Some New Must Read Articles at SEA (Abasciano and McCall)

SEA has been diligently providing its readers with excellent Arminian resources.  Recently Dr. Brian Abasciano’s newest theological article on corporate election was made available.  Here is the write-up from SEA [Introducing Dr. Brian Abasciano’s “Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election”]:

SEA is excited to announce the addition to our site of Dr. Brian Abasciano’s recently published article Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election which argues forcefully and compellingly for the corporate view of election. The theological concept of corporate election has been gaining force in modern scholarship for quite some time. It is widely held among scholars that a primarily corporate election is the election described in the OT. It is on this basis that Dr. Abasciano and others argue that this corporate view of election is the view that Paul and the other apostles would naturally carry over into the NT. This is not just speculation but is strongly supported by the language of election used especially by Paul, not least in Romans and Ephesians.

But there are critics from the Reformed view who naturally recognize acceptance of the corporate view of election as a threat to the traditional Calvinist interpretation of key Scriptures and the nature of salvation since corporate election holds to a conditional rather than unconditional view of election. Foremost among these critics of the corporate view is Dr. Thomas Schreiner who criticized corporate election in an article in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society (JETS) “Does Romans 9 Teach Individual Election Unto Salvation?: Some Exegetical and Theological Reflections” JETS 36/1 [March 1993] 25-40. Abasciano later responded, pointing out that the criticisms Schreiner leveled against the corporate view not only lacked cogency but were primarily based on fundamental misunderstandings of the concept (Corporate Election in Romans 9: A Reply to Thomas Schreiner, JETS 49/2 [June 2006], 351-71). Schreiner then wrote a reply in the same theological journal issue criticizing corporate election once again, even going so far as to make the unguarded and surprising claim that the corporate view is incoherent (Corporate and Individual Election in Romans 9: A Response to Brian Abasciano).

Abasciano sought to write a response to Schreiner’s follow-up article but the policy of the theological journal did not allow for further rebuttals. For this reason he decided to write a more general theological article on corporate election specifically addressing the many misconceptions held by those who have criticized the concept. In this present article Abasciano interacts with Schreiner and other scholars convincingly demonstrating that the corporate view of election is indeed the Biblical view. He draws on the Old and New Testament witness in order to make his case while showing that the attacks leveled against the corporate view by Calvinists are based on individualistic biases in handling the primary texts or misconceptions of what the corporate view entails.

He argues for a view of corporate election that has its ultimate basis in the divine election of Christ as God’s covenant Head through whom the covenant people of God will be named and identified as God’s children. Election is therefore primarily of a people and those people draw their identity as God’s chosen people through faith union with the chosen corporate representative, Christ Jesus. In other words, as the Scriptures testify, we are elect “in Him” (Eph. 1:4). Since one comes to be in union with Christ and His people through faith, it follows that election is conditional rather than unconditional.

It is my opinion that this article goes further than any previous work in making a clear and compelling case for the corporate view of election. No doubt Calvinists will continue to resist the mounting weight of scholarship in support of corporate election, but they will need to seriously contend with Abasciano’s work in order to gain any real ground. It will be extremely difficult from this point forward for any Calvinist scholar to be able to dismiss the corporate view by suggesting it is incoherent or does not fully deal with all of the Biblical data. It is my opinion that Abasciano’s work will stand the test of time and help to finally advance our understanding of such an important Biblical concept beyond the narrow and individualistic views of Calvinistic interpreters which have unfortunately led to so much unnecessary theological confusion and tension in the church today.

Clearing Up Misconceptions About Corporate Election

In addition to Abasciano’s important and compelling new article, SEA has also made available Dr. Thomas McCall’s theological articles addressing the serious problems inherent in the Calvinistic accounting of sovereignty.  In these articles, McCall interacts with John Piper and demonstrates that his accounting of God’s primary objection in reprobation is seriously flawed and leads to terrible theological implications and absurdities.  Here is the write-up from SEA [Dr. Thomas McCall takes on John Piper and the Calvinistic View of God’s Sovereignty]:

