Can Anyone Be Blotted Out Of The Book Of Life?

Hello readers, and welcome back to Deeper Waters, the blog where we dive into the ocean of truth! At the moment, we are studying the Christian doctrine of God. We’ve had as our guide the Summa Theologica of Thomas Aquinas, a work readable for free at Tonight, we’re going to wrap up our look at the Book of Life in the work of Aquinas and ask the question “Can Anyone Be Blotted Out Of The Book Of Life?”

I suspect that many readers were asking this question somewhere in predestination or in this topic. The question of salvation being something that one can lose or not is a divisive topic sadly in Christian circles. Once again, while I do have an opinion on this, I am at first simply trying to get across the views of Aquinas, as I try to not take a firm stance on secondary doctrine in this blog.

Has it not been said earlier that predestination is based on foreknowledge? If it is then based on the foreknowledge of God, and predestination is the same as the Book of Life but only differ in idea, then it would seem that since the foreknowledge of God cannot change and is eternal and immutable, then no one can be blotted out of the Book.

However, Aquinas does believe that it is possible for someone to be blotted out of the Book of Life. There are passages of Scripture that are cited that give this impression. Revelation 3:5 and Psalm 68:29 are two such examples. Moses also when he interceded for Israel said that he would prefer that if Israel could not be redeemed that God would just blot him out of the Book of Life.

Yet how can Aquinas hold this position if he believes that the foreknowledge of God cannot change? To begin with, let us remember that Aquinas definitely does believe the foreknowledge of God cannot change. The question then to ask is what is it that God has foreknowledge of?

God has foreknowledge of things that can change and there are two ways one can be in the Book of Life. One is by predestination and if that is the case, then that will not change. The other is by having some form of grace by which one could be made worthy, but losing that grace. We must remember that Aquinas spoke in the previous article of being in the book relatively.

What God has foreknowledge of does not change insofar as it is the knowledge of God. God does have knowledge however of things that are changing. For instance, God knows right now I am sitting at my computer. However, he also knows I plan on sleeping tonight and that will not be sitting at my computer. (At least I hope not!) God knows right now infallibly that I am doing what I’m doing, but he also knows in the same way what I will be doing in the future. (And while I have plans, I will not be so presumptuous to say they won’t go perfectly as is presented in James 4)

Thus, God knows unchangeably what will happen to changing things. The change does not lie in God but in the object. In this way, Aquinas can speak of God having eternal knowledge of who will have eternal life, but also having some names being blotted out of the Book of Life. It’s not as if God is taken by surprise.

For our purposes, rather I agree or disagree, my advice to Christians who struggle with salvation is this. First off, I have not met anyone before that I have met wrestling with salvation who I have not believed is saved. Second, if you are worried that you are going to lose salvation based on not doing enough or because you made a mistake at one point, I would say I do not agree with that. Your salvation is not so flimsy that it is easily lost.

Most importantly however, simply live your life in trust of God. Live as if you were saved if you are doubtful. Live a life of praise and trust to Him and trust that he will guide you.

On a more therapeutic approach, I recommend the web site of Gary Habermas and having listeners go to his audio material on doubt, pain, and existential suffering. I cannot recommend enough the material on conquering emotional doubt. This can be found at

We shall begin a new topic tomorrow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: