This is for the armchair theologians out there.


The Bible talks about it.

The Church has debated it.

Here’s my take on it.

Calvinism makes the mistake of confusing the election of Israel for a vocation with the election of an individual for salvation.

This is a tragic mistake fraught with enormous implications.

Here is my Swiss inspired ultra-concentrated theology of Election in as few words as possible:

Election is ultimately all about Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ is God and Man in one person for the purpose of fulfilling the obligations of Election.

Jesus Christ is God keeping covenant with the seed of Abraham.

Jesus Christ is the seed of Abraham keeping covenant with God.

Jesus Christ is God fulfilling his promise.

Jesus Christ is Israel fulfilling their vocation.

Jesus Christ meets the covenant obligations of both God and man in himself.

All things are summed up in Jesus Christ.

Election of one (for salvation) necessitates reprobation (election for damnation) of the other.

In the binary nature of Election you are either one or the other.

(To speak of “Double Election” is redundant. There is no other kind. The only way out of “Double Predestination”—i.e. the scandal of Reprobation—is Universalism. Let the Calvinist pick his poison.)

But again, I insist, Election is all about Jesus Christ.

In Jesus Christ Election and Reprobation are both accomplished.

Jesus Christ was the one elected to be damned. (Reprobation)

Jesus Christ was elected for damnation upon the cross.

Jesus Christ was the one elected to be saved.

Jesus Christ was elected for salvation in his resurrection.

God’s “No” always serves God’s “Yes.”

God’s “No” to the Gentiles is only the necessary corollary of God’s “Yes” in electing Israel for their vocation.

But notice how God’s “No” always serves God’s “Yes.”

God’s “Yes” to Israel (Election), which was by necessity God’s “No” to the Gentiles, was for the purpose of blessing, not rejecting, the Gentiles.

So we see how God’s “No” serves God’s “Yes.”

All of these things are summed up in Jesus Christ.

For all the promises of God find their “Yes” in him.

For those who by faith are found in Christ, his damnation on the cross becomes the believer’s damnation and his justification in resurrection becomes the believer’s justification. To be in Christ is to pass from death to life.

In summary:

Election is about vocation.

God’s “No” always serves God’s “Yes.”

God’s purposes in Election are fulfilled in Jesus Christ.

Jesus Christ took Israel’s elected vocation upon his shoulders and carried it through to victory.

The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ allows God to speak a resounding “Yes!” to humanity.

Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved.
But whoever does not believe will be damned.

(These thoughts came while shopping for shoes with Karl in Zurich. He’s my kind of Calvinist.)