Election and Predestination - Peter A. Kerr
Paperback, 298 pages. Published by Everyday Publications Inc., 310 Killaly St. West, Port Colborne,
Ontario, L3K 6A6, Canada.
The sub-title of this new publication dealing with a subject which over the years has generated more heat than light in Christian circles, is ‘Looking for Answers – not Arguments’. The author explains at some length and at various stages through the book, that his studies are not based upon any viewpoint or school of thought. But rather upon his own conclusions drawn from a careful examination of scripture and its presentation of words like ‘election’, ‘foreknowledge’, ‘called’ and ‘predestination’. Such is his determination to assure his readers that his findings have not been unduly influenced by prevalent opinions from any standpoint, that, at one point, I was reminded of Shakespeare’s character in Hamlet who ‘doth protest too much, methinks’.
The author takes the reader on a personal journey from his background, steeped in Calvinistic doctrine, to, and through, a careful study of words and their contexts from which he presents his findings in a well-structured and orderly manner. His refutation of both Reformed and Arminian teaching is thorough, but not judgemental, and his considerations lead him to a conclusion which would be recognized as a ‘corporate election’ position among many Bible students.
The author’s clear presentation of God’s purposes for the nation of Israel as seen throughout scripture and particularly in dealing with Romans chapters 9 to 11, shows how complete and welcome his move away from Reformed teaching has been.
A theme which runs throughout the book is that in every case where ‘election’ is in view, it is with a specific purpose in the plan of God. With that in mind, his statement in the summary at the end of the book is worth recording. ‘The concepts of God’s infinite, eternal foreknowledge and wisdom are far above and beyond our puny ability to grasp, therefore we must resist the urge to speculate and be dogmatic about things no created being can understand’. How very true!