A report live-blogged by Andy Naselli
Williams is professor of systematic theology at Union Theological College in Belfast, Ireland. The title of the six-part series is “The Election of Grace: A Riddle without Resolution?” The third lecture in the series was advertised to address “the question of election as a determination of destiny, specifically, the problem of perseverance” but will actually be addressing election in the OT.
This is also available via live stream.
- Bultmann observed that the history of Israel was a history of failure. We may not be persuaded by Bultmann’s reasoning, but his conclusion is right.
- The nations were destined to be beneficiaries of the Abrahamic covenant.
- The threefold division elect, anti-elect, and non-elect is useful as long as the categories aren’t viewed as static.
- The elect were both a blessing and a judgment to the nations.
- Israel and the nations are distinguished yet bound together, so this raises the question why all the people of the earth are not elect.
- Do Lesslie Newbigin’s arguments re election in The Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission make election a matter of necessity? Surely they do not. Newbigin repeatedly states that election is not privilege but responsibility. The phrase “responsibility not privilege” surely rings strange in our ears.
- The peculiar privilege of election is communion with the living God.
- We need to be careful not to interpret the end of Ezekiel literally (i.e., its fulfillment in the literal form given).
- It is right that election is responsibility and that election for service should be emphasized, but it is not responsible to drain out of it communion with the living God.