Election and Human Agency

In Edwin Chr van Driel (ed.), T&T Clark Handbook on Election. pp. 536-558 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

In Section 1, we begin by asking what, exactly, it might mean for God to “elect” people and how this relates to their agency and freedom. After getting clearer on what God is supposed to elect people to or for, we argue against the view that a person’s will is not involved in the process by which God elects her, which we identify in part as the person’s coming to have faith. But, in Section 2, we consider several reasons for thinking that a person’s free will is not involved in her coming to have faith, as well as a potential problem facing this view. Then, in the next three sections (3, 4, and 5) we examine three views on which one’s free will is involved in one’s coming to faith, corresponding roughly to three systematic views of divine providence. We discuss certain objections to each of these “models of election,” as well as how each speaks to the possibility of the non-elect. In the sixth and final section, we conclude by addressing the concern that any such philosophizing about God is too anthropomorphic.

Author Profiles

Leigh Vicens
Augustana University
Taylor W. Cyr
Samford University

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