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Systematic Theology II - Lesson 16

The Doctrine of Salvation (Part 2)

Rob Lister continues by reviewing the Arminian position (conditional election), then explains the Calvinist view. The Calvinist position is based on God's sovereign rulership over everything, salvation by grace alone, and God's love and justice. There are major differences between the ideas of conditional and unconditional election.

Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
Lesson 16
Watching Now
The Doctrine of Salvation (Part 2)

The Doctrine of Salvation (Calvinist Position)

b. Calvinist view

1) Unconditional election

a) God’s sovereign rule over all things

b) Salvation by grace alone

c) Deficiency of conditional election

d) Effectual calling

e) Election and foreknowledge

f) Love is particular rather than just universal and general. Justice is demonstrated by destroying vessels of wrath and extending mercy to the elect

g) We are not responsible to sway the will of the hearer in evangelism. God is responsible


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  • Both the Old and New Testaments teach that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully human. The Old Testament contains specific references to His pre-incarnate existence. The New Testament teaches that the incarnation is an historical event that was prophesied in the Old Testament. Christ fulfills the roles of prophet, priest and king. His deity is emphasized by the names of God that are ascribed to Him.

  • The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ had attributes belonging solely to God, and did works that were done by God alone. Christ was worshipped and accepted worship. He Himself claimed to be God.

  • Christ was fully human, as well as fully God. The Old Testament prophesied it and His historical life demonstrated it. Philippians 2: 6-8 uses the word kenosis to explain the relationship between Christ's human and divine natures.

  • The "impeccability" of Christ deals with the question of whether or not Christ could have sinned. The answer to this question has implications for both His life and ministry. (At the 51 minute mark, the reference to "John the Baptist," Dr. Ware meant to say, "John the Apostle.")

  • Delegates at the Council of Chalcedon tried to explain the hypostatic union of Christ's natures. The theological bases for the work of Christ on the cross focus on the sin of humanity and God's holiness and mercy. The atonement is God's self-satisfaction through self-substitution

  • Christ's atoning sacrifice was comprehensive. The different aspects of the atonement may be compared to light refracting through a diamond – you can see different colors, but they are all light. Three aspects of the atonement are sacrifice, substitution and redemption.

  • Three more aspects of the atonement are propitiation, expiation, and reconciliation. Christ's resurrection is a ratification of the efficacy of the atonement.

  • The most significant aspect of the past work of Christ is the atonement. Some people teach that the extent of the atonement is limited, while others teach that it is unlimited. Christ's present work is mediator and Lord. His future work is coming judge and reigning king.

  • Throughout Scripture, the Holy Spirit is referred to as having the attributes and performing the actions of a person. He is also shown to have the attributes of God, and is declared to be God. Both the Old and New Testaments cite examples of the work of the Holy Spirit in empowering people.

  • The work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is characterized by the empowerment of selective individuals for a temporary period of time, for the purpose accomplishing a specific task. The Old Testament prophets record a vision of the role of the Holy Spirit in the latter days.

  • The Holy Spirit had a central role in the life and ministry of Jesus. Many Old Testament passages prophesied the coming of a Spirit empowered Messiah. The New Testament records specific examples of the involvement of the Spirit in Jesus' life and ministry. Jesus also promises the future coming of the Holy Spirit and describes what he will do.

  • At Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came into the world and filled the lives of every believer. The first great work of the Holy Spirit is bringing people to Christ. He also empowers believers for service in the Church where we are remade and conformed to the image of Christ. The purpose of the gifts of the Spirit is for us to serve one another.

  • The Holy Spirit has come to glorify Christ and bring attention to Jesus. He does this by empowering believers in the areas of evangelism and discipleship. There are specific gifts of the Spirit and He gives specific gifts to each believer. There is a question about whether all the gifts are still active today. There is also a distinction between people having a certain gift and God performing mighty acts.

  • The Holy Spirit accomplishes the work of regeneration in a person by bringing them new life. The Spirit also indwells and fills a believer, produces fruit and gives us the freedom to become what God created us to be. The Holy Spirit is also the guarantee of the hope of our eternal future in God's presence.

  • Rob Lister, a Garret Fellow, introduces concepts that are basic to the Biblical doctrine of salvation. Salvation is both physical and spiritual, includes all of creation, it is "already, but not yet," and the goal is the glory of God. Election is a key concept in Scripture. Some people think that there is a conditional aspect to election.

