Dear Brother Carlos,

For starters, my view of election is not based on merit. How can you call faith a merit when it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8)? All I did was accept the faith that God provided. There is nothing meritorious or noteworthy about that, Jesus said in Luke 17:10, "So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: We have done that which was our duty to do." So likewise, a man who hears God is doing nothing great or spectacular, he is simply fulfilling the condition that God requires. The big problem with most Calvinist theology is that EVERYTHING a man thinks and believes is considered work. This is not a biblical view. Take faith for instance: How many times is faith contrasted to works? Is hearing God a work? If hearing is a work, I'm earning money the hard way (Yes sir!!). Look in scripture and see if any of these things are classified as works. I can tell you now that there is no scripture backing up the idea that there are no conditions to God's grace. So my position in no way implies that we elect God, it simply implies that there are conditions which are the basis of God's election.

Forknowledge: Foreknowledge can be used in either sense. It can also mean to simply have knowledge of (see Acts 2:23). But I never stated that it could not be in the sense you spoke of as well. It makes no difference. Just because one has been known by God does not preclude them from judgement if they fall away from Him. Galatians 4:9 clearly illustrates that some who were known by God were turning from Him and back to the law. They were "fallen from grace" to quote the apostle. And just because a person is "glorified" as spoken of in Romans, does not preclude them from falling just as the then glorious Lucifer did; also note that we who are alive have not yet attained to the resurrection (Philippians 3:12), and are not yet in our final, eternal, glorious state. And no, God is not mistaken in His foreknowledge; for even if He knows that one may fall away after he or she receives Him, He may still give him or her a chance for the sake of His promises (such as to give of the water of life freely). I won't try to explain His reasons for doing so, just as I'm sure you can't give me a pattern or method about how you think God elects people. I am not God, and I don't think I'll ever quite figure out His ways before leaving this shell. This is simply the idea that scriptural evidence supports. Several scriptures in particular indicate the possibility of losing one's salvation (Romans 11:22, John 15, Revelation 22:19), while others speak of those who already have (Hebrews 6:4-6, Galatians 5), and others indicate the ability in man to reject God's calling (such as Luke 13:34). I simply try to understand what the book says, not explain it away.

As to Dabney's argument:
"This leads to the crowning argument. This Saul was by nature "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph. ii. 1), and, therefore, would never have in him any faith or repentance to be foreseen, except as the result of God's purpose to put them in him. But the effect cannot be the cause of its own cause. The cart cannot pull the horse; why, it is the horse that pulls the cart."

Of course God can see the future in the context of His intervention in human affairs; it just wouldn't be the future without Him. He foresaw what would happen when He confronted Saul on the road to Damascus, not just Saul as a human independent of God. That's kind of a silly argument actually.

Thank you for your reply, though I disagree with you on some points, your reasoning skills are excellent.

In Christ,