WE cannot raise our fists to God without raising our fists to the sinless, righteous Son of God, who obeyed and suffered on behalf of sinners. The doctrines of election and reprobation are not the product of natural reason. They are revealed truths. For us to speak of election is to speak of God’s undeserved favor to sinners, i.e., grace, which is not nature.
It is a remarkable thing that, outside of Reformed circles, it seems to be widely assumed that the attraction of the doctrine of predestination is that it is reasonable. This is nothing but an assumption. The Reformed churches do not confess the “free grace of election,” to use the language of the Synod of Dort (1618–19), because it makes sense to us or because it is what reason tells us but because it is what we understand Scripture to teach. In this we agree with Luther that it was Erasmus who was placing reason over Scripture. Luther wrote:
This, then, is the place and the time for us to adore, not those Corycian caverns of yours, but the true Majesty in his awful wonders and incomprehensible judgments, and to say: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Yet we are nowhere more irreverent and rash than in probing into and arguing about these very mysteries and unsearchable judgments, though all the while we put on an air of incredible reverence as regards searching the Holy Scriptures, which God has commanded us to search [John 5:39]. Here we do not search, but there, where he has forbidden us to search, we do nothing but search, with never-ending temerity, not to say blasphemy. Or is there no temerity in the searching that tries to make the entirely free foreknowledge of God harmonize with our freedom, so that we are prepared to detract from the foreknowledge of God unless it allows freedom to us, or else, if it imposes necessity on us, to say with the murmurers and blasphemers: “Why does He still find fault? Who can resist his will? This, then, is the place and the time for us to adore, not those Corycian caverns of yours, but the true Majesty in his awful wonders and incomprehensible judgments, and to say: “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”