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The Faith of Godʼs Elect £5.50 £5.95
by John Parkinson Date Added: Thursday 23 September, 2010
"The Faith of God's Elect" Parkinson, John F. (Gospel Tract Publications, Glasgow, 1999)


The aim of the "The Faith of God's Elect" is to compare the election of Scripture with the election of theology. I seek to show that they are incompatible, contradictory, and materially different.

In Chapter1 we look at what the scriptures mean by election and predestination. All of God's purposes are centred in His Son. The Elect of God is His own beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are in Him are chosen in Him. We share in His chosenness. The church is God's heavenly election, chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, for blessings which are heavenly, spiritual and eternal. Election is not to salvation, but to blessings and purposes which follow salvation. Election applies exclusively to the redeemed, having no relevance to the unbeliever. Such is the election of Scripture.

The election of theology, on the other hand, presents a very different picture. In Chapter 2 we trace the origin of the election of theology. We are asked to believe that God has elected by an unchangeable decree those persons whom He will save and those whom He will reject. We observe that this unscriptural idea had its origin in the ideas of Augustine of Hippo. The later Reformed school, considering this dogma to be orthodox doctrine, adopted Augustine's views of double predestination as the foundational premise of their system. They superimposed this misconception on the Scriptures and by a chain of deductive syllogisms arrived at five-point Calvinism. We argue that the technique of syllogistic logic comes from Aristotle and is a totally inappropriate method for the formulation of Christian doctrine.

In Chapter3 we offer a critique of the 5 points of Calvinism and also critically appraise the methodology used in their formulation. We argue that the 5 points are not derived by sound inductive Bible exposition, but are the result of faulty deductive reasoning.

In Chapter 4 we have appealed for an approach to Scripture which will neither add to, nor take away from, the sacred text.

The conclusion of the book is that Calvinist theology seriously misrepresents the Scriptural themes of election and predestination. But by far the most serious outcome of this defective system is its implications for the gospel message. It is noted that on the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles, the Lord Jesus stood up and cried in the temple : ďIf any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drinkĒ (John 7:37). The temple would have been crowded with men from all parts of Israel, and from Ďevery nation under heavení. Let us, for a moment, allow the Calvinist his assumption that God has eternally and unchangeably decreed the choices and destinies of all men. What implications would that have for the Lordís offer to those men in His hearing whom He had excluded from His election, and to whom He would deny the gift of faith? The implications are unthinkable. It would mean that the Lord was inviting non-elect men to Himself in bad faith. We submit that there must be something very wrong with a theology which could put such a shocking construction on the Lordís words, while distorting and removing the element of grace from the gospel message. Some have tolerated the obvious contradictions by appealing to imaginary parallel lines which are supposed to accommodate the contradictions. We are asked to believe that the contradictions are only apparent and will be resolved in eternity. But the contradictions and tensions are caused when we impose the misconceptions of theology on the Scriptures. When we keep to the Scriptures there are no contradictions. We agree with the advice of Sir Robert Anderson, quoted at the commencement of the book, that the Scriptural truth of election must be kept apart from the Augustinian doctrine.

Many Christians assume without question that election refers to God's choice of certain sinners to life. Some have got locked in an argument between Calvinism and Arminianism as if there were no alternative. It is vital to realise that the election of Scripture does not relate to the salvation of the sinner, but to the saints and their blessings in Christ which follow salvation.

The book concludes with the following: "When I am asked if I believe in Godís election, I reply that I most certainly do. But lest there should be some misunderstanding between the questioner and myself, I hasten to add that I believe in the election of Scripture, not in the election of theology. The Scriptural truth of election does not limit or prejudice the gospel message in any way. The gospel is a genuine invitation to all men everywhere. Salvation is of the LORD and woe betide the person who would try to limit it according to human logic. It is the Spirit's work to convince the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Salvation is entirely God's work, but rather than limiting the scope of the gospel, this glorious truth liberates it. Any person can become a vessel of mercy (Rom 9:23); one of Christís sheep (John 10:9); one of the Fatherís given ones (John 6:37); one of those who shall believe on Him (John 17:20); and, gloriously true, one of Godís elect (Titus 1:1). God is sovereign, and because of Calvary, He is free to save whom He pleases. The gospel message is that He is pleased to save those who believe. Let us shed our theological baggage and grasp this truth afresh with both hands. It is vital that the trumpet gives no uncertain sound on this note. Paul told Timothy to pray for all men, because God will have all men to be saved, and because the man Christ Jesus gave Himself a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:1-6). Who would dare put a limit on the ministry of the Holy Spirit? Who would limit the vastness of the love of God? Or like the clay dictating to the potter, who would dare to limit the sufficiency of Christ's death? We conclude our study by quoting again the great gospel truth which flows from the heart of a loving, gracious, and sovereign God to a world of lost and perishing sinners:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:16-17).

Submitted by John Parkinson (Author)

Rating: 4 of 5 Stars! [4 of 5 Stars!]
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