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View Diary: Eugene Robinson responds to Pope Francis (138 comments)

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  •  I've always heard it called "Elect" (1+ / 0-)
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    Cassandra Waites

    but that is essentially right. Since God has known from before the beginning of the world who is written in the book of Life and who is not, some are saved and some are damned and there is nothing you can do to change that.

    BUT while this was a common warping of the message--and human beings do warp nearly everything--there are some important differences.  One way others would recognize the saved was in their way of life: "by their works shall ye know them."  They wouldn't be saved BY works, but their hearts would be so full of Christ that they would do good works anyway.

    And unique to modern Americans is their certainty that they, personally, are going to heaven.  16th century Christians knew that most people were going to hell and that it very well could include them.  People who think there's a literal hell but optimistically assume they're too good to go there are way more likely to be complacent about it.

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