Mrs. Robinson’s Defense of Unconditional Election from Romans 9-11

I’ve never understood Romans chapters nine to eleven to be, per se, about individuals. As I read it, Paul defends God’s intent to “collectively” (some might say corporately) bring Gentiles into the ‘fold’ who’re more open to salvation by faith and do away with the law (which the Jews apparently weren’t so good at keeping). My Calvinist friend, Mrs. Robinson, has sent me a defense for the Calvinist doctrine of individual unconditional election. C. Michael Patton wrote and published the below defense on his blog in 2019I will respond to each point in due course. Patton incorporated some details for each point which can be found in his article referenced below. But, for now, the twelve points Patton puts forth are:

1. The whole section (9-11) is about the security of individuals.

2. In the election of Jacob over Esau (Rom. 9:10-13), while having national implications, starts with individuals.

3. Jacob was elected, and Esau rejected before the twins had done anything good or bad.

4. Rom. 9:15 emphasizes God’s sovereignty about choosing individuals: “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.”

5. Rom. 9:16 is dealing with individuals, not nations

6. Once again, Rom. 9:18, speaking in the context of the hardening of Pharaoh, Paul [summarizes] what he is trying to say using masculine singular pronouns:

7. The charge of injustice in Rom. 9:14 makes little sense if Paul were speaking about corporate or national election. 

8. The objection in Rom. 9:18 is even more out of place if Paul is not speaking about individual election.

9. The imaginary objector would be corrected if Paul were speaking of individual election.

11. The seven thousand men called out of the nation of Israel were individuals.

12. Paul makes certain that the Elijah illustration ties back to the individuals of Romans 9 whom God has sovereignly elected.


Author: Bob

I’m an upper Midwestern guy who has recently entered the "Buick stage" of life and decided to migrate to Florida. This blog is an attempt to rectify discordant aspects within my Christian faith ... or what often feels like my lack of Christian faith. Things which make life more enjoyable include strong black coffee, charcoal grilling anytime of the year, putz'ing at a table saw, playing chess, a good orthopedic surgeon and an occasional IPA. Please feel free to poke around and comment as you wish. I welcome discussion and the insights of others.

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