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From: "tom" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Gnostic Wolfe vs CE Wolfe
Date: Mon, 28 Oct 2002 21:06:22 GMT

James Wynn writes:

> First of all, thanks for the recommended readings on Gnosticism.

My pleasure.  I've certainly got a lot more out of this list than
I've contributed.

> Tom said:
> Maybe I'm missing the meaning of pessimism, but salvation through gnosis
> seems a lot less pessimistic than predestination.
> Crush responds:
> Hmmm. It seems to me you are confusing "predestination" with "fatalism." An
> easy mistake, but they're not the same thing.

I think I've got it right.  By predestination I mean the family that
includes what the CE describes as: "It was Calvin who elaborated the
repulsive doctrine that an absolute Divine decree from all eternity
positively predestined part of mankind to hell and, in order to obtain
this end effectually, also to sin.", and its Catholic cousin.

Basically, that God knows whether you're going to hell or not before
you're born.  Now that's pessimism.

In any case, Wolfe doesn't seem to hold that view.  I'm unaware of
any character of his espousing it, in any case.


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