I want to take this topic in shorter, manageable posts. My goal is to take you through my thought process in shorter increments than usual. This topic seems to require it.
We’ll start in the Old Testament. Anyone can tell from a lexicon or the list of verses I posted that election terminology refers to a choice. For our purposes in this post, God’s choice of Israel over all other nations to be his own “portion” as Deut 32:9 says so well. Israel is clearly chosen or “elected” by God. Here are some representative passages:
Deut 4:37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power
Deut 7:6 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
Deut 7:7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples
Deut 10:15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day.
Deut 14:2 For you are a people holy to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.
The idea seems simple enough, but here are some questions we must ask.
1. If you were an Israelite, and your nation was elected by God, chosen out from all other nations, were you elect?
2. Is it true that other nations were not elect, does it stand to reason that to be elect one had to be an Israelite? Does it further stand to reason that Gentiles were not elect?
3. Were all Israelites “saved” (i.e., believers in Yahweh who would share the afterlife with Yahweh)?
4. If all Israelites were not saved, were they elect? If they were elect, how could they not be saved?
5. Should the concept of election in the Old Testament be viewed as salvation? In other words, are “elect” and “saved” synonyms? (cf. my definition of “saved” above: believers in Yahweh who would share the afterlife with Yahweh)
6. If “elect” and “saved” are not synonyms, what is the point of election?
My answers to the above are:
2. Yes and Yes
4. Yes and “Because election and salvation are not the same thing — though nearly all evangelical theologies will assume they are.”
5. No and No
6. Stay tuned.
What say ye?