We run our website the way we wished the whole internet worked: we provide high quality original content with no ads. We are funded solely by your direct support. Please consider supporting this project.

How do you respond to 1 Peter 1:1–2?

As I read it, I Pet 1:2 is the thematic statement for the whole chapter. As I will show in a moment, the rest of the chapter unpacks this statement, so the rest of the chapter should be used to interpret this statement. In the rest of the chapter we find that believers…

* have been given mercy through the resurrection of Jesus (vs 3)

* have received an inheritance that can never perish (vs. 4)

* are protected by the power of God until all is revealed (vs. 5)

* are refined by the suffering we undergo (vs. 6-7)

* and live in hope (8-9)

Then Peter says in vss. 10-12:

Concerning THIS SALVATION, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

It seems to me that all of this fleshes out the “foreknowledge” in the thematic verse. What was foreknown and partially revealed to the prophets was the plan of salvation that God was going to bring about and which Peter’s audience was now experiencing. In light of this, Peter says, we should live holy lives (vss. 13-9), fleshing out the sanctification theme in vs. 2. And he then returns to the foreknowledge theme when he says that Christ “was chosen (prognostico — same word as in vs. 2) before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake” (vs. 20). What God foreknew (because he predetermined it) was that Jesus would come and bring salvation, as Peter again reiterates in vss. 21-2).

So, in light of the whole passage, I don’t think Peter is saying God chose us INDIVIDUALLY according to his foreknowledge. What I think he’s rather saying is that God foreknew the plan of salvation centered in Jesus Christ, a plan that included the gracious invitation that whoever believes would be chosen as one of God’s people. What was left open was which individuals would accept this invitation. But now that we’re “in,” we can all say “we were chosen according to God’s foreknown and foreordained plan.”

Related Reading

What’s the signficance of Judges 10:6-17

The Israelites rebelled against Yahweh and worshipped other gods. As a result, Yahweh withdrew his protection of them and “sold them into the hands of te Philistines and the Ammonites” (Judg. 10:6-7). The Israelites eventually acknowledged their sin and cried out to God (vs. 10) but Yahweh, perhaps perceiving that their repentance wasn’t genuine, told…

Topics:

Revelation 13:8 refers to “everyone whose names have not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life.” How does that square with open theism?

Three possibilities exist in terms of reconciling Revelation 13:8 with open theism. 1) First, the “from the foundation of the world” clause can attach to either “everyone whose names have not been written” or to “the lamb that was slain.” For example, the TNIV translates this passage “All inhabitants of the earth will worship the…

The Rorschach Test

The choices we make will either increase or decrease our ability to recognize light when we see it.  As we choose goodness, we increase our capacity for goodness. What do you see when you read the Bible or look at God or interact with others? Everything is a Rorschach test to some extent, revealing the light…

Podcast: Is an Open Future World a Logically Possible World?

Greg gets technical in this abstract, yet profound, introduction to an open theist’s interpretation of the square of opposition. http://traffic.libsyn.com/askgregboyd/Episode_0217.mp3

How do you respond to Acts 2:23 and 4:28?

Question: Acts 2:23 and 4:28 tell us that wicked people crucified Jesus just as God predestined them to do. If this wicked act could be predestined, why couldn’t every other wicked act be predestined? Doesn’t this refute your theory that human acts can’t be free if they are either predestined or foreknown? Answer: In Acts…

Neo-Molinism and the Infinite Intelligence of God

Classical Molinism holds that, since God is omniscient and knows all truths, he knows not only what every agent will do in the future, but also what every agent would have done in every other “possible world.” In this essay I argue that classical Molinism overlooked a whole category of truths that an omniscient God…