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    Ask a Pastor - Thread: Election

    1. #1
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      Election

      I'd LOVE to learn your perspective on the issue of "single vs. double" predestination, the difference between the traditional/confessional Lutheran and Reformed positions.... There is a lively thread entitled "Double Predestination" currently active and I would be honored if you'd take the time to read it. There are two Reformed actively involved there (atpollard and MennoSota) and two Lutherans (myself and Lamm) but of course we're all laity. If time restricts, perhaps you would read the posts of those 4 in that thread?

      Thank you. Blessings on you and your ministry for Him.

      - Josiah (who has carefully read all 3 vol. of Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, lol)

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ask a Pastor View Post
      I'd LOVE to learn your perspective on the issue of "single vs. double" predestination, the difference between the traditional/confessional Lutheran and Reformed positions.... There is a lively thread entitled "Double Predestination" currently active and I would be honored if you'd take the time to read it. There are two Reformed actively involved there (atpollard and MennoSota) and two Lutherans (myself and Lamm) but of course we're all laity. If time restricts, perhaps you would read the posts of those 4 in that thread?

      Thank you. Blessings on you and your ministry for Him.

      - Josiah (who has carefully read all 3 vol. of Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, lol)
      Are you referring to the thread “Double" Predestination found under “Christian Theology”? That thread is basically a long quote from the Reformed writer R.C. Sproul.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Pastor Rickert View Post
      Are you referring to the thread “Double" Predestination found under “Christian Theology”? That thread is basically a long quote from the Reformed writer R.C. Sproul.
      [Admin response: Yes, that thread is currently 28 pages long so here is the initial inquiry from Ask the Pastor member]

      I'd LOVE to learn your perspective on the issue of "single vs. double" predestination, the difference between the traditional/confessional Lutheran and Reformed positions.

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      "My Perspective" on Predestination/Election

      Quote Originally Posted by Ask a Pastor View Post
      I'd LOVE to learn your perspective on the issue of "single vs. double" predestination, the difference between the traditional/confessional Lutheran and Reformed positions.... There is a lively thread entitled "Double Predestination" currently active and I would be honored if you'd take the time to read it. There are two Reformed actively involved there (atpollard and MennoSota) and two Lutherans (myself and Lamm) but of course we're all laity. If time restricts, perhaps you would read the posts of those 4 in that thread?

      Thank you. Blessings on you and your ministry for Him.

      - Josiah (who has carefully read all 3 vol. of Pieper's Christian Dogmatics, lol)
      The Lord be with you

      First, your question asks for my perspective on the issue of election and not a specific response to any position expressed in the discussion cited, so that is what I’m going to give. Second, the topic is so large that I could type for twenty-eight pages and not reference exactly what the concern is, or whatever passage you might want me to comment on. I will try to be brief.

      In Lutheran circles, “predestination” deals only with salvation. What clothing we wear, what job we have, who we marry, etc., are not predestined. “Eternal election,” that is, God electing someone for salvation before the foundation of the world, is part of the hidden will of God and is not open to human investigation. Because God issues his call through means (word and sacrament), his call is resistible. (If God did not use these means, but issued his call directly with his omnipotent power, no one could resist.) God desires all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4). Why some come to faith in Jesus and are saved while others do not believe in Christ and are damned, is a mystery. If we are saved, all credit goes to Jesus. If we are damned, we shoulder the blame completely.

      If God planned to damn select people from before creation, then it seems he would have made provisions for them. He did not. In the beginning, there was no provision for humans who reject God’s mercy in Christ Jesus, only for the spirits who rebelled (Matthew 25:41).

      If a person is concerned about their election, a Lutheran pastor will point the person to the cross of Jesus, not their election, not their works, not their confidence, etc. (Ephesians 1:3-6). Do you want to know if God loves you? Look to Jesus. Do you want to know if your sins are covered? Look to Jesus. Election is intended to comfort troubled hearts. If a person’s understanding of this doctrine makes them smug, then they do not understand it correctly. If a person’s understanding of this doctrine takes their eyes off of Jesus, then they do not understand it correctly.

      Finally, we recognize that, according to human logic, the following positions are not reconcilable: 1) “If we are saved it is due completely to the mercy and grace of God in Christ Jesus, we have no grounds to boast,” 2) “God desires all to be saved by grace through faith in Christ,” and 3) “Those who are damned have no one to blame but themselves because God has done everything possible to save them but they rejected God’s work.” God is not bound by human logic.

      Blessings in Christ,
      Pastor

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