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James Dodson

William Perkin's Golden Chain describing the Supralapsarian Position.

William Perkin's Golden Chain describing the Supralapsarian Position.



"Gods decree, in as much as it concerneth man, is called Predestination: which is the decree of God, by the which he hath ordained all men to a certaine and everlasting estate: that is, either to salvation or condemnation, for his own glory."—William Perkins, A Golden Chaine: or, The Description of Theologie. (1608). 



A Treatise on the Predestination of the Saints.-429-Aurelius Augustin (354-430).-In this treatise, Augustine demonstrates why he is so revered by the Reformers from Romanism. The fruit of his later thinking, Augustine penetrates the mystery of predestination and defends this doctrines against the claims of arch-heretic Pelagius.

The Bondage of the Will.-1525-Martin Luther.-This is one of Luther's most important works. It demolishes the counter claims of Erasmus and sets forth the true state into which man has fallen out of which he cannot draw himself because his will is captive to the world, the flesh and the devil. It presents a very strong view of predestination.

That God is the Creator of all Things, and Governeth All Things by His Providence: Where Mention is Also Made of the Goodwill of God to Usward, and of Predestination.-1550-Henry Bullinger (1504-1575).-This sermon contains the thoughts of Bullinger, a mild predestinarian, who, nonetheless, presses the claims of Scripture concerning the election unto life and the providence of God over all things.

A Treatise on the Eternal Predestination of God.-1552-John Calvin.-First translated into English in the 19th century, this formed part of a volume published as "Calvin's Calvinism." In this treatise, Calvin lays out the case for a very high view of predestination, affirming both an election and reprobation, and its importance for maintaining evangelical religion.

A Brief Treatise of Predestination.-1554-Anthony Gilby (ca. 1510-1585).-Written by one of the translators of the Geneva Bible, Gilby demonstrates that deeply held belief in a pervasive predestination of God that includes all creatures and all their actions.

Notes Appertaining to the Matter of Election, Gathered.-1555-John Foxe (1517-1585).-The great martyrologist was a strong defender of the doctrine of predestination. Here he helps would be martyrs discern signs so they can make their calling and election of God sure.

Thirty-Eight Aphorisms against Castalio.-1557-Theodore Beza.-A discussion of God's will, man's will, free will, the problem of evil and the belief that God is both sovereign and good.

Twenty-Nine Propositions.-1557-Theodore Beza.-A discussion of the relation of the will of man to evil and the absolute predestination of God against the cavils of the Anabaptists.

A Briefe declaration of the chiefe poyntes of Christian Religion, set foorth in a Table.-1562-Theodore Beza.-This contains Beza's very high view of the doctrine of predestination in which he explains what predestination is and what it entails for believers.

Absolute Predestination.-1562-Jerome Zanchius (1516-1590).-A classic statement of the doctrine of predestination from an early Reformer who presents a supralapsarian point of view on the subject.

A Short Survey to the Ninth Chapter to the Romans, So Far as it Treateth of the Doctrine of Predestination.-1646-William Twisse.-Dr. Twisse carefully works through Romans 9 with respect to certain questions raised respecting the doctrine of predestination.  He defends the supralapsarian position.

A Historical Sketch of Opinions on the Atonement.-1817-James Renwick Willson.-An excellent survey of the various views held concerning the atonement throughout the history of the church showing together with a demonstration of the pervasive belief in vicarious atonement with its relation to the doctrine of predestination. It was written to combat Hopkinsianism.

Argument on the Arminian Controversy. [Published in Overture.]-1836-Reformed Presbyterian Church, in America.-This Overture, prepared by Rev. Moses Roney, a member of the Synod, presents an excellent overview of the Arminian controversy in its history and doctrine. It presents a vigorous defense of Calvinism following the order of the "five points" as discussed at Dort. His discussion on the Arminian assertion of "common grace" is particularly helpful.