Friday, October 10, 2014

Express train to heaven

There Paul summarizes God’s action in saving us in terms of his foreknowing us, predestining us, calling us, justifying us, and glorifying us.  
Think of it this way.  Predestination is like a train that has a pre-determined destination.  All who board the train and remain on it will inevitably arrive at that predetermined destination.  Moreover, there is no other way to reach that destination.  If we want to make it there, we have to get on that train, and remain on it through each of the stops along the way.
i) "Foreknew" is not the most accurate rendering of proginosko in this passage. BAGD defines it as "chosen beforehand." And even Brian Abasciano admits that's more accurate.
ii) One basic problem with Jerry's analogy is that if we're going to use a train ride to illustrate Rom 8:29-30, then it's God who chooses the passengers beforehand. God who puts them on the train. God who keeps them on the train. Rom 8:29-30 is not a process of attrition, where the passengers who arrive at the appointed destination are not the same passengers who boarded the train in the first place. 
In fact, there are no stops. No layovers. They don't get off before the final destination. Rather, things happen to them (or for them) onboard. Inside the train. Like eating and sleeping. Spiritual nutrition. 
iii) In Jerry's analogy, the train is predestined, but the passengers are not. By his logic, if the train arrived empty at its heavenly destination, it would still have served its purpose since predestination only applies to the train, not the passengers, if any. Whether the train is full or empty is irrelevant to how he recast the issue. 
That's actually a very revealing, albeit unwitting, illustration of the vacuity of corporate election as a substitute for individual election. 

1 comment:

  1. Lots of fun alternative title possibilities here.

    The Little Engine Who Could
    Arminian Express
    3:16 to Yuma
    The Roman Railroad