I've previously posted Pastor Derwin Gray's sermons on Romans 9 (link). This week I came across a blog series he posted back in 2012 on the same chapter. Gray is another former Calvinist who now holds to a Corporate Election perspective, focusing especially on election to vocation. Here is an excerpt from part 1 (link):
Just as Abraham exercised faith and believed in God (Romans 15:6), every Israelite had to do the same. Just because Israel corporately was chosen for this mission, it did not mean every Israelite was “saved.” In this sense, election was corporate and it meant that the nation of Israel had a task or mission. This is very similar to Jesus choosing His disciples for a task, yet He knew Judas was a “devil” (John 15:16). So was Judas regenerated (saved) and then degenerated (unsaved)? Of course not. Per Jewish understanding, Jesus called His disciples to a corporate task and later, throughout the Gospels, we see the disciples exercise faith and believe in Jesus. Also note, just as Israel had twelve tribes, Jesus choose twelve disciples to usher in a new people of God.
Israel failed, just as Adam and Eve failed, so God the Father then elected or chose His eternal Son Jesus (Luke 9:35), the last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45), to fulfill and complete what Adam and Eve and what Israel could not: to bring God’s Kingdom to earth. Jesus is Israel’s Messiah, the God-King and Savior of the world.
And through Jesus’ sinless life, His death on the cross for the sins of the world, His death-defeating resurrection, and His ascension, a new people of God were chosen or elected in Him (Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:5-9). Through faith, enabled by God the Holy Spirit, whoever believes in Jesus shares in His election and mission.
The Church, which is God’s Eternal Purpose, exists on earth to display God’s glory and be on mission to colonize it, and because the people of God are indwelt by Jesus and filled by the Holy Spirit, they bring a little taste of heaven to earth.
This is a story about God’s glory.
Here are the full posts:
- Part 1: "ROMANS 9 is a Part of a Larger Story"; and
(I couldn't find part 3; if you have the link, please pass it along :) )
Derwin Gray's journey
In another post, Gray writes (link), "I started my Christian journey as a classic Calvinist., I devoured Calvin’s Institutes, books by R.C. Sproul, and John Piper. After a decade of prayer, study, and reflection, I hold to and teach a 3rd option. Since I don’t like to label myself, I don’t have a name for this third option. Some may call it 'Modified Calvinism' or 'Moderate Calvinism' since I also believe in eternal security."
He adds, "This 3rd option, which I hold to and teach, is in alignment with the Church’s greatest theologian/philosopher Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), the beloved and brilliant C.S. Lewis (1898-1963), and my mentor and friend Norman L. Geisler (1932-present)."
More from Derwin Gray:
You can also read his testimony of how he came to Christ here: “Pro Football Was My God: Until a half-naked man showed up at my locker”.