Drinking Deeply

Monday, January 29, 2007 at 7:28 PM

TULIP (12) - Unconditional Election

So I think I should get to Romans 9, because I love talking about Romans 9 and hopefully that'll encourage me to post more.

This post is going to be my "goal" post (*groan). This is where I'm going with the next few posts on Romans 9 and how it ties in with unconditional election.

I am planning to point to Romans 9:6-13 to establish that God's love for his children is unconditional, dependent not upon our choice of Him (whether we have faith or not), but solely upon His choice of us. That before we were born, God said "you, you, you, and you I will love" done of His own free will, without conditions on who we were or what we were to become.
6But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, 7and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but "Through Isaac shall your offspring be named." 8This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. 9For this is what the promise said: "About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son." 10And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad--in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call-- 12she was told, "The older will serve the younger." 13As it is written, "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."
To get there, I need to do a few things.

1) Set the context - Answer the question, "what sparked this passage?" This answer will help determine exactly what Paul is talking about.
2) Explain the passage and what it does teach.
3) Defend my interpretation of the passage against other interpretations that have been put forth.

In dealing with the last point, I owe a great debt to two brothers, who, though we disagreed greatly on this topic, demonstrated to me great Christian charity and brotherly affection in discussing the passage. I still think you're wrong though =) , but I'm glad we're able to disagree in a cordial manner.

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Blogger The Predestined Blog said...

A Stanfurd student... (Sorry CAL GO BEARS! Alumni)

But since you're a Calvinist and Love Romans 9 (and Brother in Christ) I can overlook the school you're in and cheer you on.

I know your campus needs Godly men like you. Btw if you love Romans 9 you must read "The Justification of God" by John Piper.  

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Blogger Jessica said...

w00t, piper's romans 9 exposition is awesome. :)

go stanford =)  

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Anonymous Mike said...

This isn't very related to your post, but maybe eventually you could explain to me the argument that Paul merely poses a hypothetical, rather than an actual, later in the chapter.

Somebody has said that Paul says, "WHAT IF God, desiring to show...," and that this shows that people are not necessarily predestined to wrath.

But yeah, maybe you could email me your thoughts on that, instead of disrupting your series here.  

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Anonymous theocentric522 said...

i'm pretty sure this won't satisfy mike completely, but just as a way of "short" answer, "What if...?" follows from a series of arguments and an answers to the objector who says "Why does He still find fault?..." (v. 19) Paul's answer is in the form of rhetorical questions (v. 20, 21). Then comes verse 22's "What if." The flow of thought suggests that "What if" is not simply hypothetical, but rhetorical. Also we have other examples in Romans of this kind of argument(say, chapter 11?). Also see how Paul uses "if" arguments in Philippians 2:1-2.  

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