As children, our understanding of love comes more or less in the context of self and family. We love our mommies, we love our dogs and we love our teddy bears, but outside of that, we have no context in which to experience or understand love.
A modified Arminian-Calvinistic position will generally not please either Calvinists or Arminians, “both of whom will seek to emphasize certain words or texts and exclude from consideration other texts and words. But in spite of all the arguments to the contrary, this tension between the divine and human aspects of salvation cannot finally be resolved by our theological gymnastics.”
The truth is that both Calvinism and Extensivism recognize the need for a sovereign pre-conversional work of grace, but we disagree on what is included in that work, and that is due to our disagreement regarding the nature of man and not merely biblical depravity.
Add up all the atrocities committed by Marx, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Lenin and their disciples — and you will quickly dispel the notion that they are smarter and govern more compassionately than “we” individuals who truly believe in a God who someday will hold all mankind morally accountable for their beliefs and behaviors.
While the connection of creation and redemption can be made, and God’s sovereignty as creator is clear, it is extremely difficult to see divine unconditional election being taught in this verse. There is nothing in this opening verse that would even remotely suggest that God chose some individuals to receive salvation while others would be left hopelessly lost.
When I was growing up, even the TV shows matched my parents’ values. Remember Father Knows Best? That’s why teaching Scriptures in the home as well as the church has become so much more critical. Our children need to develop the knowledge and skills of the Kingdom much earlier and be challenged in deeper ways. Otherwise, they’ll blend your values with those of others.