  • Rob Lister continues by reviewing the Arminian position (conditional election), then explains the Calvinist view. The Calvinist position is based on God's sovereign rulership over everything, salvation by grace alone, and God's love and justice. There are major differences between the ideas of conditional and unconditional election.

  • Among those who hold to the view of unconditional election, there are those who believe in single predestination, and those who believe in double predestination. There is also a difference between a "general call," and a "special" or "effectual call."

  • Continuing in the logical order of salvation, Rob Lister examines regeneration, conversion, justification, adoption and sanctification.

  • Christ is Lord of the Church and it is formed by the Spirit. As a community, we testify to what God has done in our lives through the ordinances, the proclamation of the word and the testimony of our lives. We worship God together, and Jews and Gentiles are united in one community, testifying to the preeminence of our identity in Christ.

  • The "mystery" of the Church refers to the truth that was formerly concealed, but now revealed. Another aspect of the "mystery" is the inclusion of Jews and Gentiles in one community of faith. There is some debate about whether or not Israel and the Church are the same. The "Body of Christ" and "Bride of Christ" are two metaphors used in the New Testament that refer to the Church.

  • An additional New Testament metaphor for the Church is a "Building," which is made up of the "Cornerstone," "Foundation" and the "Living Stones." "Christ's Flock" is also a metaphor for the Church and relates to Jesus as the "Good Shepherd." There are also passages in the New Testament that give us insight into local congregations by referring to elders as the leaders.

  • New Testament passages give specific instructions about the functions of elders in local congregations. There are also lists qualifications for elders that emphasize character qualities. The roles and qualifications for deacons are also given.

  • The question of the role of men and women in ministry is a significant issue. The main question is, "According to Scripture, is gender particularly and uniquely relevant in assessing whether or not a person is qualified for a given ministry in a church or home?"

    You can download the Roles Handout by right-clicking on the link and selecting the "Save Link As" option. 

  • Different denominations have chosen different models of hierarchy and leadership based on their understanding of Scripture. The two ordinances of the Church are Baptism and the Lord's Supper. They are ordained by Christ, point to the Cross, and are to be done in remembrance of what He has done for us.

  • There is value in studying eschatology besides curiosity about what will happen in the future. The three most common views of the millennium that can be supported by Scripture are postmillennialism, amillennialism and premillennialism. Also related to eschatology is the Scriptural teaching regarding physical death and the intermediate state.

  • Within the premillennial position, there is a difference of opinion on whether the rapture will be pretrib, midtrib or posttrib. Regardless of your position on the millennium, there is clear teaching in Scripture about the final judgment and our eternal state. There will be a final judgment and everyone will spend eternity either in heaven or hell.

The second of a two semester class on Systematic Theology.

Dr. Bruce Ware
Systematic Theology II
th504-16
The Doctrine of Salvation (Part 2)
Lesson Transcript

 

Well, last we were together, we were talking about the doctrine of election and we moved into a discussion of conditional election in the Armenian understanding. And we put up on the board, if you can see this, 67 categories. On the basis of which our minions commend their view of the doctrine of election. We won't labor the points again. But just to remind ourselves and our discussion last week and our many and would mention in defense of their position free will. And of course we suggested that that's in the libertarian understanding of freedom. That's a debate in and of itself with textual issues to deal with philosophical issues as well. They argue that the universal love of God and an equal, impartial and undifferentiated manner is the only kind of love that we find in Scripture. And so to be faithful to Scripture, we ought to affirm this universal love of God, which means that everyone has an equal opportunity. We talked about the universal and general call. We looked at a couple of text first, Timothy two for second. Peter three nine. There's a universal call in the scriptures and this is the only one that our minions acknowledge. So there's a universal call. There's God's desire that all should be saved, and it's on. There are meaning understanding the two cannot go together. That is unconditional election and God's desire that all be saved. If God desires, that all be saved. It is incomprehensible that He would then elect some and not others to this salvation and the justice of God. How can it be just of God to require of someone to do something that they cannot do if they are incapable of doing something, namely repent and believe? And they can't do this? How can that be just so on the justice of God? And they argue that they have the stronger interpretation.

