Evangelizing the Elect

Check out this video (video #2) on evangelism and election on James Macdonald’s blog featuring Mark Driscoll and Greg Laurie –> http://jamesmacdonald.com/blog/?p=6449

I’ve often been perplexed by the notion that the elect need to be evangelized. After all, if God elects them for salvation of some sort, then why do they need to be made aware of that election? Why would God elect a person but not to the extent that the person understands what God has done? It seems that this position is a way to reconcile what some understand the Bible has to say about election and evangelism. But this leads me to believe that we’ve either misunderstood what the Bible means regarding election or the Biblical authors weren’t on the same page, leaving us with this apparent contradiction. God is sovereign and does all the saving but we need to go out and preach the Gospel because, for some reason, God asks us for our help, even though he doesn’t really need our help…….

Contradictions aren’t bad. The Bible leaves us with all kinds of contradictions and paradoxes that we must wrestle with. I don’t think that discredits the power of the scriptures in any way. If anything, it adds to the power of the scripture. But contradictions and paradoxes aren’t necessarily buzzwords with sort of folks that believe they need to evangelize the elect while the non-elected folks are SOL.

So this clip that I linked to above is really fascinating to me. Here is a grown man devoting his life to a calling that isn’t really necessary when considering the logic of his own theology. Like he said, it’s a “take-your-son-to-work” day but for his whole adult life. This might be a nice way to think about it and I’m sure it makes sense to Pastor Mark but theologically speaking, it’s not really consistent with what he believes. God is either sovereign or he’s not. And if God is sovereign then why would he require us to a calling that doesn’t actually make sense in light of his sovereignty? And it seems that human beings typically do a bad job of representing God’s truth to those around us in the same way that a child disrupts the task at hand when taken to work by mom or dad. So maybe at some point those who believe God is sovereign and that he elects a limited amount of people should just sit back and let God do the work. Otherwise your actions don’t seem follow the logical conclusions of your beliefs and ultimately render them untrustworthy.

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5 thoughts on “Evangelizing the Elect

  1. Generally, as I’ve pressed Calvinist or theological determinist friends on this issue, I’ve gotten the a response in the vein of “we evangelize because God commands it, that’s all we need to know.” With the Reformed emphasis on human depravity and absolute sovereignty, I suppose this is to be expected. The practical or logical absurdity of the issue doesn’t seem to bother them. If there is the appropriate amount of cognitive dissonance, they certainly hide it well. Well, I should say repress it.

  2. A question I’d like to see in these “Elephant Conversations” is, why is there only 5 or 6 white dudes talking? That’s the biggest elephant that comes to my mind. Where is the diversity of culture, gender, race, wealth, and theology?

    They’re talking about issues sure, but at the core they all already agree about everything.

  3. I can see why this would be perplexing. Some Scripture that I would point you to would be 2 Timothy 2:10; Matthew 28:18-19 (the ‘Therefore’ is very significant); John 10:16; and 2 Corinthians 4:3-6.

    Without writing an essay on the God’s word creating its intended effect, I can maybe just explain where we’re coming from by summarizing the way Calvin did, and the way the confessions do: God not only ordains the ends, but ordains the means for those ends. In other words, he is not only sovereign over the salvation of individuals, but over the evangelism it takes to reach them.

    Furthermore, evangelism exists only penultimately for the salvation of the elect, and ultimately for the glory of God.

    Hope that helps –

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