当人一提到圣经中的预定论,或拣选,常常就会有人说那是加尔文主义,好像在2000年的教会历史中,只有加尔文一个人想到预定论的题目,所以被称为加尔文主义。而我今天就要提出一些证据来指出预定论不是加尔文一个人的,加尔文自己也不会称自己的神学为「加尔文主义」,而会用正统 (Orthodox) 来表达自己的神学。 

教会历史里第一个把预定论清楚的整理出来的人,是奥古斯丁,这不是说之前没有人提过,但奥古斯丁算是教会历史里的第一个神学家。有人这么说,「如果任何人说他读过奥古斯丁所有的著作,他一定是在说谎!」来表达奥古斯丁的神学著作的丰富。

奥古斯丁是第五世纪的人(AD 354-430), 他的神学持续地影响着后代的神学家, 如13世纪的阿奎纳 (Thomas Aquinas, AD 1225-1274) 我引用一段阿奎纳在他的神学巨著的话:“God wills to manifest His goodness in men; in respect to those whom He predestines, by means of His mercy, as sparing them; and in respect of others, whom he reprobates, by means of His justice, in punishing them.”「神定旨要对人彰显他的美善;对所预定的人,以怜悯对待他们,免了他们应得的刑罚;至于其他的人,所弃绝的人,以公义对待他们,惩罚他们的罪。1」

他又写: “… the Apostle refers, saying (Rom. 9:22, 23): “What if God, willing to show His wrath [that is, the vengeance of His justice], and to make His power known, endured [that is, permitted] with much patience vessels of wrath, fitted for destruction; that He might show the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which He hath prepared unto glory” and (2 Tim. 2:20): “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver; but also of wood and of earth; and some, indeed, unto honor, but some unto dishonor.” Yet why He chooses some for glory, and reprobates others, has no reason, except the divine will. Whence Augustine says (Tract. xxvi. in Joan.): “Why He draws one, and another He draws not, seek not to judge, if thou dost not wish to err.”

「使徒写到 (罗马书 9:22-23) 『倘若 神要显明他的忿怒(公义的复仇),彰显他的权能,就多多忍耐宽容(容许)那可怒、预备遭毁灭的器皿,又要将他丰盛的荣耀彰显在那蒙怜悯、早预备得荣耀的器皿上。』又说 (提后 2:20)『在大户人家,不但有金器银器,也有木器瓦器;有作为贵重的,有作为卑贱的。』  但是,至于为什么拣选一些人到荣耀里,弃绝其他的人,除了神圣的旨意以外,没有别的理由。就如奥古斯丁所说的: 『为什么吸引一些人归向,而另一个不吸引,如果我们不想犯错的话,我们最好不要乱下结论。』」1

从上面所引用的例子,我们很明显地可以看出来奥古斯丁深深地影响了阿奎纳的神学,而另一个和加尔文同时代的改教家 彼得维弥理 (Peter Martyr Vermigli) 也受了很多奥古斯丁和阿奎纳的影响 2,写了「预定和称义」(Predestination and Justification). 另外,比加尔文还早的马丁路德改教时也已经写了「受罪恶捆绑的意志」(The Bondage of the Will) 来描述人的意志并不自由,而是受罪恶的辖制和捆绑。 还有,当时其他重要的神学家们,如布赛尔 (Martin Bucer), 慈运理 (Zwingli) 等等,都在预定论上有相当的共识。

至于加尔文之后其他的英国,苏格兰,荷兰神学家们,都是有相同的教导,他们的著作里很少引用加尔文,但后来都被讨厌这神学的人统称为加尔文主义者。 

我们今天所学的预定论,实在不能说是加尔文主义,加尔文和其他所有的神学家都自认为是 Reformed Catholic-改革宗大公教会。 我们教会也是,我们要回到大公教会的正统神学体系里面,不是高举任何一个人。 

另外顺便提到一点,假如你说,阿奎纳和奥古斯丁不是天主教的吗?我们为什么要读他们的书? 我只能在这里简单的说,他们是天主教还没变的太腐败之前的好神学家们,所以还是可以读的。 

1 Aquinas, Thomas (2010-06-19). Summa Theologica (Complete & Unabridged) (p. 124). Coyote Canyon Press. Kindle Edition. 

2. “Should a theologian almost a decade older than Calvin, trained in the Universities of Padua and Bologna, who subsequently taught in Strasbourg, Oxford, and Zürich, and who, for all his general agreement with Calvin, did not speak of a double decree of predestination but rather identified predestination with election, who drew more positively on medieval scholastics (notably Thomas Aquinas and Gregory of Rimini) than Calvin, who did not view himself as a follower of Calvin, and whose abilities in Hebrew extended far beyond Calvin’s be called a Calvinist? The theologian in question is Peter Martyr Vermigli, whose work was quite influential in the development of post-Reformation Reformed theology— and who, despite his own identity, has often been called a Calvinist.”

—Muller, Richard A. (2012-11-15). Calvin and the Reformed Tradition: On the Work of Christ and the Order of Salvation (Kindle Locations 1032-1037). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.