Someone once asked me what I thought about predestination and if I knew of any good e-sources regarding the subject. Here’s my short answer.
This is an issue that has unfortunately divided Christianity from at least as far back as the 4th century. I doubt if we will ever resolve the issue in our lifetime. I know that there has been great Christians on both sides of the issue. A striking example is the ministries of John and Charles Wesley and George Whitfield. The Wesleys were not Calvinistic. Whitefield was. Yet, together God used them to change the course of Christian history and bring great revival to England and America. They worked closely together. A century later, the Calvinistic Charles Spurgeon stated that he thought if God was going to add two additional people to the list of apostles, one of them would have been John Wesley. There is no reason for the issue to be so divisive.
I introduce the subject with these words because my experience has been that the issue is divisive. Yet, it does not have to be. I attend a church where the leadership is split on the issue, and yet for the 14 years I have been there, the issue has not been a major matter. Both sides believe that Christians should live holy lives, and that is what God stresses.
But you asked for my view and for some good e-sources. I do not know of any good e-sources. Of course, being consistent with my view, I believe that the best source of information on the subject is the Bible itself. God has given each Christian the Holy Spirit to guide the believer into truth. Prayer and study, along with doing His will, is what delights Him.
The Bible, when read in the context of the passage and the context of the entire Scriptures reveals a God who wants all to be saved, so much so that He gave His life to save not just the elect, but the whole world. (John 1:29; 3:16; 1 Tim. 4:10; 1 John 2:2. He desires all to be saved and has no pleasure in the death of the wicked. (Ezek. 18:23, 32; 33:11; 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9) I conclude that when Christ died, he freed mankind from the power of Satan (John 12:31-32; Col. 2:14-15; Heb. 2:14-15) and now offers the hope of eternal life to all through the gospel. (See Romans 1:16; 10:14-17; 1 Cor. 15:1-2; Eph. 1:13; 2 Thess. 2:13-14) Based upon these and other Scriptures, I believe the method God has chosen to call people to Himself is the proclamation of the gospel. All who hear the gospel have a genuine chance to believe, and their refusal to believe is not because God did not do what was in His power to bring them to Himself, but because they chose to resist Him. I believe that God, in creating us in His image, gave us sovereignty over such matters in our lives. We have a real choice to believe or to not believe. It is not a choice programmed in us by our Maker. He is great enough to create us to be moral agents, not preprogrammed robots. I believe the answer to the bondage of the will described in Romans 3 is the coming of Christ also described in Romans 3. I believe that His death was sufficient to break the bondage of the will so that we, upon hearing the gospel, have the power to believe.
Having said this, I will give you my view of predestination in a nutshell. The Greek word which we translate “predestination” is only found only six times in Scripture (Acts 4:28; Rom. 8:29, 30; 1 Cor. 2:7, and Eph. 1:5, 11). Only the Romans and Ephesians passages use the term in the context of the Christian life. In Romans, certain people are predestined to be conformed to the image of Christ. In Ephesians, certain people are predestined to adoption as sons and are predestined to be to the praise of His glory. The question raised by these passages is whether the predestination is for salvation or for sanctification. I believe that the passages are saying that those who believe in Christ have a sure destiny that has already been ordained. I do not read the passages as saying that certain unbelievers have a pre-ordained destiny to be saved. Thus, all believers will be conformed to the image of Christ. All believers will receive the adoption of sons (which Paul has explained already for us in Romans 8 to be the fullness of our inheritance). I believe that all believers will be to the praise of of His glory. A. W. Tozer, in his book “The Knowledge of the Holy,” likens predestination to two great ships leaving New York harbor. Each ship has a predeterimined destiny. Each is going to a different port. We cannot change that destiny. But we can decide which ship we want to board. I agree with his view. I think the Bible always puts the responsibility for our choice on us, not on God. This can only occur with a just God if the choice is real and not illusionary. As Abraham so pointedly said, shall not the God of all the earth do justice? We have a right to expect God not to be unjust. And we do not need to redefine justice to make God appear to be just. He is just in the ways we would expect Him to be, and beyond.
Anyway, that is my short answer to your question. I hope it helps guide you to searching out Scripture. My encouragement is to get to know the God of the Old Testament because He will be the same when you begin to interpret the New Testament passages on the subject. He has not suddenly become more callused toward humanity with the coming of Christ. He still has compassion on the wicked, even as He did with Ninevah during the days of Jonah. If people will repent, He will still relent from the judgment He has pronouced on them.
I do not hold my position as a way to debate those who may believe otherwise. I do not wish to enter such debates. I find them generally unprofitable. I further find that they tend to divide and not bind. If someone believes otherwise, I will do what I can to retain fellowship with him/her. It is sometimes work to keep unity in the diversity of the body, but it is the work of God.
May the Lord Jesus continue to guide you in the search for truth and in the practice of His Word. Again, I encourage you not to let this matter consume you. Again, it was Tozer who gave this advice to a young person who was entering Seminary. Tozer told him that he would find young seminarians gathered in rooms debating the great issues of Calvinism versus Arminianism. Tozer warned the man not to engage in such debates. Rather, Tozer told the man to go to his room and pray. Tozer then said, at the end of the three years of Seminary, the same people will still be debating Calvinism versus Arminianism, but the young man would know God. I think that is good advice. Seek God as revealed in the person of Jesus, and seek to be His follower and you will please both God and men.
May the Lord Jesus bless you.