The Election of Grace:
A Riddle without Resolution
Dr. Williams presented a series of six lectures on Karl Barth and election, with particular emphasis upon the pastoral function of the doctrine. Beginning with a discussion of the issues that arise in debates about election, Dr. Williams details Karl Barth’s view on the topic of election and the related topics of Christian perseverance and particular atonement, including an exposition of Romans 9-11. Dr. Williams then developed Barth’s single predestinarian view and addressed the doctrine of assurance in conversation with Barth’s own views. Taken together, the lectures applied fresh perspective to the views of Karl Barth on the election of grace.
Lecture Series Outline
Lecture 1: The different ways of understanding God that surface in debates about election
Lecture 2: A lecture on Barth on election integrated with Barth’s views on Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms
Lecture 3: The question of election as a determination of destiny, specifically, the problem of perseverance
Lecture 4: The question of election and particular atonement, working from the John Owen/McLeod Campbell debate
Lecture 5: Election, regeneration and faith
Lecture 6: An exposition of Romans 9-11 offering a positive proposal on election, prepared for in lectures 1-5
Stephen Williams was born and received his early education in Wales. He holds MA degrees in Modern History from Oxford University and Theology from Cambridge University and PhD from the Yale University. He has held his current position of Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological College (Belfast, Northern Ireland) since 1994. Dr. Williams has published in different areas in biblical studies, theology and intellectual history, including Revelation and Reconciliation: A Window on Modernity (Cambridge University Press, 1995) and a volume on Nietzsche, The Shadow of the Antichrist: Nietzsche’s Critique of Christianity (Baker Academic Press, 2006).