We are excited to have added two articles by Thomas McCall, assistant professor of Biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, which critique John Piper’s theology of God’s sovereignty. They appeared in an issue of Trinity Journal that features an exchange between Piper and McCall, with McCall firing the first volley (Thomas McCall, “I Believe in Divine Sovereignty”, Trinity Journal 29/2 [Fall 2008] 205-226), followed by Piper’s response (John Piper, “I Believe in God’s Self-Sufficiency: A Response to Thomas McCall”, Trinity Journal 29/2 [Fall 2008] 227-234), and then McCall offering a final rejoinder (Thomas McCall, “We Believe in God’s Sovereign Goodness: A Rejoinder to John Piper”, Trinity Journal 29/2 [Fall 2008] 235-246). McCall makes a compelling case against the typical Calvinist view of divine sovereignty (which amounts to exhaustive divine determinism), represented by Piper,[1] and for a more Arminian view of God’s sovereignty, which does justice to his power, love, and goodness. I appreciated Piper’s humble, pastoral response to such a strong critique of his theology when he said, “I do not rush to press people to believe all the hard things I believe without regard to their own conscience. I do not want someone to believe that God is evil, or that God ever sinned. So if my affirmation that God wills sin to come to pass . . . requires of someone that they believe in their hearts that God sins or that God is evil, then I say to them, ‘Do not yet believe what I say. Your conscience forbids it. You dare not believe statements about God which, according to your own conscience, can only mean that God is what he is not. Continue to pray and study. Either you or I (or both of us) will be changed in due time’ ” (p. 234).

This is wise counsel that we should take to heart, especially as McCall eventually lands a real knock-out blow (or close to it), by drawing attention to the fact that Piper admits that his view logically implies that we might as well sin that grace may abound, and resorts to pleading that we not follow where the logic of his position leads, since it directly contradicts God’s word (pp. 243-44). Calvinism as it is typically held is logically incoherent. That is one reason why I am an Arminian. It is a theology that is logically coherent, biblically faithful, and can actually be lived by the grace of God. Praise God for his sovereingty, love, and goodness! And praise God for this irenic exchange between Piper and McCall, which, in my view, has the effect of refuting the standard Calvinistic position on God’s sovereignty and providence and commending the Arminian one.

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[1] McCall does make clear that Piper’s is not the only Calvinist view, and that he focuses on the popular Calvinistic view of God’s sovereignty, represented by Piper, that offers a theodicy for God ordaining sin and evil to the effect that it is necessary for God’s glory, and ultimately, for God to be God. But his essays still show up the deficiency of the more general and standard Calvinistic view (i.e., exhaustive determinism). Citing the judgment of Reformed historical theologian, Richard A. Muller, McCall also cautions that determinism is not the standard position of the broad Reformed tradition (p. 246 n. 34). Be that as it may, it is certainly the position of Calvin and standard Calvinism (see e.g., these quotes of Calvin; the Westminister Confession of Faith, 3.1-2; 5.1-4).

An Apparently Not So Brief Response to C. Michael Patton on Rom. 9

I wrote a lengthy response to C. Michael Patton’s post on Rom. 9 entitled “Why Does He Still Find Fault”: Predestination, Election, and the Argument of Romans 9.  Apparently, it was a little too lengthy for Patton’s taste since he deleted all but the first in a series of posts and then made a general comment about people spamming his site, to which I responded,

I apologize for the length of my posts and that several of them were posted in a row, but the question you ask in your post requires a very detailed answer. So I didn’t see it as spam. I saw it as a detailed response to a question that was repeatedly asked in this thread: that someone offer an alternative interpretation to the one you have offered if one is to properly challenge that interpretation. I do intend on putting my comments above into a post at my blog at some point, but in doing so one can never be sure how many will think it worth pursuing. So I was trying to engage your post in the most direct way as possible. I thought that is what you were after and I made sure to limit the content to Rom. 9.  But again, I apologize if that response was longer than you approve of. I did not intend to violate your blog rules.

