Paul's Passing Thoughts

Predestination and the Gnostic Connection

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on January 30, 2014

ppt-jpeg4One shouldn’t dismiss information out of hand because of the source alone, but there is no doubt that such information deserves more stringent vetting when the source is dubious. We know that the founders of Protestantism, Augustine, Luther, and Calvin had Gnostic leanings, so we also know that Protestantism needs a complete reevaluation by the saints. I think we have been sold a bill of goods for so long that what the Bible has to offer is a wide open frontier. I think most of what we “know” was conveyed to us by dead mystic despots. We are so dumbed down that their hatred for God’s people wasn’t even our first clue. Neither was the fact that they hanged, burned, and drowned those that disagreed with their interpretation of Scripture.

I am hesitant to screen some who comment here at PPT when they are well studied and respectful because I am confident in what I know. Granted, I sometimes cringe as I click on the approve button, but sometimes it pays off in regard to learning something valuable. Well studied people bring valuable things to the table, and if I have made my case here at PPT, readers will not be led astray by contrary information.

However, I do screen those who waste my time with what amounts to assertions that a cat isn’t exactly a cat because it starts walking. It’s already a cat, but not yet. A cat and a walking cat are distinct, but never separate. That’s where I draw the line. I draw the line with those who do Reformed speak.

This brings me to the point. The following is a comment posted on PPT last week:

Calvinism derived its 3 classes ultimately from the 3 classes in Valentinian Gnosticism (see Ireneaus’ five books Against Heresies):

1. Pneumatics (spirituals) – The elect of the elect.

2. Psuchics (soulys) – The average elect.

3. Hylics (carnals) – The non-elect.

Meaning, the Hylics have no chance. As for the Psuchics, they are (as you put it) “entered into the race” but not given “the gift of perseverance.” And the Pneumatics, of course, are elect to the uttermost, meaning nothing they do can damn them.

In Gnosticism, this is natural selection, or election by nature according to Clement of Alexandria in Stromata: 2. 3. More specific definitions follow:

In the gnostic view, hylics, also called Somatics (from Gk σώμα (sōma) “body”), were the lowest order of the three types of human. The other two were the psychics and the pneumatics (from Gk πνεύμα (pneuma) “spirit, breath”). So humanity comprised matter-bound beings, matter-dwelling spirits and the matter-free or immaterial, souls.

Somatics were deemed completely bound to matter. Matter, the material world, was seen as “evil” in the gnostic world view. The material world was created by a demiurge, in some instances a blind, mad God, in others an army of rebellious angels as a trap for the spiritual Ennoia. The duty of (spiritual) man was to escape the material world by the aid of the hidden knowledge (gnosis). *

The pneumatics (“spiritual”, from Greek πνεῦμα, “spirit”) were, in Gnosticism, the highest order of humans, the other two orders being psychics and hylics. A pneumatic saw itself as escaping the doom of the material world via the transcendent knowledge of Sophia’s Divine Spark within the soul.†

They conceive, then, of three kinds of men, spiritual, material, and animal . . . The material goes, as a matter of course, into corruption. The animal, if it make choice of the better part, finds repose in the intermediate place; but if the worse, it too shall pass into destruction. But they assert that the spiritual principles which have been sown by Achamoth, being disciplined and nourished here from that time until now in righteous souls (because when given forth by her they were yet but weak), at last attaining to perfection, shall be given as brides to the angels of the Saviour, while their animal souls of necessity rest for ever with the Demiurge in the intermediate place. And again subdividing the animal souls themselves, they say that some are by nature good, and others by nature evil. The good are those who become capable of receiving the [spiritual] seed [and becoming pneumatic]; the evil by nature are those who are never able to receive that seed [and become hylic].—Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I. 7, 5

Calvin held to these same three types of categories except the determinism is by God rather than nature. For Calvin, it is the non-elect, the elect, and those of the elect that are gifted with perseverance:

In fine, we are sufficiently taught by experience itself, that calling and faith are of little value without perseverance, which, however, is not the gift of all (CI 3.24.6)

The expression of our Savior, “Many are called, but few are chosen,” (Mt. 22:14), is also very improperly interpreted (see Book 3, chap. 2, sec. 11, 12). There will be no ambiguity in it, if we attend to what our former remarks ought to have made clear—viz. that there are two species of calling: for there is an universal call, by which God, through the external preaching of the word, invites all men alike, even those for whom he designs the call to be a savor of death, and the ground of a severer condemnation. Besides this there is a special call which, for the most part, God bestows on believers only, when by the internal illumination of the Spirit he causes the word preached to take deep root in their hearts. Sometimes, however, he communicates it also to those whom he enlightens only for a time, and whom afterwards, in just punishment for their ingratitude, he abandons and smites with greater blindness (CI 3.24.8).

