Universal Elections

Subject: Religion
Type: Analytical Essay
Pages: 7
Word count: 1896
Topics: Theology, Bible, Christianity, Church

The doctrine of universal election echoes on God’s excellent idea of salvation. Universal election majors on the purpose of God to save convicted sinners and to reinstate the sinners to communion with Himself. Many Christians do not like the idea of universal election because they perceived it as esoteric nature. However, since the Scripture reflects universal election with some directness and frequency, faithful disciples ought not to terminate the principle as unworthy of reflection. In the discussion of such tough subjects, the use of Scripture and Christian Theology is important to be integrated. The universal election should be treated in the context of salvation principle as a consequence of grace and not as under the dogma of God. The dogma of election should not be a matter of speculation, but it should be used to recall what God did to bless His disciples with salvation.

Historical view

The doctrine of Universal Election derives from the belief that sin destroyed the Imago. In emphasis, the theory projects that that sinner on their own is unable to facilitate salvation.  Karl Barth developed the Universal Elections analogy in his belief that God made people what they could never become by their actions and decisions. With regards to the Christocentric thoughts and the rigorously existing views on Christian elections, Barth developed the view of Christian elections as an important part of the Gods’ grace. In his opinion, the elections remained an important component of the Christian Faith and as such, the heart of the new Gospel. As such, Barth chose to reject the Augustine and Calvinistic theological reasoning on matters of the election. In concept, he decided to favor the novelty that was part of the double predestination as it was part of the doctrines that 

  1. In Calvinist view, antecedent the will of God independent of Jesus Christ as the beginning of God’s saving Purpose.
  2. The view regarded elections to be static in that, and they were fixed decisions (decretum absolutum) as opposed to the dynamic history that existed among Humans and their God. 
  3. Finally, the view that God was for some persons and against others and the Gospel remained the God News for All.

From the points of view Raised herein, Barth went ahead to develop the Elections point of view from the observance of the dogmatic church elections. In his new line of thought, Barth concluded that Jesus was both the elected man and the Electing God all summed up in one. His explanation revolved around the fact that as the eternally electing God, Jesus Christ remained as the freedom in divinity and action. In his analogy, Jesus was the Son of God and in essence remained in charge of electing others. In his presence, God does while in His absence, God does not then elect or Will anything. Barth concluded that Jesus was the eternally elected being, as the son of God, He pre-existed in humanity and as the object of God’s Election. Critically, Barth introduces the concept of election to rejection. His citation of Jesus crucifixion as the moment when God rejected the human nature allowing Jesus to be sentenced to death as a symbol of humanly and heavenly rejection of their elected messiah.

The Main Scripture Passages in supporting the View

Barth supported his objections and views of the election concept from various scriptures denoted by the apostles who at their time were the first Disciples of Christ. In comparison, Apostle Paul in his writings, remains a key figure in Barth’s concept of elections (Barthasians). Barth’s book ‘The Christian Dogmatists’, Barth talks of the election of man and their relationship to God’s will. In the second chapter of the book, the election of the Community, Barth refers to the scripture on Romans 9-11. The verses within the chosen scripture concluded Barth’s analogy that, People of God existed in twofold form of the Church and Israel. The first concept of the scripture elaborates on the crucifixion of the Israeli Messiah. A symbol of judgment and the sacrifice the messiah taken upon himself to saving the community of the Israelites. Further, the rising of Christ from the dead elects him as the Lord of the Church denoting the new man elected and accepted by God as the leader of fellow men in faith. In belief, the community believes in the divinity of the of Christ as the elected person to foresee their salvation into the accepted faith of Christianity. The chapters of the Romans 9-11 acknowledges the death of Christ as the divine symbol of Christianity, the turning point that marked the beginning of a Faith without race or community. The election of Jesus Christ as the leader of the church by grace of God unifies the church as Community. 

Theological ideas Related to the doctrine

In Theology, John Barth’s decision to develop the concept of Universal elections based on his analysis of the importance of Christ’s crucifixion. His provisions gave a basis to the concept of Universal Election with the view of salvation playing a key role. The idea of salvation into Christ’s faith provides no limit regardless of who accepts Christ and joins Christianity as their leading religion. In Christ, the saved population became brothers and sisters with no boundaries of race, origin or community. According to Barth’s critic salvation is the affirmation of faith that triumphs over all mannerisms of sin and blasphemy.