So for the sake of sharing an alternative interpretation and taking on the claims that the Arminain interpretation simply cannot honestly make sense of the text in question (esp. Rom. 9:19), I offer the entirety of my response below which was not permitted on Patton’s site.  I will also link to it at his site as he suggested long winded commenters like myself do.  I am tempted to add to it since I have the freedom to do so now, but for now I will leave it as is and maybe develope it further in subsequent posts:

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CMP,

There is so much to say concerning this that it is very hard to put it all in a post or two.  I really do think that the Arminian interp is in far better harmony with the greater context of Rom. 9-11 than the Calvinist interpretation.  I would also take issue with your view that Paul is speaking of unconditional security in Rom. 8:28-39.  Rather, Paul is speaking of all of the benefits that come to the believer through faith union with Christ (notice the bookend “in Christ” language in Rom. 8:1 and 8:39).   While one remains in Christ through faith, nothing in this world can separate the believer from Christ.  However, the passage says nothing of those who may reject Christ at a later time and remove themselves from the sphere of God’s elective love (which is “in Christ Jesus”, 8:39).

I would also argue that Paul is primarily speaking of the corporate body of Christ, the church, in Rom. 8:28-30 and of individuals secondarily only as they relate to and are identified with the elect corporate body 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 individual on the condition that he or she remains in that elect body through faith.  This truth is clearly brought out in Romans 11:16-24.  So Rom. 8:28-39 does not preclude the possibility of apostasy on the part of the individual who may ultimately be broken off from the elect body through unbelief.  However, in his reflection on all of the covenant blessings and benefits that belong to the church as a result of their union with Christ, Paul’s thoughts quickly shift to his own people who have largely been denied these benefits due to their unbelief.  So the question naturally arises, have God’s promises to Israel failed?  Has God been unfaithful to Israel in denying them participation in the new covenant that the Gentiles are now enjoying?

In short, the answer is a resounding “no”, since God has the sovereign right to choose His covenant people on whatever basis He decides upon.  This basis is union with Christ through faith rather than heritage or works.  God decides who His covenant partner will be and who His covenant people will be.  This is Paul’s point in Rom. 9:1-13.  God chose His people through His sovereign election of the covenant heads (the patriarchs) and this election was not based on man’s decision but God’s decision.  But God’s ultimate purpose in election was to open the door for all people to enjoy His love as God’s chosen covenant people and that purpose has now been realized in Christ (cf. Rom 4:16-25).  Therefore, the children of the promise are not those that God unconditionally elected from all eternity, but those who receive the promise by faith (cf. Rom. 3:21-4:25; Rom. 9:8; Galatians 3:15-29).

The promise is ultimately the promise of a new covenant people through Christ Jesus (Rom. 4:16-5:9; Gal. 3:21-25).  It is through faith that we receive the promised Spirit and become children of God (Gal. 3:14, 22-29).  The first part of Romans is concerned with God’s divine right to name His covenant people based on whatever conditions He decides to set forth or based on whomever He decides to choose as the corporate representative through whom His people are named and draw their identity.  It was through Isaac that Abraham’s offspring would be “named” (i.e. called), for it was through Isaac that the promise would come to the people.  Further, God named His people through Jacob/Israel.  The covenant people of God were chosen in Jacob/Israel and this according to God’s sovereign right to make Jacob His corporate covenant representative rather than Esau.  The concept of corporate solidarity is plainly seen in Paul’s reference to the prophecy given to Rebekah (Rom. 9:11-13).  The people of God are tied up in the corporate representative Jacob/Israel and derive their identity and name through Him,

Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from within you will be separated; one people will be stronger than the other, and the older will serve the younger. (Emphasis mine; Note: the person Esau never served the person Jacob)

This is a prophecy of the destiny of these two people groups tied up in the persons of Jacob and Esau through whom these people would be “named” (i.e. “called”) and derive their identity.  God had the sovereign right to choose Jacob as the corporate representative of His covenant people, but this was only the beginning since the true “Seed” of Abraham was yet to come.  And it is ultimately through this chosen “Seed” (Christ) that God’s people will draw their identity as God’s chosen covenant people, and through whom all of the blessings and promises of the new covenant would be imparted to those who put faith in Him (Rom. 4:16-5:5; 9:8, 30-10:13; Gal. 3:14, 21-4:7).  Note especially Gal. 3:16-22, 29.

