Some Arminians argue for what is called corporate or class election. Continue reading . . .
Some Arminians argue for what is called corporate or class election. For example, Roger Forster and Paul Marston contend that “there is no such thing in the New Testament as personal (individual) election of believers. Christ is the chosen One, and believers are elect because they are in him” (God’s Strategy in Human History, 145). Here they explain their view in more detail:
“The prime point is that the election of the church is a corporate rather than an individual thing. It is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, it is rather that they are elect because they are in the church, which is the body of the elect One [i.e., Jesus Christ]. . . . A Christian is not chosen to become part of Christ’s body, but in becoming part of that body [by free will, exercising faith] he partakes of Christ’s election. Although God, in his foreknowledge, doubtless knew which individuals would repent and so be joined by him to Christ’s body, this is not at all the same thing as picking them out to make them repent. God’s choice is not an individual one of who should repent; it is a corporate choice of the church in Christ” (136).
A more recent advocate of this view is William Klein who contends that “God has chosen the church as a body rather than the specific individuals who populate that body” (The New People of God, 259). The concern of the New Testament regarding predestination, says Klein, “is not how people become Christians nor who become Christians” but “what God has foreordained on behalf of those who are (or will be) Christians” (185).
While not denying corporate or class election, other