Wolfhart Pannenberg, another scholar who rejects the classical formulations of the individualistic elections from eternity. Wolfhart proposals are based on a concretely Universal concept of elections where the affirmation of faith is by a medium of God’s history in fulfilling His purposes to humanity. In this line of thought, Wolfhart identifies the fact that God in hos grace has by far accomplished the salvific purpose for humanity by the election and history of the Israelites, the Messiah, and the creation of the Christians church.in his conceptual discussion, the church symbolizes the destiny of man as a future member of the Holy Kingdom. As such, the church is a community with which the eschatological Kingdom of God is established. As described the Kingdom is consistent with the all races regardless of nationality. In his conclusions, Wolfhart believes that the salvation was to humanity and as such God’s purpose in loving his creation. His choice gives the people and the image of how his Kingdom shall be both inclusive, dignified, and image bearing. The theological reasoning that are consistent with the Universal elections are consistent with the facts that elections hold a divine purpose in the existence of any community. 

The interpreters in this thought viewed election in a passive nature as God’s plan to save the class of people who trust in Him. In the book of Deuteronomy 7:6-8 and psalms 135:4 it shows that election dealt with God’s choice not for individual choice but for the people of Israel and the anointed ones were to be the instruments of God’s purpose. The Old Testament version of corporate election can be traced to the New Testament in Romans 8:28-30 which states “that which God predestined and foreknew is the church corporately”. According to Alan Richardson the former dean of York basilica and theologian, universal election is meant to, service corporate, and realize people but not to redeem them. Alan argued that if people read this election as if it is linked to atomic individuals, they will have difficulties in their imaginations and people will start asking why God picked some individuals and not others.

The consistency in the way they are held and their purpose subdues the much anticipated mannerisms that define the boundaries of faith and religion in the world. It remains that the divinity as purpose of elections is important in providing the much needed clues as to what is important and that which is not with respect to salvation, Christianity, and being a member of the church. 

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Critic the Ideas between

John Barth

In his theological reasoning, Barth deduces that sinners are in no capacity to facilitate their own Salvation. It is a thought that centers much on the incapacitation of the living being in contrast to the belief of Universal Equality. Universal concepts of election and faith revolve around equality. As such, the notion coined by the Barthasian school of thought that sinners held no capacity to facilitate their own salvation is discriminatory. It is prudent to have sinners in the context of their belief to be able to make decisions that are favouring them in lines of both faith and `belief. In despising the sinners as unable and incapacitated, Barthasian thought of universal election remains floored in that the sinners appear discriminated. 

Wolfart Pannenberg

Pannenberg rejects the concepts of classical elections in their forms of individualistic elections and their forms of elections in the belief that God’s favor is consistent. His notion of a loving God resonates with the Christian beliefs of indiscriminate love. Pannenberg remains one of the consistent scholars in theological interpretations of the election concepts. His move to relate the concepts of election to salvation, especially universal election are involved makes him stand out in explaining the patterns and importance of elections to the general masses. Further, his relation of Christ’s death to the symbol of unity among Christians makes it important. 

Response to the Objections

In objecting to the responses of the scholars, it is important to identify the works of other scholars that relate to the concepts of the elections. Various works of theology have gone towards explaining the importance of salvation and its relation to universal elections. Scholars and critics in the nature of Martin Luther argued for the sakes of the Christians faithful regardless of their sainthood or sins. The fact that salvation has been used to symbolize that much needed unity in Christianity has been a fact that the universal elections. Early Fathers of the church were mainly concerned with avoiding Gnostic determinism and pagan fatalism. The Fathers stressed the importance of freedom of humanoid will and its capability to use faith and repent. Many pre-Augustinian experts viewed redemption synergistically. 

The experts argued that humans will freely collaborate with the Spirit in the direction of realization of salvation. An authority known as Origen held that the destiny language of the Bible is encouraging pagan fatalism. Thus he went ahead to base his historic view of election on a divine foresight of freeing human actions. Origen argued that God already knows what will happen in the future and the consequences our actions will bring. He went ahead to say that the future events foreknew by God at times do not necessarily have to happen. Origen commented on the information from the book of second Timothy 2:20-21 by denying that before time God made people into vessels of dishonor and honor. He argued that God made people in honor vessels to purge themselves and those made in dishonor vessels should unpurged themselves. Meaning that in the end all people will choose God and get saved.

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Did you like this sample?
  1. Demarest, Bruce A. The Cross and Salvation: The Doctrine of God. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Books, 2006.
  2. Goroncy, Jason A. “‘That God May Have Mercy Upon All’: A Review-Essay of Matthias Gockel’s Barth and Schleiermacher on the Doctrine of Election.” Journal of Reformed Theology 2, no. 2 (2008): 113-130.
  3. Korthals, James F. “Universal/Objective Justification: An Historical Perspective.” (2013).
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