 

 

Election, according to our minions, is based on foreknowledge, which we have already mentioned. Their definition of election is based on forcing faith. And so they'll point out in Romans chapter eight, verse 29, and first Peter, chapter one versus wanting to that clearly in the text election is based on foreknowledge. And so that's the proper understanding. And then finally, we mentioned prayer in evangelism as one of the pillars in their argument. If you want prayer to matter and prayers to be effectual. And, I mean, let's face it, we we indulge ourselves predominantly in intercessory types of prayers. So if the majority of our prayer life is to be significant, if missions is to matter, then we ought to be our minions. We ought to hold the model of conditional election. So says the Armenian. Well, we mentioned those now in the process of critiquing these. We'll look at the Calvinist model. Which is the model of unconditional election. And rather, I should say that in the process of expounding upon the Calvinist model or critique some of the Armenian positions. So we're on the question of unconditional election. A definition of unconditional election. God's election is not conditioned on anything about the elect. To make it the opposite of conditional election, where God's election is conditioned on foreseen faith. So namely something about the individual, an unconditional election. God's election is not conditioned on anything about the individual. Now, this is not to suggest that there's a capriciousness in God. And as we mentioned last week, it may well be it probably is the case that God has reasons for why he elects some and not others. We're not privy to those reasons. And what is clear from the text is we'll see shortly that those reasons are not based on anything about us in terms of human will or human works, these sorts of things.

 

So to return to a couple to sum arguments and in parallel with what we've just done with the Armenian position, will outline seven arguments in response. Number one, God's sovereign rulership over all things God, sovereign rulership over all things. Just two points to one text by which to enter the discussion. Ephesians Chapter 111. If you were going to look at one passage that were to articulate this doctrine of what Calvin is referred to as meticulous providence, that's a term you should be familiar with, meticulous providence, namely that God is sovereign over every intricate aspect and detail of life in his creation. If you're going to one text that would articulate this would be a Ephesians chapter one, verse 11, which reads in him, We have obtained an inheritance having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will. So there you have it. In the last clause of the verse, who works all things according to the counsel of his will, meticulous providence, the larger scope, and then the individual predestination or the election of individuals, which is talked about earlier in the verse, is a subset of the meticulous providence. You have the larger category, and then the election of individuals as one subset of God's meticulous providence whereby he is sovereign over all things in his creation. Now, as we move on, we'll discuss this. It is worth pointing out there is an asymmetrical relationship between God's sovereignty over good and God's sovereignty over evil. In fact, you talked about this last semester and your discussion on the doctrine of Providence, and we'll get to that some a little bit later as we move through these points. But it's worth pointing out at this point, not that this text fleshes that out specifically, but it is worth noting nevertheless, it is sovereign rulership overall and in meticulous sort of way.

 

Second. Salvation by grace. Alone. Now you say, surely this isn't going to be a fair argument because Armenians profess to believe in salvation by grace alone? Well, they do profess that. And my response to that is that that's an inconsistency. And let me suggest that I'm happy that in my understanding, they're inconsistent on this. It's better than not arguing for salvation by grace alone. Nevertheless, it's an inconsistency that needs to be pointed out. So let's take a look at a couple of passages. And the point here is that if you want to affirm salvation by grace alone, it requires unconditional election. First, Ephesians, chapter two versus eight and nine. You should already have your finger in Ephesians four by grace. You have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing. It is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast. Let's just look at a couple of more text before we make some comments. Second, Timothy, Chapter one, verse nine. Second Timothy, Chapter one, verse nine. Pick it up in verse eight for the sake of context. Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me, his prisoner, but share in suffering for the Gospel by the power of God who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us and Jesus Christ before the ages began. So you see something of grace alone in this passage as well. And then lastly, look over at First Corinthians chapter one, pick it up with verse 26, First Corinthians chapter one, picking it up with verse 26 four Consider your calling, brothers. Not many of you are wise.