To what extent is the doctrine of election fruit of Gnosticism’s poisonous tree? Is predestination true at all? These are questions that the saints will have to answer via their own faithful study.



*Freke, Timothy (2001). Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians. Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-1-4000-4594-5.

†Online source:

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10 Responses

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  1. paulspassingthoughts said, on January 30, 2014 at 9:29 PM

    Reblogged this on Clearcreek Chapel Watch.


  2. johnimmel said, on January 30, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    i don’t get the intro… someone posted this and you approved it and that helped you identify the classes of people that Ireneaus detailed. who was this dastardly villain?



    • paulspassingthoughts said, on January 30, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      David Brainerd. Yes, the three classes according to Gnosticism and natural selection is very similar to Calvin’s three classes of determinism. That was news to me.


  3. johnimmel said, on January 31, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    Yea… that is good stuff. I guess I vaguely remember these distinction from school but never put the two together.


  4. […] Predestination and the Gnostic Connection. […]


  5. gricketson01 said, on April 5, 2014 at 7:47 PM



  6. lydiasellerofpurple said, on April 5, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    I think I am starting to see why he (David) refers to Calvinists as athiests. Yikes.


  7. Denise said, on April 7, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    I’m just a seeker, a woman after The LORD’s heart. Even though my life from birth until the death of my 28 yr. only child. Most of my life wasn’t good. Then it’d drift into what I thought dumb luck. 3 years ago The LORD commenced to giving me the beating of my life! My life verses Job’s life. Job was righteous, I believed, but never Thanked Him. After I came out of the beating, “The LORD giveth, He taketh away”, naked from my mothers womb, naked into the earth. I never cursed God, I ask why her, why didn’t He take me? I started reading the bible, people would say start with Psalms and Proverbs. Something inside told me, read Daniel, Gospel of John, Isaiah. But I never understood what John, or Paul were talking about when they said, there are others that are predestined, by God. I know our Creator of the Universe and Jesus My LORD know everything. Past, present & future. But never understood, “predinstined” by Him? Is that why He took almost EVERYTHING from me, to wake me up? Material items, I could care less about, but my one and only good daughter, sure woke me up! Is that what The LORD does to His predinstined or elect? To get us on track? After 3 years, I haven’t stopped seeking the good news, the truth. Your blog helped me on my journey of knowledge. My daughter was a young theologian in the making. Believed in Jesus, gave all of her life to those who were less fortunate. I’d have to say she was one of the elect. Just from what I know. But I’m trying to figure it out about me. I pray and talk to Jesus all the time. Again thanks for the blog.


  8. David said, on March 5, 2018 at 3:01 AM

    Did you read the whole section of his institute? And this is all you have? This is much ado about nothing…trying to make something stick that does not stick. Read the parable Calvin was referring to.


    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 5, 2018 at 8:59 AM

      Your comment is typical Reformed (simply church in general) cognitive dissonance. Unlike you, and as admitted by one of your multiple
      gods, John Piper, concerning himself, I have not only read the whole section, but all of the Calvin Institutes. Curious, those who claim, like the who’s who of church, viz, the “Prince of Preachers,” Charles Spurgeon, that Calvinism IS THE GOSPEL, few, if any, have even read the CI. That’s by their own admission, and in Piper’s case, publicly. So, your question is better posed to one of your multiple gods that are still alive.

      Secondly, your lame objection is this typical argument among churchians: just because a sentence says a cat walked across the street, the author isn’t necessarily saying that the cat walked across the street; you have to read the whole book to know whether or not that’s what he is really saying. Yet, when called out on a contradiction, they point to plenary context while admitting they themselves haven’t read the whole body of literature. So let us observe the folly of your logic: Calvinism is the gospel; no statement by Calvin can stand alone without full context; we haven’t read the full context; but yet we are the authority on Calvinism.

      Hence, you and every church hack out there are a waste of time. My life is devoted to honest truth seekers, not those who love not the truth but rather the glory of men.

      Thirdly, though Calvinists have many methods of avoiding truth that are embarrassingly lame, I will mention one more that you invoke. Out of all points made in the post, you single out one to contest, and then you only contest it based on an assumed authority that supposedly understands things that commoners such as myself cannot understand. This is, on its face, the very Gnostic mentality that you deny.

      It is your choice to die on the alter of man-worship; why trouble me with it? Don’t come back, and if you do, moderation will block anything you post.


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