From Wikipedia

Supralapsarians believe that God chose which individuals to save logically prior to the decision to allow the race to fall and that the Fall serves as the means of realization of that prior decision to send some individuals to hell and others to heaven (that is, it provides the grounds of condemnation in the reprobate and the need for salvation in the elect).

Also from wikipedia Logical order of God's decree

    1. Save some and condemn others
    1. Create the elect and the reprobate
    1. Authorize the Fall (by which all deserve to be condemned)
    1. Provide salvation only for the elect

In my understanding - "to save and to condemn" need a preceding logical order (in mind) that there must be something to save and to condemn.

The question : why the logical order in Supralapsarian like 1, 2, 3 above ? Isn't that the proper logical order is (in the mind) to (1) have something plural (create), and then the next order (2) want/will from those something plural, some are saved and some are condemned, and then (3) choose/elect which names that are saved and which names that are condemned.

Another source from this link:

  1. the election of some men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the others)
  2. the decree to create the world and both kinds of men
  3. the decree that all men would fall
  4. the decree to redeem the elect, who are now sinners, by the cross work of Christ
  5. the decree to apply Christ's redemptive benefits to these elect sinners

Can someone please explain how to elect something when there is nothing to be elected ? Wouldn't it we need number zero (0) in our mind there is Cain Abel Esau Jacob Mary Josef Moses Abraham Judas etc etc etc. Then next thing is (1) I want Cain Esau Judas to be in hell and I want Mary Josef Moses Jacob Abraham to be with me.

Thank you.


Quick note up front, I'm planning to edit this to add further info when I have time to break out my Berkhof and/or other relevant texts. But here's a quick response:

I think part of the problem here is wikipedia. You are getting confused by the wording of wikipedia, which is confusing, and not exactly accurate.

Supralapsarianism teaches, essentially, that God determined to create for himself a people to redeem and a people to judge (if you accept double predestination). Once he had made this decision he then determined how to accomplish this through the creation of a people who would fall and be redeemed by Christ. To use a logic order as you have above, it would be formulated as:

Supralapsarianism (modified)

  1. the election of some men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the rest of sinful mankind in order to make known the riches of God's gracious mercy to the elect)
  2. the decree to apply Christ's redemptive benefits to the elect sinners
  3. the decree to redeem the elect sinners by the cross work of Christ
  4. the decree that men should fall
  5. the decree to create the world and men

Infralapsarianim teaches, on the other hand, that God determined to create people, determined that these people would fall and that he would redeem them through his Son. Again, to use the logic order it should be formulated:


  1. the decree to create the world and (all) men
  2. the decree that (all) men would fall
  3. the election of some fallen men to salvation in Christ (and the reprobation of the others)
  4. the decree to redeem the elect by the cross work of Christ
  5. the decree to apply Christ's redemptive benefits to the elect

Keep in mind that in both views God is proactively determining each step. None are reactionary but rather the will of God in eternity. The debate is purely over the logical order of God's thought and, therefore, necessarily speculative.

Here's a much better source than wikipedia to help clarify these terms: https://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/onsite/qna/superinfra.html

  • P.TJ, thank you for your respond. But I'm sorry as I still don't understand it. Because (imho) when we plan about something - the result (end point) of what we are expecting comes first. For example I want one of my trains goes to city A (destination). So then I drive the train (action) which whatever routes I choose, the train will be in city A. In reality, the order is : I drive the train (in the way I want) first, then the train is in city A. But the logical order is vice versa : because I want the train to be in city A then I drive it (in the way I want).
    – karma
    Mar 5 '17 at 19:00
  • I don't understand why Supralapsarians doesn't mention that in His plan (mind) God wants some are saved and some are doomed. IMHO, after this "wanting" - then follow the "how" (action). So, Cain, Abel, Jacob, Esau and all other persons (that are going to be existed since the creation of the world until the end of the world) have to be existed first in His mind. Then "later on", in His mind He choose Abel & Jacob (and some other names) are saved and Cain & Esau (and some other names) are doomed.
    – karma
    Mar 5 '17 at 19:00
  • Next, (still in His mind) do the action. Make Abel & Jacob (and some other names) saved and make Cain & Esau (and some other names) doomed.
    – karma
    Mar 5 '17 at 19:01
  • In reality, suppose that I plan on something. (IMHO) The first thing is that [1] I know that I'm going to have 10 sons and also I know each of their names which is 1 to 10. [2] Then I want some of them are rich and some of them are poor. [3] Then I choose 1 to 3 who are going to be rich and 4 to 10 who are going to be poor (double predestination). [4] Then I'm thinking on how am I going to do (action) to make them rich and to make them poor. This is my Supralapsarian version :).
    – karma
    Mar 5 '17 at 19:43
  • 1
    I think you have two issues that are confusing you. First, you are trying to distinguish between God's desires (wants) and his will and decrees. Whether that's a genuine distinction is an ontological question, but it's not what Lapsarianism is concerned with. It is purely an attempt to understand the logic of God's decrees, not to distinguish his desire or will from it. So while I understand that distinction making sense to you, it's just not part of the question Lapsarianism is trying to answer.
    – P. TJ
    Mar 6 '17 at 18:47

I may be misunderstanding parts of your questions, so I apologize if my answer just isn't relevant.


how someone thinking to choose something from a total sum while there isn't preceding thinking that there is something to choose from?

This is an easy thing to do. A simple example: rather than saving humans, lets consider the outcome of catching 1 out of 3 falling paper balls.

Here's the supralapsarianist's thought process:

  1. I want to catch 1 falling ball and let 2 drop.
  2. I will create 3 paper balls, knowing which 1 I want to catch
  3. I will now drop all 3 balls
  4. I will then catch the 1 that I planned on catching.


