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Inner GraceAugustine in the Traditions of Plato and Paul$
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Phillip Cary

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336481

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336481.001.0001

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 Predestined Grace

 Predestined Grace

Conversion and Election

(p.99) 4 Predestined Grace
Inner Grace

Phillip Cary (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The pastoral problems of predestination arise because Augustine uses the concept of divine election to answer the question: why are some saved rather than others? For Protestants, this becomes a question about why some are converted rather than others, but as his treatment of the conversion of Paul shows, Augustine does not conceive of conversion as a once‐in‐a‐lifetime event. Nor does he think it assures us of eternal salvation, for we do not know in advance whether we will also receive the gift of perseverance in faith. The anxieties evoked by predestination stem ultimately from supercessionism, the doctrine that Christians replace the Jews as God's chosen people, which assumes, contrary to the biblical concept of election (as Karl Barth shows), that God's choices are bad news for those not chosen.

Keywords:   Augustine, Jews, Paul, Barth, grace, conversion, perseverance, predestination, election, supercessionism

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