I saw a tweet recently that argued in favour of infralapsarianism ( the view that God logically ordained elect his people after the Fall). The argument the tweet made argued that, for God to decree salvation and reprobation there must be something he saves us from. Therefore, the tweeter averred, infralapsarianism must be correct. God could only choose to save a people if there was already something to save them from.
I am not copying the tweet here because this is not me trying to “answer” the tweet. It is a perfect valid position. Nor do I want to get into an argument with the person who tweeted it. So, I’m not linking to it here. But I did want to offer an alternate suggestion. A different argument that might lead to a supralapsarian position (the view that God decreed who the elect would be before the fall).
I would argue that there does not need to be something that we are saved from before God choose to elect a people for himself. It is perfectly logical, certainly logically possible, for him to determine to choose some people and reject others and then determine to what they will be chosen or rejected. Just as it is easy for me to decide to keep or not keep all manner of my possessions before I figure out exactly where I will put what I am keeping and what I’ll do with what I want to throw away, so God can logically choose and reject people before he has figured out exactly what he will do with them.
Three things lead me in this direction. First, the teaching that God is most concerned with his own glory. It is, therefore, possible for God to choose and reject people simply for his own glory and good pleasure. There is no particular reason for him to determine a reason for his choice beyond his own glory. He need not determine he must save people from something before he determines to choose a people on whom he would set his love. There is no logical difficulty with God’s glory being the reason for election his people and then he subsequently determines that the Fall will be the means by which he determines what those he has chosen and those he has not will be elect unto.
Second, the teaching that God is ultimately sovereign. Our God is one who makes plans and enacts them. His plan was always for a people. To create a people on whom he would set his love. It does not seem to me that God decreed a Fall and then a potential solution for some. Rather, he planned to choose a people and then appointed means by which he would do it. Again, that reason is rooted in his own glory.
Third, infralapsarianism (it seems to me) is an attempt to rescue God from his own decrees. We don’t want God to be the author of sin even though we know he is, indeed, sovereign over sin. We don’t want God to get the blame for the fall, even though we know he decreed the fall. We don’t like the thought of him determining before anyone had done anything that he would choose them and make other reprobate, even though we all know that is exactly what he does because he is sovereign. And so, it seems to me, that God determined for there to be a fall because he had already determined he wanted a people and it would serve his glory to do it this way. His electing decree was not a mere response to a fall that he somehow had to decree. Rather, the Fall was the means of implementing his plans for his greater glory, the means by which he would display his glory by electing some to salvation and other to perdition.