Calvinism

A system of religion, introduced by John Calvin, the French reformer, in opposition to Catholic teaching, the distinctive doctrines of which, in addition to his Presbyterian idea of the church, are as follows

  • Man, as a result of Adam‘s fall, has no freedom of will, but is an absolute slave of God
  • God has predestined each one of us, some to hell, and some to heaven from eternity absolutely independently of our own efforts
  • the elect cannot be lost

Calvin‘s doctrines, which were based on the assumption that God, being Infinite, is alone a real agent, and creatures are solely His instruments, are set forth in his Institutes.

His followers split into two sects: the Supralapsarians (Latin: supra lapsum, before the fall) who together with Calvin regarded God‘s decree of reprobation as absolute, and unconditioned by the Fall; the Infralapsarians, or Sublapsarians (Latin: infra, or sub, after), regarded God‘s positive condemnation as consequent to and conditioned by the Fall.