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From Latin supra, above, and lapsus, fall, 16th-and early 17th-century Calvinistic adherents of a view of predestination in which God, for His glory, elected some men to salvation and condemned others to damnation before the Fall of Adam. An opposing view of the time was held by the infralapsarians who declared that the divine decree of predestination came after the Fall. John calvin, out of whose doctrine of predestination Supralapsarianism developed, was neither a Supralapsarian nor an Infralapsarian. He was concerned to establish that the division of men into believers (who would be saved) and unbelievers (who would be condemned) depended upon the absolute decree of God. Since Calvin's view was sufficiently indefinite, both parties claimed him as favoring their view. In further support, the Supralapsarians pointed to the Consensus Genevensis (155152), written by Calvin to combat Jerome Bolsec (d. 1584) as Supralapsarian, while the Infralapsarians claimed the Gallican Confession (1559), whose first draft was the work of Calvin, as favoring their view. Theodore beza, the successor of Calvin, was a strong Supralapsarian, and the Synod of Dort (161819) in the Dutch Reformed Church upheld Supralapsarianism vigorously, but the doctrine was never popular, and it was soon eclipsed by the more moderate view.

See Also: calvinism; confessions of faith, protestant; predestination (in non-catholic theology).

[r. matzerath]

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