I'm headlong in to Mark Karlberg's "Covenant Theology in Reformed Perspective". It's a book full of articles and book reviews he has done over the years. It's very well done, but complex and progress is slow going without LOTS of coffee. I was jarred from my studious trance when I read Karlberg say something especially insightful-
Although the doctrine of divine predestination, more so than the doctrine of justification by faith, rapidly became one of the hallmarks of the Reformed theological tradition, the three elements in the system of doctrine- covenant, justification, and predestination- were treated interrelatedly. There is little point in singling out one among others....
The essence of the gospel, according to these Reformed interpreters,is the good news of free grace- grace that is entirely unmerited, unconditioned upon human initiative, and irresistible. God's distinguishing grace in redemption is sovereign and efficacious, limited in the extent of its saving benefit to fallen humanity by the sole determination and good pleasure of God's eternal counsel and will.
The decree of predestination, which is twofold, manifests the supreme glory of God in the display of his great mercy and love to sinners chosen before the foundation of the world and in the display of his wrath upon the reprobate.