Furthermore, God has the divine right to make inclusion in the people of God based on the condition of faith in Christ, through which we are joined together with Him and receive all of the spiritual blessings that reside in Him (including election, cf. Eph. 1:3-13). So it is not of works or heritage, but of faith in Christ.  It is to this that the Jews protest since they believe that the promises belong to them unconditionally as children of Abraham and observers of the covenant laws and customs.  But God reserves the right to have mercy on whom He will have mercy (i.e. on those who put faith in Christ) and to reject/harden those who reject His divinely appointed means of effecting the new covenant and naming His new covenant people (through faith union with His chosen covenant Head and corporate representative- Jesus Christ, the true “Seed” of Abraham through whom the “promises” are received by faith, Rom. 4:13-17).

This brings us to the passage that you seem to find so convincingly in favor of the Calvinist interpretation (Rom. 9:19).  Paul is not addressing the protest of an Arminian but the protest of a Jew.  Paul just mentioned that even the hardening of Pharaoh ultimately served God’s purpose in that His name might be displayed in all the earth.  However, Pharaoh was not hardened arbitrarily.  His hardening was the result of His rejection of God and God’s right to do what He willed with His covenant people.  This is the parallel drawn with present day Israel.  The Israelites have experienced a hardening due to their rejection of God’s chosen means to effect His covenant and name His covenant people (through Christ).  However, just as with Pharaoh, their rejection and subsequent hardening have actually served to further Gods’ purpose in that His name is now proclaimed among the Gentiles and His glory more fully displayed through the inclusion of the  Gentiles as God’s covenant people through faith in Christ.  So the objection is not about why does God harden us irresistibly and then blame us?  The objection is: why does God hold us accountable when our rejection and hardening actually served His purpose in increasing His glory and making Himself known among the nations?  It is similar to the objection raised in Rom. 3:7,

If my falsehood enhances God’s faithfulness and so increases His glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?

This brings us to Paul’s use of the Potter imagery which draws on Jeremiah 18.  Rather than being used at this present time for noble purposes, the Jews are being used for “common use” in that they are still serving God’s purposes, but not in the way that God originally intended.  God has been forced to use them through their failure rather than through their obedience and faithfulness.  God had noble purposes for Israel, but they could not be fulfilled due to their rejection and rebellion.  Therefore, God endured them as objects of wrath just as He endured and sustained Pharaoh while simultaneously preparing objects of glory even through their rebellion and stubbornness (in the case of Israel God continued to enact His plan to send the Messiah through Israel [by whom He would prepare a people for glory] despite Israel’s continual rebellion and rejection of God and His covenant).

God could have destroyed them entirely many times, but endured them with great patience for the sake of His promise to bring the promised “Seed” out of Abraham’s descendents, through whom He would bless the world (Rom. 9:4, 5).  As Jer. 18:5-11 plainly testifies, God had noble plans for Israel but brought destruction on them instead due to their rebellion (Jer. 18:5, 9-12).  In the same passage God states that the nations of whom God warns of destruction can come into favor and avoid destruction through repentance (Jer. 18:7).  This is exactly what has happened in Paul’s day.  The Jews have been rejected, not unconditionally but as a result of their rebellion, and the Gentiles have been spared destruction and given hope through Christ due to their positive response to the Gospel (see also Isaiah 29:16; 45:9 which describes the same basic concept of judgment for rebellion as described in Jer. 18).

The Jews have rejected God’s ways and purpose fulfilled in the person of Christ and will now suffer the just consequences while the Gentiles who had previously rejected God and were cut off from the promises of God, will now enjoy His favor through their acceptance of God’s purposes in the person of Christ.  The allusion to Jer. 18 and the imagery presented there makes the Calvinist interpretation of these passages impossible.  So God reserves the right to say “not my people” to those who were formally His people and to call them “my people” who were formally cut off from the benefits of God’s covenant people (Rom. 9:24-29, and note again that “called” is used in these passages in the sense of “naming” a people for God, and not as some divine summons made irresistible for the “elect”; for more on that see here).  “My people” are those who receive the promise through faith in Christ (both Jew and Gentile) and “not my people” are those who reject Christ (both Jew and Gentile).  Romans 9:30-33 sums this up nicely in again locating the distinction between the people of God and those rejected of God as being based on those who have faith and those who do not.  Nothing is said of an unconditional election in Paul’s conclusion to this section, because this was not at all what Paul had been discussing in the chapter.

