It was during the first year of seminary (1972) that I stumbled across a book by Dr. John Eusden, his translation of William Ames’ The Marrow of Divinity, the first textbook in theology used at Harvard University in the 1600s. I had been wrestling with that truth for over a decade, a doctrine set forth in the Bible, a teaching blinding in its brightness. Dr. Eusden stated in his Introduction: “Predestination is an invitation to begin one’s spiritual pilgrimage,….” In short, I read it as: Predestination is an invitation to salvation or even more concisely, Predestination is invitation. I went looking for examples of it and the doctrines of grace being used in this manner. Our Lord set forth the truths many places in the Bible. Specifically, He made such use of these teachings in Mt.15:21-28 in an evangelistic manner. There in a present method of therapy, the therapeutic paradox (or reverse psychology as it is popularly known), He engaged a woman of Canaan in such a way that it led to His identifying her faith as “great,” a term that He applied also to a Roman Centurion. And, it must be added, one that He never applied to His disciples. Is it any wonder that this doctrine lies at the heart of the Reformation, the First Great Awakening, the launching of the Great Century of Missions, and the Second Great Awakening. Surely, this truth is coming back, and we will experience the Third Great Awakening, the one that reaches the whole earth and every soul on it in one generation and continue for a thousand generations, reaching unimaginable numbers of planets to which mankind will spread in the next 20,000-900,000 years, depending on how one measures a generation. This is not written with the finality of a know-it-all, but with the hope and the faith that there are passages in the word of God which are deeper than hitherto suspected, so deep, in fact, that the greatest minds have never plumbed their depths.


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