Daniel L. Migliore on Election as Corporate

, posted by SEA

The following quotes are from Daniel L. Migliore, Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology (2nd ed.; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004).

The Westminster Confession of Faith, for example, states that by God’s secret decrees and for the manifestation of God’s glory, from all eternity “some men and angels are predestined unto everlasting life, and others foreordained to everlasting death.” Thus stated, the doctrine of election seems to make God an arbitrary tyrant and an enemy of human freedom. The result of this teaching appears to be virtually indistinguishable from fatalism. Far from good news, the doctrine that from eternity God has decreed some to salvation and others to damnation is “dreadful,” as Calvin himself described it [p. 88].

But in contrast to this, Migliore goes on to describe a more biblical view:

The goal of election is the creation of a people of God and not simply the salvation of solitary individuals or the privilieging of particular nations or ethnic groups. The doctrine of election is not intended to cater to excessive self-concern or to fuel arroagant national, racial, or ethnic aspirations. Rather, God’s electing grace aims to open human beings to the blessings and responsibilities of life in the new community of God’s own making. Election is the expression of God’s will to create a community that serves and glorifies God. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel are the object of election (Le. 26:12); in the New Testament, the object of election is Jesus Christ and all who are united with him. God purposes a new humanity in Christ in which individuals and entire peoples are free from preoccupation with themselves and free for thankful service to God and solidarity with others. Thus the doctrine of election must have a place not only in the doctrine of God but also in the doctrine of the Christian life and the vocation of the Christian community [pp. 89-90].