The chosen in Christ

Paul’s words in Ephesians 1 are clear. Nevertheless, a story about a letter can perhaps provide a fresh appreciation for his message and what it means for us.

Although I certainly did not graduate with a degree in chemistry and chances are you have not either, let’s pretend we did. Now imagine receiving a letter from our alma mater’s chemistry chairperson: “The president of our university chose us in chemistry before our chemistry program ever began to be educated and prepared for employment.” Continue reading “The chosen in Christ”

“Choose” this day

Calvinism is the teaching that God sovereignly chooses those whom he wanted to be saved, and those who were destined to die in a state of eternal punishment. If predestined to be saved, once saved, he was always saved. If destined to be lost, no matter how strongly he desired to serve God, he would inevitably die in a lost condition. Calvinism suggests that we have no choice, God sovereignly determines our fate.

I think of the sign on a politician’s desk: “My decision is maybe – and that’s final!” Continue reading ““Choose” this day”

To choose or not to choose

“Raccoon” John Smith, one of the most colorful characters in the early Restoration Movement (how could anyone nicknamed “Raccoon” not be colorful?) was originally a denominational preacher who was expected to preach the major tenants of Calvinism, a doctrine known as predestination. It is a doctrine that suggests God sovereignly chooses, or does not choose, those who will be saved. Regardless of how a person believes or acts, he is predestined to be saved or lost.

Smith struggled with this partly because he had lost two infant children in a horrific fire. Could God have “sovereignly” chosen to take these children away, he wondered? Continue reading “To choose or not to choose”