Predestination and Election are hardly topics spoken about in the Indian Church. After having come to Christ for 7 years, I have not heard a single sermon on Predestination. The topic is a taboo, apparently portraying God as unjust at best or “worse than the Devil”, as John Wesley put it, at worst. So, much of Bible’s teaching on Predestination is either totally ignored or carefully misinterpreted.
One of the proof-text of the free-will theory (or Arminianism) is Romans 8:29. This is how it reads: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (ESV). The passage is interpreted this way: God looked into the future; saw who is going to receive his salvation by faith and who is not; predestined unto glory those who he knew (or foreknew) will receive his salvation by faith and left others to their doom for their lack of it. Therefore in the final analysis, the crucial element which decides one’s personal destiny is one’s own ability to exercise faith. This, God, foresaw and made it a basis for election. Continue reading Foreknowledge and Faith
There is a popular adage in today’s Christianity that says “Christ unites, Doctrine divides.” And hence do not concentrate on doctrines but tolerate every ‘wind of doctrine’ for the sake of Christian unity. But is this indeed a biblical attitude? Did Jesus really envisage this kind of unity in his high priestly prayer? If that was so then why did the apostles and church fathers constantly fight against heresies and warn about false teachers? This adage actually creates a false dilemma and must be rejected. Doctrines must be studied and clear positions taken. This is only good for the long term health of the Church. In this spirit, I highly recommend this book – The Doctrines that Divide – by Erwin Lutzer.
This book is a fine primer on the cardinal doctrines that have divded the Church historically. Erwin Lutzer traces the major debates that have taken place in the Church — over Christ’s deity, Christ’s humanity, Marydom, Papacy, Baptism, Lord’s supper, Canon and finally Predestination versus Free will. As you read this book, you will gain a great deal of knowledge on not only these debates but also on sound theological positions which you might not even hold presently. It will also help you grasp the course of Christian history.
The Predestination/Free will section of the book is very interesting and I am sure will be rewarding to any believer who does not know what Calvinism is. You might even think of realigning your denominational loyalty after reading this section! However, the author is never chauvinistic and is always persuasive by appealing to the scriptures. For this reason this book is a delight. I personally agree with all the conclusion the author makes.
Most people do not recognize the worth of this book and hence OM sells it at 25% discount – you can get it for just Rs 67. Go grab it, it is definitely worth that investment.