Election and the Will of God

Dear friends (and foes),

I have a speculation with which I would appreciate the help of some insightful theologians (that could be you). I am currently agnostic with regard to Calvinistic and Arminian soteriology, but wish to frame this proposition from a Calvinistic point of reference.


a) God elects only some individuals for salvation, thus automatically condemning the rest of humanity,

b) God elects His children based on nothing in-and-of themselves (i. e. they're own righteousness), and therefore

c) The basis of God's election of some and condemnation of others must be the same,

What then is the basis of this "double-election"?

Let me ward off unthoughtful responses by saying this: "Grace" is not the answer, because it does not satisfy the question. Grace is the means and is too vague to be the answer. When people say "grace" they really mean something more specific. What I want to know is, What is that something? Arminians say, "Foreknowledge." Catholics say, "Faith and works." One of the pat Calvinist answers is "His sovereignty"; but this is also vague. I want to hear it expressed in tangible terms. For example, is it "arbitrariness"? This seems to be the best answer I have found so far.

Webster defines arbitrary as
1: depending on individual discretion (as of a judge) and not fixed by law; 2: not restrained or limited in the exercise of power : ruling by absolute authority; 3: based on or determined by individual preference or convenience rather than by necessity or the intrinsic nature of something.
Sounds an awful lot like sovereignty, doesn't it? Let's agree then for a moment that "arbitrariness" is the answer. One of two things must be true about arbitrariness. Either (a) it denotes a complete lack of volition and thus denotes random chance, or (b) it is volitional and based on something, albeit not anything inherent or intrinsic in humanity.

Thus, election can be said to be an exercise of God's volition, His will. He wills that some be saved and some perish (see proposition point 'c'), i.e. He "double-predestines".

P. S. How do Reformed theologians understand Jesus's statement in the wedding banquet parable in Matthew 22:14?

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