Corporate Election (Resources)

I am a strong proponent of the corporate election view and wanted to list and link to some good resources which explain and advocate that position.  Hopefully, I will add on to this as new resources become available.  If anyone knows of any good resources on the subject that I have missed, please let me know in the comments section so I can add them.

Articles:

Brian Abasciano On the Corporate Perspective of Paul and His Culture, the Translation of Rom 9:6b, and Corporate Election in Romans 9

A Concise Summary of the Corporate View of Election and Predestination

Election in the Old Testament

William W. Klein, “Is Corporate Election Merely Virtual Election?”

Brian J. Abasciano, “Corporate Election in Romans 9: A Reply to Thomas Schreiner”

Brian Abasciano, “Clearing Up Misconceptions about Corporate Election”, Ashland Theological Journal 41 (2009) 67-102.  This is Dr. Abasciano’s follow-up to his “Reply to Thomas Schreiner” on Romans 9 (above) which Schreiner later responded to.  While it is not a direct response to Schreiner’s rebuttal, it does interact with it quite a bit.

Brian Abasciano Responds to Dan Wallace on Corporate Election

Brian Abasciano Responds to Thomas Schreiner’s Review of His Book on Romans 9:10-18

Brian Abasciano, “Corporate Election Misrepresented in the Pillar Commentary on Romans by Colin G. Kruse”

Joshua Ratliff, “Ephesians 1:3-4: An Explanation of the Corporate and Christocentric Nature of Election”

William Lane Craig on Romans 9

Some Great Comments on Corporate Election, Apostasy/Perseverance, and Rom. 8:28-39

Some Good Comments from Robert Shank on Rom 8:28-29

Corporate Election Quotes

What Does “Calling/Called” Refer to in the Bible?

Books:

Elect in the Son, by Robert Shank

The New Chosen People, by William W. Klein (Revised and Expanded)

Commentary on Ephesians in “The Expositor’s Bible Commentary” (Revised addition) covering Ephesians to Philemon, by William W. Klein

God’s Strategy in Human History, by Forster and Marston (esp. chapter 17, “Chosen and Elect”)

The Chosen People: Election, Paul and Second Temple Judaism, by A. Chadwick Thornhill

[Also, see here for a lecture by Thornhill on Paul’s Election Theology ]

William McDonald’s chapter, “The Biblical Doctrine of Election”,  in The Grace of God and the Will of Man

Paul and Apostasy: Eschatology, Perseverance, and Falling Away in the Corinthian Congregation, by B. J. Oropeza 

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13 Responses

  1. Thanks for the resources. I hold somewhat to corporate election though I do think that the Bible uses the term election for a few people (such as Paul). While we might say that Paul was elected to service, it seems Romans 16:13 is not used this way. Yet I do believe that the Bible teaches conditional election (based on faith) in the elected One, Jesus our Messiah.

  2. SK,

    Many scholars think that Rom 16:13 refers to Rufus being “choice”, that is special, noteworthy, eminent. Some think it refers to his election to a service not mentioned in the text but that would have been well known to the readers. But even more significantly, even if it refers to him as chosen in the full theological sense, it fits in perfectly with corporate election since the view holds that individuals are chosen because they are in Christ, thereby sharing in his election. So any way you slice it, Rom 16:13 is completely compatible with the corporate election view.

  3. …even if it refers to him as chosen in the full theological sense, it fits in perfectly with corporate election since the view holds that individuals are chosen because they are in Christ, thereby sharing in his election.

    Exactly. One of the areas of focus in the corporate view is that it is “primarily” corporate and not “entirely” corporate. As “Arminian” said, the individual draws his identity as a chosen one from membership in the elect group which is elect through its identity with Christ (the elect One). The group is chosen, and by extension all those who come to be a part of the group share in its chosen status (Rom. 11:16-24 illustrates this principle nicely). So corporate election does not discount the idea that individuals are elect, but the focus of election is on the group and one becomes elect by becoming a member of the group- the body of Christ. Individuals are not “elected” to be put into Christ. In that case election would be primarily individual rather than corporate, and such a concept would contradict Eph. 1:4.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  4. BTW, even the text locates Rufus’ election “in the Lord” (Rom. 16:13)

  5. When it comes to the concept of election, Ephesians 1:4 is a passage that first comes to mind (among other passages). Some consider it to be one of the clearer passages in the New Testament speaking about election that exists during the the New Covenant age. Consequently, when discussing this biblical doctrine, Ephesians 1:4 will always be one of the first Scriptures to be discussed.

    Ephesians 1:3-4
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessings in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.

    Having recently checked out a book from the library by Ben Witherington (III) called The Problem With Evangelical Theology: Testing the Exegetical Foundations of Calvinism, Dispensationalism and Weslyanism, I discovered a very insightful comment by BW3 in one of his footnotes. On page 83 in the fourth chapter (Awaiting the Election Results), he notes that:

    Beginning at Ephesians 1:4, Paul talks about the concept of election. The key phrase to understanding what he means by this concept is in Him or in Christ.

    In a footnote to this [53], he says:

    “See the summary of usage in H. Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2003), 173-74. He rightly concludes that we do have the local sense here. The problem with his treatment is that he tries to impose grammatical precision on an epideitic sermon which involves the language of the heart in long, effusive sentences. This is like trying to impose mathematical precision on the meter of a poem or song. Hoehner is trying to argue that the text must mean God chose “us” before the world began because the grammatical diagram of the sentence suggests such a conclusion. As Hoehner admits, however, even Calvin seems to have agreed that God’s choosing “us in Christ” means Christ is the Elect One chosen before the world began and believers are “in Him.” Barth’s view is of the same ilk as Calvin’s.”

    Now there though this is only about thirty five percent of the whole note, it is nevertheless a very important observation worthy of being mentioned. Though I haven’t read H. Hoehner’s commentary on Ephesians, it does appear to be the same reasoning James White presented in his debate with Steve Gregg on Ephesians 1:4. In fact, John Piper also says the very same type of thing in a footnote on Ephesians 1:4 in his book The Pleasures of God. This leads me to believe that such reasoning is the best that Calvinists can come up with in using this verse to support their understanding of election. Hence, this is why Witherington’s note is worth noticing, for it rightly shows the hermeneutical error in the Calvinist’s interpretation of this verse.

    Be sure and pick up the book brothers and sisters– I suspect that many of you will thoroughly enjoy it.

  6. Troy,

    Thanks for the quote. Far from supporting Calvinism, Eph. 1:4 demonstrates that the Calvinist concept of election of sinners to be in Christ is unbiblical.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  7. […] that ultimately finds its identification in Christ (for more on the corporate election view see here).  So while these things are true of the corporate body of believers, they are only true of the […]

  8. Hi guys, looks like the Joshua Ratliff, Ephesians 1 link is broken. Do you know if that article is still available anywhere?

  9. Excellent, thanks.

  10. I fixed the link on the post as well. Thanks for the heads up.

  11. […] [4] For more on the corporate view of election, which I believe to be the Biblical view, see “Corporate Election Quotes” and “Corporate Election (Resources)” […]

  12. […] that ultimately finds its identification in Christ (for more on the corporate election view see here). So while these things are true of the corporate body of believers, they are only true of the […]

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