As someone who grew up hearing countless sermons comparing the conquest of Canaan and other Old Testament battles to the spiritual victories we should have in our lives, I can really appreciate this. For example, when the walls of Jericho fall down, this means that the "walls" that keep us from spiritual blessings need to fall down. Of course, the actual writers meant the destruction of real, stone-and-mortar walls and the death of real, flesh-and-blood people. (1)
As a child the true implications of killing every man, woman, and child in a city were lost on me. Rethinking the Bible stories as an adult, especially after seeing real footage of the aftermath of war, has a very different effect. It is interesting to note the rationalizations people use to try to reconcile the cognitive dissonance: http://epsociety.org/library/articles.asp?pid=63&ap=1
(1) I think this is what the writers of the Old Testament had in mind, regardless of whether or not the specific battles actually took place.
I took it. And I decided I valued the karma point more than keeping possible anonymity. (Actually the karma point minus the probablity that someone would vote this down for being self-serving.)
This is true. According to Calvinism, election is explicitly stated to be "unconditional." Election that is conditional on future knowledge of your actions is not Calvinism, but is closer to its theological opposite, Arminianism.