Excerpts from The God Who Predestines from Peter Leithart.
Paul’s first large statement in Ephesians is an act of worship. He does not investigate the work of Christ, or the doctrine of election, or predestination, or the goal of redemption in a speculative, scientific, objective fashion. Rather, he celebrates God’s plan now realized in Christ, a plan in which Paul participates. . . .
For Paul, God’s choice and predestination does not pertain only to our salvation, but to all things. God’s purpose is to “sum up all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things upon the earth” (1:10). God not only chooses His people before the foundation of the world, but also “works all things after the counsel of His will” (1:11). In other words, Paul believes that our salvation, and the formation of the church, and the course of history, and the realization of God’s purposes for history, depend entirely on God. . . . Nothing can thwart His will or overturn it. . . .
We are tempted to think about all of these things in purely individual terms – as if God chose individuals for salvation and forgiveness and blessing and that was the end of it. No, Paul works the other way round. God’s big story is the story of the universe, and [we believers] find our individual stories by seeing them in the light of the big story.
Leithart is from the Reformed or Calvinist tradtion, but to these propositions this Wesleyan-Arminian can say, “Amen.”
Read the whole thing here.