The Westminster Doctrine of Predestination

Crichton, James (1975) The Westminster Doctrine of Predestination. Master of Theology thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

In scope this work is both theological and historical. The aim is to recover an understanding of the Christian doctrine of predestination as presented in the Westminster Confession of Faith. As will be made clear in the Introduction, a part of Church teaching, once prominent, has become neglected and has even been disowned. This work is an attempt to get beyond the ignorance and misunderstanding that surround both doctrine and Confession. It is an attempt to see the Westminster teaching in its context. Whither the view is worth the journey will be known only when the journey is completed. The first task will be to examine the confessional form and its place in the history and thought of the Church. While the confessional profusion of the Seventeenth Century will he given particular attention, study will be made first of the Bible and the ancient creeds to try and establish the relationship between confessions and the affirmation of community identity, a relationship which will be shown to be highly significant for the Westminster Confession. The particular situation in which the Westminster Confession was composed will require detailed examination. This will include a survey of both English and Scottish Reformed theology prior to Westminster as well as a thorough investigation of the complicated background to the Assembly. This will set the Confession in its context. A similar service must then be performed for the doctrine. The prominence enjoyed by the doctrine in the Confession cries out for investigation# So does the relationship of the doctrine to the understanding of God and man. That cry will be answered. The development of the doctrine from its first formulation by Augustine through Luther and Calvin to the Seventeenth Century will be traced with particular reference to the options open at the time of the Assembly. In this way the ground will have been cleared for the meaningful analysis of the Westminster statement which will then be attempted. However, something more is required. In order to get a full, rounded picture of what the divines believed it will be necessary to consider the way they and their successors taught the doctrine. This will be done with an eye to arguments made against the alleged effects of their teaching. The Westminster doctrine of predestination having been set in its context, historically and theologically, that doctrine having been analysed as theory and studied as practice, the Conclusion will attempt to assess its true significance.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Theology)
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: Theology
Date of Award: 1975
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1975-78688
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 15:02
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 15:02
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/78688

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