What's a Supra-Lapsarian?

Section II: Theology Proper (Study of God)
Chapter 9 - Goodwin's Christological Supralapsarianism

Goodwin was a Supralapsarian in his doctrine of election.

Not Arminian
God chose us in Christ, which means within Himself, with Christ as the goal and glory of our election.  It doesn't mean that God chooses us because we have faith in Christ, or because we are holy and blameless.

God's purpose
One aspect of supra-lapsarianism in Goodwin is this.  In decreeing the Son to become Incarnate, God's purpose was more to glorify Christ than to reconcile us to Him.

More supra than infra, but both
Did God consider us fallen or unfallen when He choose us for salvation and union with Christ?  Goodwin tried to say it both ways.  The fall and our salvation was a means to the end of glorifying Christ.  As far as God's decree was to save and reconcile us, it was as fallen, and thus infra-lapsarian.  As far as God's decree was to glorify Christ, it was as unfallen, and thus supra-lapsarian.

Goodwin's main emphasis is that God sought Christ's glory more than anything, in His work for our salvation.  This is good.  It leads him to say that the Incarnation was probably the greatest most glorious work, even more than the crucifixion or resurrection.

This has always seemed a semantic argument, to me.  Of course, He chose us before the foundation of the world.  And that election involved redemption from sin.  It's helpful to remember that God has a purpose for us that goes beyond sin and forgiveness - our union and fellowship with Him. To the extent the supra position does this, it's good.  But it can descend to a rationalistic and/or hyper-Calvinist view.

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