individuals based purely on randomness
You said regarding Unconditional
"God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual.
He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph.
1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the
individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him.
Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15,
Under these conditions, God "elects" individuals based purely on
randomness. What would be the point in this? Although all people may be
equal in sin, not all people are equal in talent. Some individuals may
have artistic or intellectual talents, or are more compassionate and
hard-working than others, and they would be passed over for individuals
that possess none of these traits. So this random selection would mean
God is thoroughly disinterested in our individuality.
First, to say that something is random means that it
has no purpose, no goal, no objective, and no pattern. To apply
randomness to God's sovereign election is inappropriate and it
demonstrates that the objection does not reflect a proper understanding
of Reformed Theology. The quote above on unconditional election
specifically states that God elects out of the kind intention of his
will. Since God is not random and he always has a purpose in what he
does, his election must also have a purpose -- even if it seems random
to us. Furthermore, Reformed Theology states that God does nothing
randomly and that all things work according to his purpose.
Second, to appeal to different talents in individuals
and then to imply that the Reformed position denies that God predestines
or elect based upon what is in individuals is contradictory to
Scripture, sound thinking, and the Reformed position.
Ephesians 1:4-12 says,
"just as He chose us in Him
before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us
to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to
the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of
the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the
Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood,
the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His
grace, 8 which He lavished upon us. In all wisdom and
insight 9 He made known to us the mystery of His will,
according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10
with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the
times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in
the heavens and things upon the earth. In Him 11 also we
have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according
to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will,
12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in
Christ should be to the praise of His glory."
bolded words through this passage of Scripture. It is clear that
Paul the apostle focuses on God's choice, God's predestining, God's
intention, God's will, God's grace, and God's purpose. You find nowhere
in the Scripture where God looks upon an individual and bases his choice
of election and predestination based upon some quality in the
individual. Therefore, to imply in any way that God bases his sovereign
choice upon anything in an individual would be to go against scripture
and would be to accuse God of partiality by suggesting that God puts one
person above another based upon what is or is not in a person. This is
contradictory to Scripture.
The partiality that Scripture mentions and condemns as
exemplified in James 2:2-4
"For if a man comes into your
assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there
also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, 3 and you pay
special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and
say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man,
“You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” 4
have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges
with evil motives?"
the partiality shown by people based upon the outward appearance of
others. Since we cannot look into the hearts of people, we judge I
appearance and often do so simply. God is able to look with in a person.
It would be wrong to attribute to God any sort of partiality based upon
what is in a person because all people are sinners. All people are
touched by sin and nobody is worthy in any way to have God look
favorably upon them.
Third, it is illogical for it is God who has made us,
formed us, etc. He is the one who formed our inward parts and wove our
personalities in place knitting into them our abilities, disabilities,
tendencies, likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. God is perfectly
capable, from all eternity, to create us as he sees fit. It is against
sound logic to assert that the omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent
eternal God is not in control of the creative process that governs the
formation of each and every individual who has ever lived or will ever
live. Furthermore, it is against sound thinking to conclude that God is
not aware or in control of all of the conditions in which a person is
born including family, culture, environment, etc. which would have an
influence upon the individual's choices. Therefore, since God is the one
who forms is in the womb and also places us when and where he desires,
he knows what the outcome of those conditions will be regarding our
salvation. In this, God predestines.
Fourth, the reason not all people are equal and talent
is because God has not made them equal and talent. He has not made them
with equal artistic or intellectual abilities. He is not granted to each
individual the same amount of compassion, energy, or laziness. If God
were to look into an individual and base his election upon what is in
him, then God is only looking upon what he has created according to his
purpose, and his will. What would be the purpose of God looking into an
individual's traits if it was God who was the one who placed them there
to begin with? It makes no sense.
It does, however, make more sense to believe that God
is sovereignly in control and that his will, his choice, it is kind
intention, and his grace, will be carried out.
Finally, it is not true that God is random. His choices
always have a purpose. For the critic to accuse the reformed theological
perspective of implying randomness in God's nature and choice,
demonstrates that the critic does not understand reformed theology
regarding God's greatness, sovereignty, and divine purpose.
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Copyright by Matthew J. Slick,
B.A., M. Div., 2005
I welcome your comments via E-mail at email@example.com