Sjolander Road Fellowship




Declaring the God of Unconditional Love

randomness- the context for pre-destination

7/8/09

 

If evangelism is the road to salvation, then random chance will always be a major factor in “getting saved”. No wonder Calvin was able to rationalize his doctrine of pre-destination, the belief that God determines who will be saved instead of each individual making that decision for themselves, as more generally taught. When random accidents of birthplace, temperament, and intellect, not to mention interaction with select human messengers, contribute so mightily to the opportunity for salvation, then whatever power controls these random factors is, in fact, determining who is saved. The conclusion that God provides that control seems natural enough.

 

Malcolm Gladwell, in his Book, “Outliers”, makes a strong case for the fact that people we view as exceptional, in whatever area of endeavor, owe that exceptional status as much or more to the blessing of random life circumstances than to personal decisions and extraordinary, personal effort. If one agrees with Gladwell’s conclusions as I do and then analyzes the differences between those who claim the status of Christian versus the rest of the world, the obvious conclusion would be that Christianity is largely the result of powerful elements which lie outside the control of those who call themselves Christian. Christianity would then result more from happenstance than personal decision, so Calvin must have been correct. Somehow the random life circumstances of each individual are determined. Whatever controls that determination is ultimately the “pre-destinator”.