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This is the forum to discuss the spectrum of views within Christianity on God's foreknowledge and election such as Calvinism, Arminianism, Molinism, Open Theism, Process Theism, Restrictivism, and Inclusivism, Christian Universalism and what these all are about anyway. Who is saved and when is/was their salvation certain? How does God exercise His sovereignty and how powerful is He? Is God timeless and immutable? Does a triune God help better understand God's love for mankind?

While this area is for the discussion of these doctrines within historic Christianity, all theists interested in discussing these areas within the presuppositions of and respect for the Christian framework are welcome to participate here. This is not the area for debate between nontheists and theists, additionally, there may be some topics that within the Moderator's discretion fall so outside the bounds of mainstream evangelical doctrine that may be more appropriately placed within Comparative Religions 101 Nontheists seeking only theistic participation only in a manner that does not seek to undermine the faith of others are also welcome - but we ask that Moderator approval be obtained beforehand.

Atheists are welcome to discuss and debate these issues in the Apologetics 301 or General Theistics 101 forum without such restrictions. Theists who wish to discuss these issues outside the parameters of orthodox Christian doctrine are invited to Unorthodox Theology 201.

Remember, our forum rules apply here as well. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

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Conditional or Unconditional Election?

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  • Conditional or Unconditional Election?

    I hold to conditional election through foreknowledge. Which one do you guys hold?
    Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.

    -Thomas Aquinas

    I love to travel, But hate to arrive.

    -Hernando Cortez

    What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?

    -Frederick 2, Holy Roman Emperor

  • #2
    I believe in a sovereign God who is not willing that any should perish, but He gave us the ability to decline Salvation.
    I believe in the work of the Holy Spirit in bring people to Christ, but, again, man has the ability to decline.
    "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by TimelessTheist View Post
      I hold to conditional election through foreknowledge. Which one do you guys hold?
      Unconditional election. Like that of the king, God turns our hearts where he wishes.

      Comment


      • #4
        I hold to conditional unmerited election. That the foreknowledge of God is rooted in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit to obedience in belief in the truth. (2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Peter 1:2.)
        . . . the Gospel of Christ, for it is [the] power of God to salvation to every [one] believing, . . . -- Romans 1:16.

        . . . that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: . . . -- 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4.

        Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: . . . -- 1 John 5:1.

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        • #5
          I believe election to salvation is conditional. Assuming God exhaustively (fore)knows the decisions we will make in this age, it may say be said that election is based on divine foreknowledge. That said, I do not believe the foreknowledge issue is the main point. In the New Testament election is corporate in nature. It is important to observe that election to salvation relates to believers. Believers become incorporated into the body of Christ through faith. Believers are elect as a result of their faith-union to Christ, the Elect One himself. "Behold, I lay in Zion, A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame" (1 Peter 2:4 NKJV; cf. Isaiah 28:16).

          That is my view view in a nut-shell. As an Arminian, I strongly reject the Augustinian/Calvinistic notion that God predestines or elects specific persons to faith.1

          (Though related, the role and/or extent of human depravity and the role of the Word in proclaiming the Gospel through the power and the influence of the Holy Spirit in the conversion process are all beyond the scope of this thread. Many issues are at play: the extent of the atonement, the (ir)restibility of divine grace, and ultimately how God has decided to exercise his sovereignty over creation in redemption through Christ.)


          Note

          1 This should come as no surprise. See my username.
          Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-21-2014, 12:54 PM.
          For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

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          • #6
            I don't know but probably none of the above. Thanks for asking!
            βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον·
            ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

            אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃

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            • #7
              When are we going to get past the whole 'salvation' benefit of election. IMO, election is not about salvation, rather salvation is just one of the MANY blessings which we have IN CHRIST. Election is about accomplishing God's will of redeeming the whole world, not just about 'us'.

              But while we are at it, I believe election is conditional in the sense that it is dependent on one being found 'in Christ', which is accomplished 'through faith'. Election cannot happen outside of Christ, and thus is conditional on being 'in Him'.
              Last edited by phat8594; 02-21-2014, 01:31 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                When are we going to get past the whole 'salvation' benefit of election. IMO, election is not about salvation, rather salvation is just one of the MANY blessings which we have IN CHRIST. Election is about accomplishing God's will of redeeming the whole world, not just about 'us'.
                You bring up a valid concern. Many evangelicals seem to focus almost completely on soteriology, thus leaving the cosmological ramifications of redemption untouched. Believers are the beginning of God's work of new creation in Christ.1 All of creation will be completely renewed and renovated ("a new heavens and new earth") when Christ returns at the end of the age to do away with all that is opposed to God's reign (sin, sinners, death, disease, temptations to sin). Regarding the mission of the church, Peter declares: "[Y]ou are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light" (1 Peter 2:9 NKJV).


                Note

                1 Thankfully I'm ahead of the curve.
                Last edited by The Remonstrant; 02-21-2014, 02:09 PM.
                For Neo-Remonstration (Arminian/Remonstrant ruminations): <https://theremonstrant.blogspot.com>

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                • #9
                  I believe in unconditional election predicated upon the premise of God's unconditional choice of faith as the only means through which salvation is possible...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                    I believe in unconditional election predicated upon the premise of God's unconditional choice of faith as the only means through which salvation is possible...
                    so in other words, you believe in conditional election...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by phat8594 View Post
                      so in other words, you believe in conditional election...
                      That be a big no no,,, God chose (Election) faith as the means of salvation predicated upon nothing save his own wishes and volition. He did not chose faith predicated upon what we would do... Difficult to wrap your mind around this precept as long as your mind is pre conditioned other wise...

                      Give it a fair shot, it is in the bible...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                        That be a big no no,,, God chose (Election) faith as the means of salvation predicated upon nothing save his own wishes and volition. He did not chose faith predicated upon what we would do... Difficult to wrap your mind around this precept as long as your mind is pre conditioned other wise...

                        Give it a fair shot, it is in the bible...
                        On the previous incarnation of this board, Phat and I debated this topic at length. We came away with respect but not agreement.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                          On the previous incarnation of this board, Phat and I debated this topic at length. We came away with respect but not agreement.
                          Thanks for your response Mr. RBerman. Interested in how Phat would describe the concept of "unconditional election".

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dacristoy View Post
                            Thanks for your response Mr. RBerman. Interested in how Phat would describe the concept of "unconditional election".
                            First off, I should point out that the words 'unconditional election' are not found in the Bible.

                            That being said, from my studies of the scriptures I have seen an 'unconditional / conditional' form of election.

                            Unconditional from God's point of view (nothing conditioned God to offer salvation)

                            Conditional from mans point of view (man must be found in Christ, which occurs by faith)


                            I believe the Calvinist is right in trying to defend the idea that God is the ulimate author of salvation, and that salvation comes by His mercy and His choice. However, I believe they go to far in asserting that salvation is also unconditional to man (man has no real choice in the matter).

                            Personally I believe God chose to save all those who have faith (in Christ), and this (salvation) not of their own doing, but a free gift of God. IOW, faith doesn't earn anything, it is just the condition (of man) upon which God has set His sovereign choice.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RBerman View Post
                              On the previous incarnation of this board, Phat and I debated this topic at length. We came away with respect but not agreement.
                              Yes, I have a lot of respect for you RB.


                              Of course, I'm believing its only a matter of time before you become a free will theist, RB.

                              Comment

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