I keep coming back to this line:
All of our lives are lived in the light of a prior choice – not our choice, but God’s. (pg5)
This is seems to be my current theological mindset. In that I have always rejected that somehow Christ’s sacrifice is only valid when we ‘accept’ it. I have never liked that terminology. If is only sufficient when accepted, then it is null if we do not. Do we have that ability within ourselves to either accept or reject the sacrifice of Christ based on our own free will?
I see the Christ-Event as something in the past but something ever proceeding so that while it was ‘once for all’ given, it pervades us even today and is an ongoing sacrifice which covers all sins.
Willimon posits that the choice is that God wants to be near us and to have us near Him. Maybe it’s the same thing – in that the choice while Willimon expresses is itself expressed in the Christ-Event so that only in the death of Christ we are made near to God. Does this involve a certain amount of election? Of course – it must. Salvation must. Throughout the grand narrative, Election is ever present, but so is the ability to attach oneself to the people of God through various ways. But, regardless, the Covenant between God and His Elect was always made at a past event, and was celebrated in various ways.
So far, I really enjoy this book – finding it dense enough to hold my attention and yet, not too dense so as to have the lay person grasp and find him or herself drawn in.