Excuse a sports metaphor here- but someone would look pretty stupid talking about the designated hitter in football.For the uninitiated, the designated hitter is a position in baseball, not football.  Although it does sound like a football term!  You can see that if someone was talking about their favorite football team and was talking about their passing offense and said they just needed a better DH, well- you’d have questions.  Same thing if you were talking about baseball and mentioned your teams three point percentage (Basketball, again for the sports unsavvy).

Using an inappropriate category in a discussion can lead to all kinds of problems.  It happens all the time in theological discussions.  What’s the particular categorical confusion I am talking about?

The category is ‘fairness’ and the discussion is salvation.

When talking to people about election or sin nature, people ultimately bring up ‘fairness,’ usually in the ‘that’s not’ way.  But salvation by grace EXCLUDES fairness as a relevant category.  Salvation by Law doesn’t and that by necessity.  If God is going to save people according to their actions, then of course fairness is crucial.  But if salvation is by grace, as the Bible says it is, then fairness is not a relevant category.  When God says “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy” you can’t say “That’s not fair!” because fairness is not a category in mercy!

“Fairness” is an applicative category of justice.  Justice, when is comes to salvation, is us all dead and in hell.  Be careful what you ask for.

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