This treatise considers the discussion of the decrees of God between two major groups: those who prefer supralapsarianism and those who opt for infralapsarianism. The author traces this controversy to the struggle between Augustine and Pelagius. There were strong views for and against the two options.
Bavinck discusses the views of supralapsarianism and infralapsarianism, which are all attempts to describe the order in which God made the decision to predestine man to salvation, permit the fall, and provide a mediator for the atonement of the elect. The author finds fault with both views and discusses an alternative way of viewing and studying God's decree.
The Introduction is a reminder of the historic Synod Utrecht of the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands in 1905 and the contributions of Abraham Kuyper and Herman Bavinck’s theology to the debates at that time. Bavinck’s book on calling and regeneration is placed in its historic and theological context.