Calvinism and the Cherubim

A brief reminder of one of my earliest memories of Bible reading came while listening to my pastor exposit Revelation 4. I remember being very young and reading Revelation. Of all its grotesque imagery, the most appalling scene to me were the angels who “day and night” cried out before the throne. I couldn’t imagine a more horrific fate than to be these creatures, whose existence subsists in this one unending act. Little did I know at the time, but this was my first encounter with reformed theology.

Everyone who comes to understand the sovereignty of God must first be shattered on this rock: that God has the right to do whatever he pleases, including the creation of beings existing solely to glorify him. Paul says there are elect angels (1 Timothy 5:21), which is a problematic phrase for infralapsarians, given ‘elect’s’ usual context of human election. It must be that, in eternity past, God first determined to create righteous and unrighteous beings, human and angelic, and that the fall was consequential to that first decree of creation.

But never mind that can of worms for now. The real question is, what does one do with the question of whether Satan and his demons have a chance to repent? Even the die-hard libertarian balks at the notion. Such a thing would be a mockery of God’s justice, and would invalidate the word of God (Revelation 20): Satan made his free will (their term) choice, and must suffer the consequences. Well and good, but who is to say Satan won’t break after a million years of torment? Will the demon be eternally hardened toward God, just as the cherubim are eternally softened? Has their free will been abrogated, and if so, when?

It’s a thicket of problems when you import Aristotelian and Epicurean free will into Scripture; more prevalent in its pages is the presence of six-winged and ox-headed aberrations that eternally repeat a sixteen-word message. It is no shock to me, then (though it is no less strange to me than to anyone else) that God should elect human beings for the purpose of glorifying him through their eternal praise, and should not elect others for the purpose of glorifying him through their eternal punishment.

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~ by bradybush on April 17, 2013.

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