Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Responding to Leighton Flowers' "Choice Beef" Argument

Leighton Flowers (transcription of oral comments):
When we ask about election, we're talking about mainly God having favor - Him choosing somebody over someone else. Matter of fact, when we use the word "choice," a lot of times we're thinking of kind of the verb form of it, like, "I made a choice between these options." But if you go into the grocery store, later today, and you go to the "choice meat" section. The word "choice" there is used more as an adjective. It's describing the type of meat. It's the type of meat that is favorable over the other lesser favorable meat. And so when you talk about something that is choice, you are not always talking about necessarily God choosing something for no apparent reason, but you're choosing that meat because it's a favorable meat. There's a reason to have the choice of that meat.
First, "choice" is usually the noun form of the verb "to choose." It is sometimes used as an adjective, where it typically connotes "the best." As Webster's dictionary explains (source):

choice adjective
choicer; choicest
Definition of choice (Entry 2 of 2)
1 : worthy of being chosen
accepting the choicest candidates
2 : selected with care
prepared his report with choice words
3a : of high quality
served choice wine with the dinner
b : of a grade between prime and good
choice meat

We see that use of the term "choice" in its superlative form ("choicest") in a couple of King James verses:

Isaiah 5:2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.

Isaiah 22:7 And it shall come to pass, that thy choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array at the gate.

We also see it in its simple form in other verses:

Genesis 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:

We actually see it in connection with choosing in at least one verse:

2 Samuel 10:9 When Joab saw that the front of the battle was against him before and behind, he chose of all the choice men of Israel, and put them in array against the Syrians:

The thing is, God does not choose the way men choose, but sometimes just the opposite:

1 Corinthians 1:22-29

For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: but we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence.

Second, God choosing for "no apparent reason" is not the same as God choosing "for no reason." The reason for God's choices may not be apparent to us, but that does not mean that there is no reason.