Election–Is It “Duck, Duck, Damn”? Part 3

Posted: December 27, 2008 in Uncategorized

There have been various objections to unconditional election over the last few centuries. 

Objection #1″Election means that we do not have a choice in whether we accept Christ or not.” Wayne Grudem answers “…we must affirm that the doctrine of election is fully able to accommodate the idea that we have a voluntary choice and we make willing decisions in accepting or rejecting Christ.  Our choices are voluntary because they are what we want to do and what we decide to do.  This does not mean that our choices are absolutely free, because…God can work sovereignly through our desires so that he guarantees that our choices come about as he has ordained, but this can still be understood as a real choice because God has created us and he ordains that such a choice is real.  In short, we can say that God causes us to choose Christ voluntarily.  The mistaken assumption underlying this objection is that a choice must be absolutely free (that is, not in any way caused by God) in order for it to be genuine human choice.”

Objection #2 “On this definition of election, our choice are not real choices.” Wayne Grudem answers that  a choice is a real choice even if it is not absolutely free.  This may sound strange but if you think about it, have you ever made a choice wholly independent of your upbringing, personal prejudices, etc.  Probably not.

Objection #3 “The doctrine of election makes us puppets or robots, not real persons.” Grudem reminds us that we are made in the image and likeness of God and that we do make “voluntary decisions based on our own preferences and wants.”

Objection #4 “the doctrine of election means that unbelievers never had a chance to believe.” Here we must rely on Scripture which asserts that we voluntarily accept or reject the offer of salvation. For example, take a look at John 8:43-44, “43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. ”  Second, but less convincing for those outside the camp, so to speak, is Paul’s argument that we are simply not in a position to argue with God (Rom. 9:20).

Objection #5 “election is unfair!”  Yet, true justice would demand that no one be saved.  Remember that God is the ultimate good, our sin is a direct offense against Him, thus any who has sinned has commited the ultimate evil and, therefore, deserves the ultimate punishment.  We all have sinned and deserve hell but God graciously wills that some be saved.

Objection #6 “The Bible says that God wills to save everyone.”  Yet, we paradoxically have free will (albeit not totally free) and have chosen to reject God. Moreover, there is the idea that God has a revealed will and secret will.  This has drawn much fire and is beyond the scope here but it is clearly attested in Scripture.  Don’t believe me? Read Job.  The answer that poor dude gets is, “when you can sit in the Daddy Chair then you will understand…until then (which is never) then shut your pie hole and do what I say.” 

Sound harsh? Again, who really deserves salvation?

We will hit the doctrine of “reprobation” later.  Until then, grace and peace.


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