It is often enough averred that Calvin developed his doctrine of predestination in order to reassure believers of their status before God; it is even more often asserted that the overall effect of his teaching was eventually to subvert that assurance, or at any rate to turn it into a form of self-absorption that has an effect contrary to that for which the gospel frees us. Self-absorption is indeed among the besetting sins of Western Christianity, from Augustine onward. In each era, it takes characteristic form. In our day, it is among the prime dangers of the post-Constantinian Church, which, deprived, apparently, of once secure social and political status and role; diminished, apparendy, in numbers and influence, flounders variously in inaction, activism and political correctness in a sometimes desperate concern not to lose the attention of the—reprobate? In this paper, I propose to bring together the related themes of election and ecclesiology, with particular reference to the beleaguered situation of the Christian Church in a world which, as Robert Jenson has observed, is unique in being the first once apparently believing culture to have abandoned the Christian gospel. That throws into the limelight the problem of the, if not everywhere minority status, at least unique situation for the Church of rejection by the main streams of intellectual and cultural life.