As we continue to read Rom. 10-11, the Arminian interpretation only gains strength while the Calvinist interpretation falters repeatedly.  Much, much, much more could be said, but I have already gone on far too long.   Thanks for letting me share an alternative perspective.

God Bless,

Ben

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”

Brian Roden: “The Doctrine of Election: Corporate Calling of a People with Conditional Individual Participation in the Elect”

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 

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

Below are two posts that provide strong Biblical evidence that suggests the Biblical concept of Christian “Calling” has primary reference to “Naming” rather than a summons or invitation:

Brian Abasciano on Calling

Klein, William W. “PAUL’S USE OF KALEIN: A PROPOSAL”

Dr. Brian Abasciano’s Dissertation on Rom. 9:1-9 Now Available at SEA

Dr. Abasciano’s doctoral dissertation is concerned with an in-depth exegesis of Rom. 9:1-9 with special attention to the OT background as it relates to Paul’s argumentation.  It was the basis of his first book in an on going series on Romans 9 (the second volume on Rom. 9:10-18 is expected to be published sometime in 2010, or perhaps 2011).  Dr. Abasciano takes a corporate view of election and his dissertation constitutes a very important study of the way that Paul’s understanding and use of the OT sheds light on a proper understanding of his argument and view of election in Romans 9.

Paul’s Use of the OT in Romans 9:1-9: An Intertextual and Theological Exegesis

Election and Predestination- Life in the Spirit

A co-worker of mine bought me a Life in The Spirit Study Bible (which used to go by the name Full Life Study Bible). This Study Bible has several articles and verse by verse notes from a Pentecostal Arminian perspective. The notes are well researched and easy to understand. I do not hold to a pre-trib view, however, so I found the notes and articles on eschatology unsatisfying and unconvincing, though I think they did a fine job describing the pre-trib position. The only other draw back is that this study Bible is, to my knowledge, only available in the KJV and NIV.

I was very pleased with the article on election and predestination. It is, quite frankly, the best short synopsis of the Arminian position that I have ever read. It takes the corporate election view which I have come to favor (for now anyway); but I think that any Arminian would be able to agree with much of what the article says. It is so comprehensive and brief that I thought I would post it here as a great summary of the corporate election view. Despite my disagreement with the pre-trib position, I think the Life in the Spirit Study Bible is a very useful resource for Pentecostal Arminian believers.

Election. God’s choice of those who believe in Christ is an important teaching of the apostle Paul (see Ro 8:29-33; 9:6-26; 11:5, 7, 28; Col 3:12; 1 Th 1:4; 2 Th 2:13; Tit 1:1). Election (Gk eklego) refers to God choosing in Christ a people whom he destines to be holy and blameless in his sight (cf. 2 Th 2:13). Paul sees this election as expressing God’s initiative as the God of infinite love in giving us as finite creation every spiritual blessing through the redemptive work of his Son (1:3-5). Paul’s teaching about election involves the following truths:

(1) Election is Christocentric, i.e., election of humans occurs only in union with Jesus Christ. “He chose us in him” (Eph. 1:4; see 1:1, note). Jesus himself is first of all the elect of God. Concerning Jesus, God states, “Here is my servant whom I have chosen” (Mt 12:18; cf. Isa 42:1, 6; 1 Pet 2:4). Christ, as the elect, is the foundation of our election. Only in union with Christ do we become members of the elect (Eph 1:4, 6-7, 9-10, 12-13). No one is elect apart from union with Christ through faith.

(2) Election is “in him…through his blood” (Eph 1:7). God purposed before creation (Eph. 1:4) to form a people through Christ’s redemptive death on the cross. Thus election is grounded on Christ’s sacrificial death to save us from our sins (Ac 20:28; Ro 3:24-26).

