Sam Storms begins his analysis of divine election with an attempt to clarify precisely what is at stake and, at the same time, correct misrepresentations of it. He takes a thorough look at the doctrine as it is presented in Romans 9 and the rest of the New Testament. He also explores free will and the order of salvation. Appendixes address “Three Problem Passages” and “Who Can and Cannot Pray for God to Save the Lost?”
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“Therefore, according to Arminius, election is conditional, being based on God’s foresight of faith, a faith that all are enabled to exercise through the bestowal of prevenient grace.” (Page 36)
“He chose you for worship, which I define as the proclamation of his excellencies and your extravagantly affectionate and inexpressibly joyful delight in them.” (Page 42)
“In what sense does ‘grace’ have ‘glory’? Or, what makes grace glorious? Jonathan Edwards points to several things. Grace is glorious because of the dignity and excellency of the gift it bestows: salvation in Jesus. Grace is glorious because of the degree of horror from which it delivers us: eternal punishment. Grace is glorious because of the immeasurable unworthiness of those on whom it is lavished. And grace is glorious because of the manner by which it was given: through the incarnation, humiliation, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus.” (Page 42)
“Fifth, even if one grants that God elects based on his foreknowledge of man’s faith, nothing is proven, for God foreknows everything. One must determine from Scripture how man came to have the faith that God foreknows. And the witness of Scripture is that saving faith is a gift of God (see Eph. 2:8–10; Phil. 1:29; 2 Pet. 1:1; 2 Tim. 2:24–26; Acts 5:31; 11:18; each of these passages will be examined in later chapters).” (Page 30)
“Clearly the terms used in the New Testament do not of themselves tell us anything definitive about the basis of divine election. One cannot appeal to any alleged intrinsic meaning in a particular Greek word to prove either the Arminian or the Calvinistic perspective. That issue must be determined by the way in which each term is used, as well as other relevant statements in each context.” (Page 24)
Sam Storms’ Chosen for Life is well-conceived, well-reasoned, and well-written, with its arguments anchored in the Scriptures. It is fair, thorough, and up-to-date regarding the controversies that swirl around this vital biblical doctrine.
—Mark Talbot, associate professor of philosophy, Wheaton College
When students have asked me for a concise, clear, pastoral, and practical explanation of election, I have said that Chosen for Life is my top choice. When we read Storms, we see why the doctrine of election matters in our everyday lives. Chosen for Life reflects the work of an accomplished theologian and an experienced pastor. Most important of all, Storms shows that divine election gives all the glory and honor and praise to God for our salvation. Read it, relish in God’s grace, and rejoice!
—Thomas R. Schreiner, professor of New Testament interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
This extraordinarily clear and courteous book makes its case without stooping to caricature or invective. It is a fine model of exactly how theological disagreements should be resolved: with respectful listening, careful distinctions, historical awareness, deep reverence for Scripture, and patient exegesis. Storms even reserves space for thoughtful pastoral application. I warmly recommend this book.
—D. A. Carson, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School