The title is suggested by Saint Paul's phrase (Ephesians 1.4) “according as he hath chosen us in him,” that is in Christ. The object of this essay is to point out the meagre use made of the phrase and of the idea it conveys by the classic doctrine of Predestination, and to show the deplorable consequences that follow.
It would of course be absurd to suggest that Calvin totally neglects the thought that Predestination is in Christ. Rather this is a presupposition in all he has to say about it, at least in this sense, that, challenged whether he held Predestination to be in Christ, he would unhesitatingly have affirmed that it was. But it is the fate of many presuppositions to fall into the background, if not into forgetfulness, and to exercise less influence than they should do. It is the view of the present writer that the Calvinist theology failed to draw fully upon the implications of the presupposition that Predestination is in Christ.
Two questions are well asked at this point: What is the relation of those elected to Christ? and: What is Christ's part in their election?
(i) Here the text which has already been quoted is cited by Calvin: We are in Christo electi, and we are in Christo adoptati (Inst.3.22.1). And in 3.22.2, the elect are said to be again “chosen in Christ.”