My friend, Derwin Gray, has just released a post about the doctrine of election. It’s a tough subject, but I recently had the chance to chat with Derwin over dinner in a small South Carolina town and election was one of the topics we discussed. I love his high view of God, his humble view of humanity, and his balanced view of this idea of choice.
The Bible clearly teaches the twin truths that God sovereignly and unconditionally chose the elect for salvation and that each person freely decides to accept or reject Jesus Christ as Savior.
Scripture presents God’s sovereignty and human freedom as twin truths in tension.
If you lean too heavily on either side of the twin truths, the character of God is assaulted. If you lean too heavily on the sovereignty side, God is not all-loving. If you lean too heavily on human freedom, God is a weakling, dependent upon man.
Derwin’s perspective reminds me of what one of my Saddleback Pastors, Tom Holladay, has often said about this difficult doctrine, “Don’t ever think that you don’t have anything to do with your salvation – that’s laziness. And don’t ever think that you have anything to do with your salvation – that’s arrogance” (or something close to that).
We may not agree on all of the details, but I do believe with my whole being that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone to the glory of God alone, based on the Scriptures alone. That’s enough to reform anybody.