Unfortunately, I don't understand your question here.. but my understanding of how this would apply to the above example:

  1. I want to create 3 paper balls
  2. I will then drop those paper balls (not because I want to save 1, but for some other reason).
  3. Since these balls are going to drop, I should save 1 of these balls.

Hope this helps, but don't take these simple examples as completely depicting each of these ideas! They are just my attempt at simplifying the concepts

  • Jordan Shurmer, thank you for your illustration. Your IL illustration to me is a correct logical order, except in IL #1 - I think we need to add each name of the ball (say red, green and blue). But I still don't understand the SL illustration #1 : I want to catch 1 falling ball and let 2 drop ---> didn't we need all balls (red - green - blue) existed first in our mind ? didn't we need a state of 3 falling balls first in our mind before (still in our mind) catch the red falling ball and let the green and blue ended on the floor ?
    – karma
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:12
  • IMHO, for SL illustration logical order is (1) create 3 balls (red green blue) with no position (neutral). So... these 3 balls existed first in my mind. Next is about what I want to happen to those balls. (2) I want the red ended in my hand and the green & blue ended on the floor. Next is about how I achieve what I want. (3) I drop all balls, then I catch the red one. Suppose in #1 all 3 balls are on the table, I can choose other "how", for example : I take the red from the table with my hand, and I kick the green&blue in order they ended on the floor :)
    – karma
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:24
  • Your IL illustration #2 : I will then drop those paper balls (not because I want to save 1, but for some other reason) , imho it should go to #3, where the #2 is about the reason of what I want which cause the next thing is (3) I will then drop those 3 paper balls. What do you think, Jordan ?
    – karma
    Mar 9 '17 at 19:35
  • @Mr. Bultitude, Thanks for the suggestion, Mr. Bultitude. I will edit my question.
    – karma
    Mar 25 '17 at 0:44

This question strikes at a more fundamental issue in the discussion of creation in general. In order to create any actual thing, God must first think of the thing he creates. Therefore, this "idea" of the thing created is preexistent to the thing itself. For example, in order to create Paul, God must first have the idea of Paul which precedes Paul's creation. 

How would such a thing be preexistent if it exists contingently upon God? Because God's thoughts and speech are creative extensions from himself. Paul is not an immutable "part" of God's divine unchangeable substance or this would give rise to Pantheism since the whole universe could be said to exist in this way and so the whole universe would conceptually be identical with God. Rather, God's thoughts, and therefore his will, is produced from himself, but not identical with himself. 

This solves the problem of explaining the way the God can have intentions for people who have not yet been created, as indeed the Bible says:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. - Ephesians 1:3-6

In this context, we can discuss the logical order of the decrees in a context where it makes sense to speak of Paul's election prior to Paul's creation.

Likewise, if you accept that God's logically first decree is to produce two kinds of people, elect and reprobate, then it makes sense for creation to come logically after. A potter has the ultimate intention of storing a jug of water, so he decides to create a certain kind of pot. All of his logic goes into deciding what kind of pot he wants to make and when he is finished, he begins to make that pot. The decree to create affects all these hypothetical potentialities of pots which are never actualized as well as the actual pot which exists only after this logical step.

  • Ben Mordecai, regarding Paul, (imho) it something like this : "I will elect Paul on year X month Y date Z". But how come it's suddenly there is Paul whom will be elected if there is no Paul before ? Please don't forget what I mean here is still before the creation, before the action.
    – karma
    Mar 31 '17 at 4:26
  • You wrote : "God's logically first decree is to produce two kinds of people, elect and reprobate". To me, that's already about the action. IMHO, your sentence is from the observer's pov since we as the observer doesn't know each name of the elect and the reprobate. IMHO, the logic from God's pov is : I will produce Moses, Mary, Abraham , etc whom ultimately be with me - I will produce Cain, Judas, Esau, etc whom ultimately be in hell.
    – karma
    Mar 31 '17 at 4:26
  • You wrote : "A potter has the ultimate intention of storing a jug of water". (imho) your illustration is already AFTER the election. That jug is already predefined which jug (the jug's name is bla3x, where there are more jugs with each of their own name...blo3x, bli3x, ble3x, blu3x). As you wrote : "so he decides to create a certain kind of pot" ---> becomes "I will create bla3x and bli3x ultimately to be in my table - I will create blu3x ble3x blo3x ultimately to be in the garbage bin".
    – karma
    Mar 31 '17 at 4:28
  • For illustration, somebody call me that he is going to deliver ten tomatoes with each name 1 to 10. So, in my mind there is already ten tomatoes with each of their name. Still in my mind, I want tomato 1 to 3 ultimately be in my fridge and tomato 4 to 10 ultimately be in the garbage bin. How do I do that ? I'm planning to work on tomato 1 to 3 so they are decent to be in my fridge and I also work on tomato 4 to 10 so they are decent to be in the garbage bin. Finally the tomatoes arrive. Then I start working on each of the tomato in order to achieve what I want to each of them ultimately.
    – karma
    Mar 31 '17 at 4:28
  • IMHO, illustration about the potter and the jugs is difficult to implement. Because before the jugs exist, they all coming from the same one bulk of lump. Before the action, the potter can not choose from that one bulk of lump, except he think first to divide that bulk of lump into ten of lumps with each their own name. So, after he divide it into ten - then he can choose that lump1 to lump3 are going to be a jug on his table ultimately and lump4 to lump10 are going to be a jug in his garbage bin ultimately.
    – karma
    Mar 31 '17 at 4:29

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