 

According to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame. The wise God shows what is weak in the world to shame the strong God chose what is low and despise in the world, even things that are not to bring to nothing. Things that are now. As we've mentioned in our discussion, even on Tuesday, we find that a lot of times God's election is counterintuitive to human convention. So we look in Romans nine and you have the Esau and Jacob Passage. Human intuition says the law of primogeniture. The oldest son gets the blessing. But God's election in this passage precisely to show that it was not based on works or anything about the to the blessing is given to the second child. You see in Deuteronomy Chapter seven, The nation of Israel got elected them not because there was anything commendable about them because they were mighty, not because they were strong, but because they were the smallest and the weakest of the people. So a lot of times you see it as counterintuitive to human intuition. It is a gracious election. We talked last Tuesday about what it is that is the ultimate purpose in salvation. And we looked at a number of text, Ephesians, chapter one and other places. The ultimate aim of salvation is that God would be glorified. And so if we're talking here with respect to salvation by grace alone, what is it that's in view? It's that God be glorified in salvation. I'll certainly salvation is for our benefit, no doubt. But it is to the ultimate end that God be glorified. And so what's at stake here is whether or not God gets the glory alone.

 

Now, you might say, still, you haven't proved the case against our minions. They're still arguing for salvation by grace alone. Well, that's fine. Let's just say this in response on the Armenian understanding of salvation by grace through faith alone as it relates to the doctrine of election, there is something that the Armenian does that God does not do, namely believe. Now, why is that significant for the Calvinist? Okay, you have to believe to be saved as well. And the Armenian system, there's this doctrine called preventative grace, the grace that comes before. It's not effectual grace, but it's the grace that comes before it goes hand in hand with the general call to salvation, overcoming total depravity such that it enables a person to respond to the gospel. It doesn't draw them effectually to respond to the gospel, but it enables them to respond to the gospel. Well, if that's the case, if the general call goes out and it's accompanied by prevent grace and everyone who hears is enabled to respond and, you know, you, you, you and you respond and you, you, you and you don't, what is it that sets the group apart? What sets the group apart is the faith that these people exercise on their own initiative. That is, there is a minimal basis being as consistent as possible for boasting on the Armenian model. If it is proven at grace that's extended to all and not all come. What separates the two groups, the responders and the rejects is what separates the two is based completely on what the responders do. So the Armenian professes to believe in salvation by grace alone, and let's esteem that. That's great. We're glad that they do. But what they're trying to do is have it both ways.

 

And the fact of the matter is, you can't have it both ways. They say on the one hand, it's grace alone. On the other hand, they want the blame all on you. If you don't come, on the one hand, it's all of grace. On the other hand, the onus is really all on you, whether you come or not. So a bit of inconsistency here. My point is that to be completely based on God's grace alone, the consistent teaching on election that goes hand in hand with this is unconditional election. Let's move on to a couple of other categories. We will pause to take a question and comments. But if we can move to these as a group like we did on Tuesday, I think that'll be helpful to see the big picture. What I want to argue for in point three, and we might just call the deficiency of conditional election. I think this is a pretty simple point. We won't need to Labor too much time on it. But the point being conditional election is no real election at all. Okay? Conditional election is no real election at all. God's choice is superfluous and conditional election. It's a rubber stamp of sorts. God's going to affirm elect in this sense, everyone and whom he has foreseen. Faith. Everyone who. Greece to come is going to elect them. My point here is that this doctrine of election, it's not weighty, it's not significant. The way in which Paul emphasized the weightiness in Ephesians chapter one. I mean, you know, right off the bat, number one reason you praise God, the doctrine of election predestination. If you opt for the conditional election route, it's hard to understand why that's such a significant issue for the Apostle Paul in Ephesians chapter one.

 

So so my point is it it minimizes the doctrine of election makes God's choice superfluous. Point number four. Effectual call. Effectual calling. A lot of times this is spoken about. You think of your tulip rubric and you talk about irresistible grace. What? We're going to talk about the doctrine of the call here shortly. And we're going to see that case from the text that there are calls in to since there's a general call and there's of an effectual call, Armenians argue that there is no such thing as ineffectual call. Calvinists argue that there's a general call and ineffectual call. The point being here that effectual calling goes hand in hand with that is it requires unconditional elect and the effectual call. Then, just to give you a definition, it is the call that when it goes forth, it effects what it seeks to accomplish. So the call effects what it seeks to accomplish. Namely, it brings about faith in Jesus Christ. So it's the call that affects faith. If there's a call to salvation, that's more than just the general call. And that's what we're arguing for. And we'll look at a couple of texts now and demonstrate some more later. But if there's a call to salvation, that's more than just the general call. And it's the case that not everyone is saved and nobody's going to dispute that, I don't think then that means that not all are called. Does that make sense? If there's a call that goes out, that's more than just the general call. And not all are saved, then not all are called in this effectual since John chapter six, verse 37. And we'll look at this in a minute when we come to the doctrine of the call.

