Tuesday 11 July 2006

The meaning of election: Robert W. Jenson

“The eternal ‘pre-’ of Christ’s existence, which is identical with the ‘pre-’ of predestination, occurs also within time.... Thus—to put it in the most strenuous possible context—to the penitent’s question, ‘But how do I know I am among the elect?’ the confessor’s right answer must be, ‘You know because I am about to absolve you, and my doing that is God’s eternal act of decision about you’.... A right doctrine of individual predestination is precisely a doctrine about what happens to and for individuals when they encounter Christ in his gospel: that the judgment they then hear is nothing less than God’s eternal act of decision.”

—Robert W. Jenson, Systematic Theology, Vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999), pp. 177-78.

1 Comment:

Strider said...

As one of my professors used to say, "Important, if true." I would add, "very, very important, if true."

But what is the precedent in the Tradition for this interpretation of absolution? What preacher before the 20th century, before the 16th century, felt authorized to declare to any baptized person, "In the name of Jesus, you are elected to eternal salvation and your destiny is assured"?

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