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Election: Calvinism or Arminianism? Or a 3rd Option?

election Calvisnism Arminianism

How we view God will be the deciding factor in how we view people.

The doctrine of election is a secondary issue, but the implications of how we incorporate this doctrine into our lives will be the fuel that launches us on mission with Jesus.

In this blog, I will present the classic Calvinist view of Election, the classic Arminian view, plus a third view. Please keep in mind that all three of these views are within the bounds of evangelical orthodoxy.

On a personal note, I’m grateful for the theologians and pastors that support the Calvinist viewpoint, the Arminian viewpoint as well as third viewpoint that I discuss here; I’ve learned from and ministered with many of them, and I consider it an honor to have done so.

At the end of the blog, I refer you to several books that go into greater detail.


In this view, which is also called “Reformed Theology,” God operates with such sovereignty that His choice of who the elect will be is made with no consideration of the choices of human beings. God sovereignly saves whomever He wishes to save. We all deserve hell because we are dead in our sin by nature, but in His mercy, God from all eternity decides to save some people (elect). He does this by giving some people the ability to have faith by regenerating them so they can believe. So, the elect are born again, and then they believe, rather than people believing, then being born again. 

This view also teaches that Jesus only died for the elect, not the non-elect. This is called “limited atonement” or “particular redemption.”