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Calvin at the Centre$
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Paul Helm

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532186

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532186.001.0001

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Providence and Predestination

Providence and Predestination

(p.132) 5 Providence and Predestination
Calvin at the Centre

Paul Helm

Oxford University Press

The chapter begins by offering an explanation of why Calvin chose in the 1559 Institutes to treat the doctrines of providence and predestination separately when they had not been considered separately before then. It is argued this was probably because of the confusion that had arisen between the two in his debate with Pighius. The chapter then considers the views of Thomas Aquinas on providence and predestination, followed by Calvin; it looks at the one place in the Institutes where Calvin critically considers Thomas's views on predestination. Finally, consideration is given to the views of the Puritan John Arrowsmith on providence, which follow Calvin's views closely, though the presentation is more scholastic. The chapter ends by asking why it is that in Puritanism the doctrine of providence was considered in a way that takes no account of either the issue of occasionalism or the beginnings of ‘physico‐theology’.

Keywords:   Aquinas, Arrowsmith, Institutes, occasionalism, predestination, Providence, 1559

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