Hi Jordan,So the Lutherans are honest about this apparent contradiction between the responsibility in election and damnation as revealed in Scriptures as they do not attempt to resolve it. The contradiction could be "real" at least in the modern sense. But it will be interesting to trace the ideas of divine election and human damnation in the ancient middle eastern religions. May be for the ancient world these are common ideas which are not seen as contradictions as they assert divine sovereignty and same time avert any moral blemish on divine decree. The ancient people like my Chinese ancestors have many beliefs which seems contradictory to our modern minds. Problems arise when we try to sort out logically such ancient religious ideas. Studies on early Judeo-Christian origins may be helpful. Have you read anything on that? Thanks.Martin
Interesting thought Martin. I haven't done any study in that particular area.
Question: one of the most common responses from those who hold to eternal security argue that those who believe one can lose their salvation by default are flirting with works-righteousness salvation because it means that we have to be "good enough" to be saved. How do you answer this?
The Lutheran approach isn't the same as the Wesleyan where people have to continue in good works to maintain their salvation. Works can never earn perseverance. Good works are the result of God's gift of perseverance, not its cause. This goes back to the dilemma of why some are saved and others are not. Those who are saved persevere by God's grace alone; those who don't persevere are only damned because of their own decision to reject God and depart from the faith.
Thank you for the reply, Jordan! One of these days, it would be cool to see you do a Lutheranism/Wesleyan-Arminan comparison on some points, as the common belief in the wider church is that if you're not Calvinist, you're automatically Arminian, and vice versa (thus trying to fit every denomination neatly within the two systems somewhere).
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