I have been following Brian McLaren's blog for quite some time. I first got turned on to him in a class at seminary. One of the professors wanted to show us some of the emergent church's views, so he picked McLaren's A New Kind of Christianity. His intent was to give us an idea of the near heresies that were out in the community that we would need to prepare ourselves to ward off. Little did he know that McLaren resonated with me. I've got to be clear. I do not agree with everything that McLaren writes. However, there is a lot of refreshment in them thar pages. There is also quite a bit of food for thought.
Today McLaren had a link to a post by George W. Sarris titled, Jacob I Loved - Esau I Hated. It is an interesting look at election in the Bible. Sarris posits that those whom scripture states are created for wrath, or are for 'common' rather than 'noble' use, (Rom. 9:21), are not being dismissed to eternal torture, but are not chosen for God's purposes at that time. He wrote, "Paul is not referring to election to salvation. Rather, he is referring to God’s election to service of those He has chosen to be His instruments." Now, I like this idea. I'm not one of those who is looking forward to any soul being lost for eternity. The God I read about doesn't fit that description. But, there is a lot of history behind the traditional view of this, and similar, texts.
I am going to take quite a bit of time to reflect on this. Because, if this can be shown to be a viable understanding of these texts, it will change the way many people view the Reign of God on this planet.
Read Sarris' post and let me know what you think.