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Sublapsarianism

This term refers to the position taken by one group of Calvinist theologians as the development of Calvinist scholasticism in the later sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries brought up the question of the precise purpose of predestination.* The opposing view was Supralapsarianism.* The Sublapsarian position held that God, in His decree of predestination, had as its object mankind-as- fallen. That is, loosely stated, that God created man with the possibility of the Fall, which happened, and then elected some men to salvation, leaving the rest in enmity with God. At issue is the logical order of the decrees, not the chronological (since God, as eternal, is outside time). The issue was thus notably difficult and abstruse, and Calvinist assemblies refused to make either position binding. Theologians concerned with working out a complete and logical dogmatic system tended toward Supralapsarianism. As the Sublapsarians pointed out, this position ran the danger of making God the author of sin.

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