 

But just to give it to you now. John, Chapter six, verse 44 as well. John Chapter six, verse 44 As long as you've got your finger in First Corinthians, let's take a look at chapter one versus 22 to 24. First Corinthians chapter one versus 22 through 24. We may comment on this at a bit more length shortly as well. But for Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom. But we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles. So you've got two categories of people, Jews and Gentiles, but those who are called both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. So you've got two categories of people, Jews and Greeks who receive the general call and frequently are known to reject this call. But then from within the category of Jews and within the category of Greeks or Gentiles, you have some that receive the call in ineffectual sense and come to faith. That is the call effects, what it seeks to accomplish. Romans Chapter nine versus 23 through 24. And if you recall, we've dealt extensively with Romans Chapter eight versus 29 and following in Romans chapter eight, verse 30, you have this golden chain of redemption, as it's sometimes referred to, and you have predestined called justified and glorified. Well, it's interesting in verse 30 that they called are justified. And we already mentioned that these are spoken of in the past tense. Indeed, the called are glorified spoken of as though it had already happened. So there's not a point in the chain at which this can be interrupted. So this has to refer to the effectual call. Point number five. Election and foreknowledge. Well, the Armenian has told us and he's pointed to texts where election is said to be based on foreknowledge.

 

So is he right? And if so, what does foreknowledge mean? Well, a couple of things. First, what does the text not say? The text says that election is not based on human will or human work. Point out a couple of texts to you for this. ROMANS Chapter nine, verse 11 for 16, verses 11 through 16. And be worth pausing to read this, and then I'll just point out a couple of other texts to you. ROMANS Chapter nine, verses 11 through 16, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad, in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works, but because of his call. She was told the older will serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob I loved, but so I hated. What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? And by no means for he says to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it depends. What does it depend on or not depend on, Not on human will or exertion, but on God who has mercy. So it does not depend on human will or exertion. Just a couple of other texts in the same vein. ROMANS Chapter 11 versus five through six, arguing that it's not based on human work. John Chapter one verses 12 through 13. We'll look at this later. But here, teaching that it's not based on human will. So it's not based on human will. It's not based on human work. But the Armenian says, I still have you on the horns of a dilemma because it is based on foreknowledge in the text. We need to look at Romans chapter eight, verse 29.

 

And then first, Peter one. Well, let's see if he's right. ROMANS Chapter eight, verse 29. For those whom he for knew, he also predestined to be conform to the image of his son in order that they might be the first born among many brothers he predestined those whom he for knew. Let's take a look at first Peter Chapter one just to remind ourselves of this passage. First Peter Chapter one verses one through two. Peter an apostle of Jesus Christ. To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus Galatia Cappadocia Asia, the thin air according to the foreknowledge of God, the Father and the sanctification of the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ and for sprinkling with His blood. May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Okay, so the issue is they've rightly pointed into the text a couple of places where election is said to be based on foreknowledge. That doesn't settle the question because the question now arises what does foreknowledge mean? Does it just mean for seeing faith or is there reason to believe that it means something a little bit different? I'm going to argue from both of the contexts that it does mean something different, and I think the appropriate way to understand foreknowledge in these passages is not that it means forcing faith, but it means something like a predisposition to favor, a predisposition to love. It's an intimate kind of love, an intimate kind of knowledge that we're talking about, not just for seeing faith. Now, we'll look at the texts here in a second and examine that. But you think in the scriptures from time to time you have it spoken of the fact that husbands and wives, when they engage in marital intimacy, it's sometimes spoken of as knowledge.

 

Adam New Eve, for instance. That's not just a factual knowledge or a foreseen knowledge of particulars, but it has to do with this intimate kind of relationship. And so when you add the preposition pro to the the term just here, just to give you this and the term that's at issue here. His prognosis go for knowledge. When you talk about foreknowledge in these contexts, I'm going to argue that it has to do with a prior disposition to love a prior setting of one's affection on these people. So look at Amos chapter three, verse two just for a second to illustrate what we're talking about, and then we'll look at them in context. AMOS Chapter three, verse two I'm going to talk about God knowing Israel in a way that he does not know the other nations. Pick it up in verse one for context sake. Hear this word that the Lord has spoken against, you know, people of Israel, against the whole family that I brought up out of the land of Egypt. You only have I know one of all the families of the earth. Therefore, I will punish you for all your iniquities. You only have I known of all the families of the earth. Now, that's interesting. I mean, is this a denial of God's omniscience? Does God not know that Egypt and Christian Seba and Assyria and Babylon and these other national entities exist? Of course, it's not a denial that God doesn't know factually about the other nations and these sorts of things. It is this intimate type of knowledge, this intimate relationship whereby God has bound himself to the nation of Israel. This kind of knowledge, this kind of love and a way that he is not with other nations.

