Why Predestination is not God making us into Robots?

The idea of predestination has confused a lot of people including Christians. The question is why God decided to predetermine everything even before we were born? Some were destined to go to hell, some destined to go to heaven.

The important thing to understand is when God calls us to do something he does not coerce us. In other words when God predestines as, there is no elimination of our responsibility. Let’s say I caused someone to hit someone else, the responsibility of hitting the second person does not lie on the first person but on me. That’s coercion. But for God it is different.

When non-Christians object towards God’s causations or actions or predestination in this case, we are presupposing a univocal action or causation. What is it?

Univocal Action Vs Analogical Action

Univocal action accurately describe God when we say univocal means one to one. It’s like whatever God does, we understand as is. However the reality is God’s action is not univocal. It is actually what we call as analogical. It’s only an analogy, it is not the one on one reality. And now the words analogical causation of God means we do not understand most of the actions of God because it’s it is only analogical. [1]Now this is very very important.

Because it is analogical, when God predestines, it is not on the one to one understanding of human terms as it is called in the philosophical world. But it is only an analogical action. Which means we can only understand a small portion of it, the majority of which we do not accurately describe God’s action at all. Therefore when we say God predestines, it is not like he decided how exactly how we should live, but the reality is a lot of which we do not understand. But the most important thing is God’s action is analogical to our action or causation.

God can cause us to do something that is compatible to our responsibility

In other words God’s causation of us or in other words God’s predestination of us does not eliminate our causation. It does not violate our responsibility. We still are responsible to do it according to God’s predestination. A lot of which we cannot truly understand, precisely it is because it’s only analogical. It is not univocal. When I talk to you it is univocal you understand exactly what I say is as long as I explain sufficiently. However when God does it we only understand a little portion of it because it is only an analogical causation it is not a univocal or one or one causation or work, knowledge.

One good example is the Omnipresence of God. OK so if we say Johnny cannot come here, because johnny’s presence is unique univocal of my presence. What that means is if I stand on this location precise location here, Johnny cannot stand exactly where I stand. Because my presence is univocal of his presence. However God’s presence is that he can stand where I’d stand exactly, and it does not cancel my presence. But it actually establishes my presence. It is analogical. That’s what it means the omnipresence of God as an example.[2]


[1] Reference to Aquinas theology of first causation, potency to actuality

[2] Apologetics Class–Dr Gray Sutanto

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s