Predestination: History, Legacies, and Prospects

I. A Brief History of the Doctrine in the West
How are God's agency and human agency interrelated?
Augustine, against Pelagius
and Julian, treats election as double-predestination.
(Enchiridion: Human salvation restores heaven's perfect number of worshippers.)
Councils of Ephesis 431 and Orange 529 repudiate Pelagius.
Thomas Aquinas reworks predestination, as mediated through sacramental infusions of grace.
Luther and Calvin affirm and even sharpen Augustinianism.
Arminianism rejects or questions five Calvinist doctrines in the "Semi-Augustinian" Remonstrance, 1610.
The Synod of Dort, 1619, reaffirms the five Calvinist claims ("the TULIP").
English-speaking Protestants inherit Thomist, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Arminian traditions.
II. Children of Pelagius: Predestination's Legacies
Fatigue: Lasting dissatisfaction with the common positions and the whole debate.
Common ground: All orthodox positions affirm the original priority, mixed outcomes, and ultimate cooperativeness of grace.
Neglect: The terms of the debate, set in the fourth century, sideline Israel, God's chosen people, and Israel's Messiah.
Restlessness: Revisions of the doctrine proliferate, such as:
Universalism: Election is unconditional and atonement is unlimited.
Barth: Jesus is the elect one (with universalist consequences?).
Liberation theology: God necessarily favors the poor, or some other oppressed group(s) with whom Jesus shows solidarity.
Newbigin: Election pertains to mission, not necessarily salvation.
III. Election in Scripture: Not Exactly Arminian, Not Exactly Calvinist
Observations on scripture in view of the topic's legacy:
Election is ordered toward the blessing of others (Gen 12, Isa 42:1-6, Luke 9:28-36, John 15:16, Eph 1:3-14, Rom 9:21-23).
Election favors the weak, to glorify God and express God's heart (Gen 21, Deut 7:6-8, 1 Sam 16, Isa 53, Matt 20:15-16, Rom 9:17, 9:25-26).
Israel's fellowship remains central as both instrument and beneficiary (Isa 65:17-19, Rev 7, John 4:22, Rom 1:16, 9:1-5, 11:1-29).
Election centers conflict on salvation and greater glory rather than reprobation or symmetry (Isa 53, Ex 9:16 and Mal 1:2-5 in Rom 9:10-18, 11:30-32, John 17:12 and 17:20-23, Eph 3:4-6, 4:12-16).
IV. Annunciation as Election
Mary personifies Israel (Luke 1:26-33, 2:34-35).
Mary personifies the Church (Luke 1:48, Acts 1:14).
Mary's role is Christocentric (Christ-centered)
rather than abstractly theocentric, narrowly Christomonist, or anthropocentric.
The Annunciation and Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55) model election.
Roman Catholic immaculate conception as predestination?
A Marian 'TULIP':
Total human need (i.e., capacity) for receiving God's free saving gifts.
Purposeful divine favor, notably (i.e., gloriously) on the humble and excluded.
Sufficiency of God's saving acts in Christ, entrusted to Christ's empowered designates.
Unrivalled power of God's varied mercies to accomplish God's purpose.
Eternal faithfulness in fulfilling God's covenant promises.

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