Nepaug Bible Church -
MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell -

MAKING SENSE OF GOD'S ELECTION: a Digest of the Essentials of the Work by Donald R. Shell
Part I: Making Sense Of God's Election
Chapter I: The Need To Correct The Illogic In The Major Election Views
  1. Introduction
    1. Christians have long been divided into major camps over the doctrines of election and predestination.
    2. However, each of these major views (unintentionally) leave the Bible looking illogical and thus errant!
  2. Reviewing And Revealing The Illogic In The Major Views On Divine Election
    1. The Illogical Arminian and Amyraldian Stances on Divine Election
      1. Arminians and Amyraldians place God's election to justification in dependence on faith; God's choice of who is to be justified becomes subject to God's awareness in eternity past of who would believe, cf. Williston Walker, A Hist. of the Christ. Ch., 1959, p. 399-400; C. Gordon Olson, "Beyond Calvinism and Arminianism . . ," a paper presented to the Evan. Theol. Soc. Ann'l. Meeting, Toronto, 12/29/81.
      2. Yet, if God chooses who is to be saved based upon a mere "knowledge-beforehand" of a man-authored faith, His election becomes logically unnecessary, C. F. Baker, A Dispensational Theol. , p. 384-385.
      3. However, making an assertion which contains an unnecessary component like this is to make an illogical assertion, for Webster's Third New Int'l. Dict., s. v. "logic" claims logic requires " . . . the interrelation or connection or sequence (as of facts or events) especially when seen by rational analysis as inevitable, necessary or predictable." (emphases ours)
    2. The Illogical Calvinist Stance on Divine Election
      1. John Calvin and his followers have taught men believe in Christ since God chose them to do so to be saved, cf. Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Rel., Book Third, ch. XI, 1; ch. XXI, 1 (trans. Beveridge).
      2. Yet, this stance is illogical by making faith needless: if God chose who would be saved, He would not need to author faith as His grace would be as well served by saving men only because He chose them!
    3. The Illogical "Moderate" Calvinist Stance on Divine Election
      1. "Moderate" Calvinists hold God in eternity past chose the current plan of history out of an infinite variety of possible blueprints. He is thus sovereign over the outcome of the blueprint selected where man is responsible in time to trust in Christ. God is thus alleged to be sovereign while man exercises will "coextensively," L. S. Chafer, Major Bible Themes, rev. John F. Walvoord, 1974 ed., p. 232-233.
      2. Yet, this view is illogical by also making faith needless: whenever God might choose His plan, exactly who will be saved would be predestined by that choice, making all faith expressions by men unneeded!
  3. The Major Views Conflict With The Bible's Inerrancy
    1. Well, since these views on election are illogical, they represent the Bible as being errant (as follows):
      1. An earlier work by Clark H. Pinnock that is recommended by the International Council on Biblical Inerrancy, the book, A Defense of Biblical Infallibility, reveals all assertions must be "cognitive and rational" if they are to be true assertions (Ibid., Pinnock, p. 16-17 as promoted in James M. Boice's Does Inerrancy Matter? (published by the ICBI, 1979, Oakland, CA.), p. 29, "A Select Bibliography").
      2. Besides, Christ held all of the Bible is needed down to each part of each word's letters, Matt. 5:18.
    2. Since Arminians, Amyraldians, Calvinists and "Moderate" Calvinists make either God's election or faith in Scripture to be unneeded, they (unintentionally) make the Bible appear to be illogical and thus errant!
  4. The Purpose Of This Work - We intend to support the Bible's inerrancy by studying Scripture to "make sense" of God's election and to resolve all the related problems in the election debate.
  5. Charting A Course For This Work
    1. In Part I, Chapter II, we will do an inductive Bible study on 3 passages to redefine election in relation to faith and justification. These three passages are 1 Peter 1:1-2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13 and Ephesians 1:4-5.
    2. In the process, we will use our findings on the major views to guide us away from error in that induction.
    3. In Part II, Chapters I-X, we will do an exposition of every pertinent Bible passage or word on each of the will-related themes and doctrines in the debate regarding divine election and predestination.
    4. In Part III, we will give the order of salvation events, the "Ordo Salutis" (suggested by C. Gordon Olson).
    5. In Part IV, Chapter I, we will offer a conclusion on the right views of the doctrines in the debate.
    6. In Part IV, Chapter II, we will resolve the debate by (a) showing how election and predestination became so misunderstood in the Church due to the corruption of Bible truth by pagan beliefs in (partial) fulfillment of Matthew 13:33. (b) We will then close with an appeal to edify the Body of Christ.