Friday, July 27, 2007

Inspired by Barth: My Bullets on Election

Bobby Kennedy probably didn't intend to start a meme, but here's my bullet point contribution to the topic of election:

· The decree of election is God’s eternal (i.e., ever-present) will to give himself in the incarnation of his Son, Jesus Christ.

· Christ is both the Subject and the Object of election. As Son of God, he is, along with the Father and the Spirit, the electing God. As Son of Man, he is also elected Man; albeit not merely as one elected man, but as the One in whom all others are elected.

· Christ is the all-inclusive election in which we see what election truly is – the unmerited acceptance of humankind by grace.

· The will of the Triune God in electing the Son of Man is the will of God to give himself to humankind in the incarnation of His Son.

· This self-giving is two-fold, both positive and negative (hence, a “double predestination,” if you will). Negatively, God elected himself in Christ to be our covenant-partner, and, as such, bore our merited rejection in his passion and death. Positively, God elected humanity in Christ to be his covenant-partner, and, as such, we are taken up into his glory in his resurrection and ascension.

· Reprobation and election are not two kinds of predestination based on two separate decrees. Rather reprobation and election are the two sides of the same eternal decree of predestination. Reprobation is Christ’s rejection for us that we in turn might not be rejected.

· The election of Jesus Christ includes the election of humankind. This does not mean primarily the election of individuals, but rather the election of the whole of humankind, which is manifested in history in the divine calling of the Church, the elect community, the Body of Christ.

· The Church, the community of the elect, stands in a mediate and mediating role as witness to the truth of God’s will for humankind in Christ. In this way, the elect community mirrors the one Mediator, Jesus Christ.

· The gospel is the declaration of the individual’s election in Jesus Christ, i.e., that Christ bore our merited rejection and gives to us his own glory.

· Individuals begin to live as elect by the event and decision of receiving the promise of Christ as mediated through the witness of, and by inclusion in, the elect community via baptism.

· Those who do not receive the promise of God in Christ live as those rejected in spite of their acceptance (i.e., their election in Christ).

· The relation of free will and grace in predestination is a mystery, yet those who continue to live in the reality of their union in Christ (i.e., those who persevere) are those chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world.

1 comment:

Augustinian Successor said...

Dear Dan,

Thank you for your comments. One of the Reformed's shortcomings is the oblique gloss on the Sacraments. This results in an UNI-focal perspective of the Divine Liturgy, rather than BI-focal, which ironically does not comport with apostolic precedent and patristic models.

Secondly, the evangelical presentation of Arianism and other christological heresies is superficial and artificial. This is so for evangelicalism does not attempt to understand the connection between triadology and christology with soteriology and sacramentology. Evangelicalism fails to account for the philosophical and theological framework and concepts underpinning the heresies.

Which is why evangelicals "do not recoil in horror" at Augustine's doctrine of the Trinity (i.e. the Essence "contains" the Relations which in turn constitute the Persons); (I'm beginning to lean away from Augustinianism Ousia-nism)

Thirdly, evangelicals cannot elucidate in the proper sense why Appolinarianism was a christological heresy (i.e. why it was considered as a hyper-Word-flesh christology). As you pointed out, the mind or logos was the animating principle (the key phrase) of the individual. Hence, self-consciousness (would be according to the Appolinarian christology) was synonymous with the mind which in turn was constitutive of the person.

The mind as an attribute of nature cannot subsist apart from the self-consciousness which determines it. This self-consciousness finds its "location" and expression in the intellectual faculties as an an inseparable but distinct entity.

Self-consciousness is integral to the rational soul without being synonymous with it.

Can you please comment on the above? The implications or drawback of this understanding which try to do full justice to the Chalcedonian Definition.

Thank you.