“Many are chosen” (contra Matthew 22:14) is the provocative subtitle selected by Boettner in chapter XI (“Unconditional Election”):
“When the doctrine of Election is mentioned many people immediately assume that this means that the great majority of mankind will be lost. But why should any one draw that conclusion?” (p. 130)
Many people “immediately assume” this probably because of verses like the following:
“For many are called, but few chosen” (Matthew 22:14).
“Go in through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are the ones entering in through it. For narrow is the gate, and constricted is the way that leads away into life, and few are the ones finding it” (Matthew 7:13-14).
“And one said to Him, Lord, are the ones being saved few? But He said to them, Labor to enter in through the narrow gate, for I say to you that many will seek to enter in and will not have strength” (Luke 13:23-24).
“I say then, Did not God thrust away His people? Let it not be! For I also am an Israelite, out of Abraham’s seed, of the tribe of Benjamin. God did not thrust away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture said in Elijah, how he pleaded with God against Israel, saying, Lord, they killed Your prophets, and they dug down Your altars, and only I am left, and they seek my life. But what does the Divine answer say to him, I reserved to Myself seven thousand men who did not bow a knee to Baal. So then, also in the present time a remnant according to election of grace has come into being” (Romans 11:1-5).
Boettner would cavalierly shoehorn an errant definition of an (elect) “remnant” into the Scripture as an (elect) “majority.” Evidently “majority” is Boettner’s twisted neologism for “remnant.” Three words: Boettner burbles balderdash.
“God is free in election to choose as many as He pleases, and we believe that He who is infinitely merciful and benevolent and holy will elect the great majority to life. There is no good reason why He should be limited to only a few” (p. 130).
There is “no good reason” except for Romans 11:1-5 teaches that it’s God’s good pleasure to save “only a few” (that is, a “remnant”). The Scriptures teach that “the great majority” are chosen for death and damnation (does this fact somehow make God less than infinitely merciful?) God is NOT “limiting Himself” to only a few, Boettner. It’s simply God’s good pleasure to sovereignly elect “only a few” (cf. Romans 11:5).
“We are told that Christ is to have the preeminence in all things, and we do not believe that the Devil will be permitted to emerge victor even in numbers” (p. 130).
Boettner impiously exhibits his ineptitude in Biblical logic and arithmetic with this assertion. If only one sinful soul were to perish does this mean that the Devil was “permitted to” eek out a victory, albeit an extremely small and infinitesimal one? According to Boettner the remnant will perish while the vast majority will be saved. Is Boettner then conceding that while the Devil will not emerge the (ultimate) victor in the war of numbers, he will nevertheless have “emerged as victor” in a few of the battles? Who does Boettner believe is running the universe anyway? God or the Devil? Is Boettner enunciating some perverted mishmash of Open Theism or Arminianism? Some kind of Calvinistically modified dualism? Does not Boettner’s allegation of the Devil’s emergence of victor in numbers imply that Boettner believes that God desires (in some “sense” or other) the salvation of the numbers (whether few or many) that perish?
To reiterate a point above: Did the Devil eek out a tiny victory in the case of Pharaoh’s eternal destruction (cf. Romans 9)? Did the Devil “emerge as a tiny victor” when God’s purpose and desire to unconditionally harden and destroy Pharaoh was successfully fulfilled and accomplished?
“So far as the principles of sovereignty and personal election are concerned there is no reason why a Calvinist might not hold that all men will finally be saved; and some Calvinists have actually held this view. ‘Calvinism,’ wrote W. P. Patterson, of the University of Edinburgh, ‘is the only system which contains principles — in its doctrines of election and irresistible grace — that could make credible a theory of universal salvation.’
And Dr. S. G. Craig, Editor of CHRISTIANITY TODAY, and one of the outstanding men in the Presbyterian Church at the present time, says:
‘No doubt many Calvinists, like many not Calvinists, have, in obedience to the supposed teachings of the Scriptures, held that few will be saved, but there is no good reason why Calvinists may not believe that the saved will ultimately embrace the immensely greater portion of the human race. At any rate, our leading theologians — Charles Hodge, Robert L. Dabney, W. G. T. Shedd, and B. B. Warfield — have so held'”
No “good reason” except for the fact that the Bible clearly teaches that few will be saved in comparison to those who will be lost. Even one of their own prophets will offer them a scathing rebuke for their fanciful “interpretation” of verses like Romans 11:1-5 and Matthew 7:13-14:
“An idea of candour and philanthropy leads many to adopt sentiments directly repugnant to the scriptures. They imagine that few, if any, perish; and that, though the bulk of mankind live in total neglect of God, they find mercy at the last. But no pretence of candour should induce us to contradict the plainest declarations of God. If there be any truth in the scriptures, there are comparatively few who go to heaven” (Charles Simeon, Helps to composition; or six hundred skeletons of sermons).
So far as I know Boettner and his biblically illiterate company are not saying that those who “live in total neglect of God” will find mercy in spite of this neglect (so this part of Simeon’s rebuke does not apply to them, but the remainder of it does). Blackguard Boettner and his horde of bandits have adopted “sentiments directly repugnant to the scriptures.” They exude a “pretence of candour” that contradicts “the plainest declarations of God.” Next Page (20)