If it were only my 'outlook,' I'd change my outlook. It's my outlook because it appears to be the orthodox teaching of the Protestant Reformers, and Augustine before them, and Paul before him. We sort of had this discussion already. Not sure I explained it well. You're right, though, the Reformer's position on election (aka predestination) does piss off a large part of Christendom. I purposely didn't say 'Christians' ; ) AnimalMother, funny you should mention free will. There was a thread on that recently. I should have summed it up by saying that "we are born with a will that is free to act according to its nature, but because our natures are fallen, we are in fact 'free' only to choose to sin, and not to choose to believe." Somebody may pipe up here and verify that this is the historical Reformed position. We just don't hear about it because every time it's recovered in history, it gets buried again, which is what you would expect since there are always more of the lost in the 'visible church' than there are of regenerated believers. It was the same with Israel -- there was always a remnant of faithful, but only a remnant. Augustine elaborated on these concepts in the 5th centruy, and then they disappeared again under Roman teaching until the 16th century when the Reformers resurrected them. Calvinism (the nickname for what I'm talking about, but not strictly accurate as a label) has all the appearances of a cult, if you think about it. It claims to have the True truth, and acknowledges that true believers are few. It's not a new statement though, since "narrow is the gate that leads to life and few there are who find it." The subject of why God appears to create people only to judge them in the end is worth a thread in its own right. Maybe I'll start it. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!