Sunday, September 19, 2010

Accord­ing to the Good Pleasure of His Will

Calvinist find a hint of unconditionally in the phrase "accord­ing to the good pleasure of His will". If God is calling the shots, with respect to us it must be random. Arminians need not understand the phrase along those lines. This just means God's plans are wise and good and in accordance with His Holiness, Justice and Goodness.

5 comments:

The Seeking Disciple said...

I agree. The context focuses on Christ and our being chosen in Him. Arminius' view of election was the Christ was the center of election and everything revolves around Him being the chosen one.

Shfengoli said...

Since the Calvinists are wrong, why must their position be misrepresented by using the word "random"?

Godismyjudge said...

Dear Shfengoli,

Context, context context. Sure, Calvinists say God has a reason, but they also say we are not that reason. Thus, I didn't just say random but rather I said "with respect to us it must be random".

Here's a quote from Dort to back it up:

"This same election took place, not on the basis of foreseen faith, of the obedience of faith, of holiness, or of any other good quality and disposition"

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html?mainframe=http://www.reformed.org/documents/canons_of_dordt.html

God be with you,
Dan

Shfengoli said...

But doesn't that ignore their assertion that God uses intermediate causes in nearly ever working-out of His will? Calvinists don't seem to have a problem saying that people must make choices; that they make their choices for reasons; and that, ultimately, God's will is fulfilled through these means (as in the case of Joseph and his brethren).

Godismyjudge said...

I don't think so, because Calvinists don't see secondary causes or our choices as the reason God elects this person rather than that person.

Ordinarily we choose things based on some quality about what we are choosing. So when Calvinism talks about God's election, they are using election (or choice) in a special sense; because our actions and qualities are not the reason God chooses this person rather than that person. They do say God has a reason, but that reason is not us.

This is one of the reasons why I see understanding the election passages as conditional rather than unconditional. Normally choices are conditional. Normally, we choose things based on some quality in what we are choosing. Calvinists understand election in a strained and unnatural way.

God be with you,
Dan