Conditional Election (Term)

Conditional election is a theological concept within Christian soteriology (the study of salvation) that posits God’s predestination of individuals to salvation is based on His foreknowledge of their response to His grace. Unlike unconditional election, which asserts that God’s choice of certain individuals for salvation is not based on any foreseen merit or decision on their part, conditional election suggests that God elects individuals on the basis of their future faith and obedience.

This doctrine is closely associated with Arminianism, which emerged as a response to Calvinist theology. Arminians argue that while God’s grace is necessary for salvation, it can be resisted by human free will. God, in His omniscience, knows beforehand who will respond to His call by accepting Christ and persevering in faith. Based on this foreknowledge, He elects them for salvation.

Scriptural support for conditional election is often drawn from verses such as 1 Peter 1:2, where believers are chosen “according to the foreknowledge of God,” and Romans 8:29, which speaks of God predestining those whom He foreknew. This view emphasizes God’s justice and portrays His offer of salvation as genuinely available to all, underscoring the responsibility of human beings to respond to His grace.