(3) Election in Christ is primarily corporate, i.e., an election of a people (Eph 1:4-5, 7, 9). The elect are called “the body of Christ” (4:12), “my church” (Mt 16:18), “a people belonging to God” (1 Pe 2:9), and the “bride” of Christ (Rev 19:7). Therefore, election is corporate and embraces individual persons only as they identify and associate themselves with the body of Christ, the true church (Eph 1:22-23; see Robert Shank, Elect in the Son, [Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers]). This was true already of Israel in the OT (see Dt 29:18-21, note; 2Ki 21:14, note; see article on God’s Covenant with the Israelites, p. 298).

(4) The election to salvation and holiness of the body of Christ is always certain. But the certainty of election for individuals remains conditional on their personal living faith in Jesus Christ and perseverance in union with him. Paul demonstrates this as follows. (a) God’s eternal purpose for the church is that we should “be holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4). This refers both to forgiveness of sins (1:7) and to the church’s purity as the bride of Christ. God’s elect people are being led by the Holy Spirit toward sanctification and holiness (see Ro 8:14; Gal. 5:16-25). The apostle repeatedly emphasizes this paramount purpose of God (see Eph 2:10; 3:14-19; 4:1-3, 13-24; 5:1-18). (b) Fulfillment of this purpose for the corporate church is certain: Christ will “present her to himself as a radiant church…holy and blameless” (Eph 5:27). (c) Fulfillment of this purpose for individuals in the church is conditional. Christ will present us “holy and blameless in his sight” (Eph 1:4) only if we continue in the faith. Paul states this clearly: Christ will “present you holy in his sight without blemish…if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel” (Col 1:22-23).

(5) Election to salvation in Christ is offered to all (Jn 3:16-17; 1Ti 2:4-6; Tit 2:11; Heb 2:9) but becomes actual for particular persons contingent on their repentance and faith as they accept God’s gift of salvation in Christ (Eph 2:8; 3:17; cf. Ac 20:21; Ro 1:16; 4:16). At the point of faith, the believer is incorporated into Christ’s elect body (the church) by the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12:13), thereby becoming one of the elect. Thus, there is both God’s initiative and our response in election (see Ro 8:29, note; 2 Pet 1:1-11).

Predestination. Predestination (Gk prooizo) means “to decide beforehand” and applies to God’s purposes comprehended in election. Election is God’s choice “in Christ” of a people (the true church) for himself. Predestination comprehends what will happen to God’s people (all genuine believers in Christ).

(1) God predestines his elect to be: (a) called (Rom. 8:30); (b) justified (Ro 3:24, 8:30); (c) glorified (Ro 8:30); (d) conformed to the likeness of his Son (Ro 8:29); (e) holy and blameless (Eph 1:4); (f) adopted as God’s children (1:5); (g) redeemed (1:7); (h) recipients of an inheritance (1:14); (i) for the praise of his glory (Eph 1:2; 1 Pe 2:9); (j) recipients of the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13; Gal 3:14); and (k) created to do good works (Eph 2:10).

(2) Predestination, like election, refers to the corporate body of Christ (i.e., the true spiritual church), and comprehends individuals only in association with that body through a living faith in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:5, 7, 13; cf. Ac 2:38-41; 16:31).

Summary. Concerning election and predestination, we might use the analogy of a great ship on its way to heaven. The ship (the church) is chosen by God to be his very own vessel. Christ is the Captain and Pilot of this ship. All who desire to be a part of this elect ship and its Captain can do so through a living faith in Christ, by which they come on board the ship. As long as they are on the ship, in company with the ship’s Captain, they are among the elect. If they choose to abandon the ship and Captain, they cease to be part of the elect. Election is always only in union with the Captain and his ship. Predestination tells us about the ship’s destination and what God has prepared for those remaining on it. God invites everyone to come aboard the elect ship through faith in Jesus Christ. (Life in the Spirit Study Bible, pp. 1854, 1855)

I have not yet read all the articles but have found the articles: Individual Apostasy, Israel in God’s Plan of Salvation, and Regeneration to be faithful to the Arminian position and well written. If you are an Arminian who enjoys Study Bibles but has been frustrated by the lack of Study Bibles from and Arminian perspective, then I would highly recommend the Life in the Spirit Study Bible.