Conversion and Election
The pastoral problems of predestination arise because Augustine uses the concept of divine election to answer the question: why are some saved rather than others? For Protestants, this becomes a question about why some are converted rather than others, but as his treatment of the conversion of Paul shows, Augustine does not conceive of conversion as a once‐in‐a‐lifetime event. Nor does he think it assures us of eternal salvation, for we do not know in advance whether we will also receive the gift of perseverance in faith. The anxieties evoked by predestination stem ultimately from supercessionism, the doctrine that Christians replace the Jews as God's chosen people, which assumes, contrary to the biblical concept of election (as Karl Barth shows), that God's choices are bad news for those not chosen.
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