 

So you see this illustrated in the Old Testament. Now, let's go back to our contexts and see if we're just making it up in Romans chapter eight. And then and first, Peter, chapter one, this kind of background that we're working with. Romans Chapter 829. We're told that predestination is based on foreknowledge. Well, in the similar context, look at Romans Chapter 11 and read verses one through two because the same term is used. I ask then, has God rejected his people? By no means. For I myself, I'm an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he for knew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah? How he appeals to God against Israel? So verse two, we have our term again. God has not rejected His people whom He for knew. On the Armenian reading of this text of Romans 11, Chapter 11, verse two. What's the Armenian reading? It's that God has not rejected those in whom He has foreseen faith. What's the problem with that? Remember Deuteronomy chapter seven we looked at it was one of the very first texts we read as we got into this discussion last Tuesday. Israel didn't choose God. God chose Israel. So the relationship works the other way around and so on. There are many, and reading of this passage, you have an affirmation of something that isn't historically true, that God had foreseen faith of Israel and then will not reject them. Rather, it works the other way around. God elected Israel when there was nothing about Israel to commend her to God and therefore He will not reject his people. So there's a problem with the Armenian reading of this passage, only Calvinist reading.

 

If we're right to argue for something like a prior disposition to favor, it's an argument that God has not rejected his people on whom he said his affections from eternity, on whom He has had a prior disposition to favor. So the disposition to favor this prior disposition to favor is manifest in Romans chapter eight versus 29 through 30. And what? And predestination, these people. So take a look now at first Peter, Chapter one first Peter, Chapter one verses one through two. We're told that these elect exiles are elect according to the foreknowledge of God. Well, is this foreknowledge in the sense of foreseeing faith? Take a look at verse 20 of the same chapter. Verse 20 of First Peter, Chapter one. And I suppose we ought to pick it up again in verse 19 for the sake of context. But with the precious blood of Christ like that of a lamb without blemish or spot, He was four known before the foundation of the world, but was made manifest in the last times, for your sake. Okay, so we're talking about Christ in verse 20. Christ was four known before the foundation of the world. What does that mean? Well, on the Armenian understanding, it would have to mean something like Christ's choice to come was known in advance. That is, Christ choice to come logically precedes the Father's decision to send the Son. It would have to mean something like that for known before the foundation of the world. But the question is, and the problem with the interpretation is that's not true. In fact, it's contrary to Christ own teaching. The choosing of the son to come does not logically precede the father's decision to send. You think of texts like John 316 and in particular verse 17, where it's clearly articulated that the father's decision to send precede in a logical sense.

 

Now we're talking in a logical pre temporal sense, but it is logically prior to the son's decision to respond and come. You think of the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Reflecting here again, the fact that the Father's decision was logically prior to that of the son. So the Armenian position on this passage is is contradicted and it would teach something that goes against the own teaching of Jesus Christ himself. So contextually, then, what we ought to affirm in first Peter, as well as in Romans chapter eight, is that foreknowledge has to do with this prior disposition to favor this setting of affections on the basis of nothing that commends the individual, on the basis of nothing that commends the nation. And again, we see that as a result of this, God gets all the glory for salvation. And that, as we have argued, is the ultimate aim in salvation. Now, a couple of other issues to consider. Love. And justice. And we'll take these in turn. The Armenian has told us that there's one kind of love operative in the scriptures, and that's the universal love of God. And there are many and has also told us that to be conducive with God's justice for God to actually be just in this election, that we must affirm this conditional election because it's unjust of God to require something that an individual can't do that would be unjust. Okay. Does the condition or the unconditional position, the Calvinist position? I actually have a better accounting for these two issues. I think that in fact, they do. First, on the issue of love, as we mentioned, the Armenian argument has to do with the fact that there's only one kind of love that you find in the scriptures, that is love from God.