(I can't find the Becker right now. It must have taken it somewhere. So I'll go from memory today because I have a thought I want to put down.)
This still relates to the usefulness of reason in relation to science, causes and origins.
Luther uses the example of your own parentage. This example does not work as well today because we can do genetic testing. However, even there a 100% certainty cannot be achieved. I can tell you this because I have adopted children and one submitted to a test of paternity and it came back 99.99% certain. That seems pretty certain but whatever is not 100% can still be questioned. So maybe Luther's example works.
So here it is: just as you cannot be certain as to who your parents are except by their telling you that they are, we can say nothing certain about the origins of the natural world via reason. This is the limitation of science. It cannot tell us anything about how things came to be or for what reason, it only can to a limited extent describe how some things work.
What interests me today is this idea that we cannot know who are parents are for sure but that we go by "revelation", our parents "tell" us that we are their children.
Knowing who your biological parents are is a huge deal for every person. This can especially seen in the cases of adopted children; they illustrate this point well. Having been a parent in open adoptions, I have come to conclude that knowing who your biological parents are is a human right. This goes as far as sperm donors or whatever lengths modern situations may present. You can have the most wonderful parents and the children may be the most well adjusted and they still need to know who their parents are because it is integral for their knowing who they are themselves. You are your parents in large measure and if you don't know your parents you miss a good deal of knowing who you are yourself.
It is similar with knowing that God is your own dear Father in Heaven. You cannot know it from yourself. Also you don't know who you are if you do not know your Father in Heaven. You don't know if you are stuck with your damnable self and left to fend for yourself or if you have a gracious God. Election works like this, too. Election says in the positive sense: you are my child, I knew you from the beginning, in fact, I made you. I will always love you, you are my own most treasured, valued being in this world.
Election does not mean that people were chosen to not be God's children. Just as parents don't go around saying to people: You are NOT my child. It is the devil who goes around saying: You are NOT God's child. Parents just go around cuddling their own children and telling them how much they love you. They don't go around saying to other people's children: "You are not my child."
Just a thought on "election" only being used in the positive sense.
Happy birthday, Joseph!
9 hours ago