
    • ‘These churches professed a belief in predestination, a theological tenet that suggests the futility of the ambitious pursuit of wealth.’
    • ‘In the 1860s a controversy over predestination among Midwestern Lutherans caused further splits that lasted well into the twentieth century.’
    • ‘For centuries, theologians have puzzled and debated the topic of predestination.’
    • ‘Augustine's critics fastened on the evident fact that his doctrine of predestination appealed to a partial selection of texts in scripture and had to use force on other texts which did not fit his thesis.’
    destiny, providence, god's will, nemesis, kismet, astral influence, the stars, what is written in the stars, one's lot in life
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Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin praedestinatio(n-), from praedestinare ‘make firm beforehand’ (see predestinate).