Salvation

Lesson 1: Are You Saved?

Lesson 1: Are You Saved?

This will be an online version of a course on salvation I am teaching at two congregations this fall. It will be designed for those who find it difficult to attend a face-to-face class because of commuting or home responsibilities. The classes are using Kristin Johnston Largen’s What Christians Can Learn from Buddhism: Rethinking Salvation. […]

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Lesson 2: Now and Not Yet

Lesson 2: Now and Not Yet

This should be fun! I got all sorts of responses to our first lesson. Perhaps the one to which I should respond first was the popular understanding of salvation as something that happens after death. My very intelligent class at Good Shepherd reported trouble with the author we were reading, because she spoke of the […]

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Lesson 3: Resurrection – Salvation

Lesson 3: Resurrection – Salvation

Some people are having difficulty with my description of salvation as “now and not yet”. Myron says the problem is being conditioned to think of resurrection and salvation being almost synonymous and happening after our deaths. The New Testament agrees the two speak of the same thing, but regards them as more than simply being […]

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Lesson 4: From When to What

Lesson 4: From When to What

Let’s switch from the when to the what of salvation. This picture plays much the same role as Aristotle’s “Good” in his Politics. Citizens are to discuss what is good for their city and pass laws that lead to it. He would be disappointed with our current campaign that focuses on what is bad in […]

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Lesson 5:  What

Lesson 5: What

This week I am posting an email from Lupe Andrade as the lesson. Although it is longer than my usual post, I think it is worth the read. Lupe is the former mayor of La Paz, Bolivia and has experienced life from a quite a different perspective than most of us. She writes “We have […]

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Lesson 6: Care For All

Lesson 6: Care For All

As Bob observed, “Lupe’s comments throw open the gates in defining salvation, using the concept as a key to address some of the core social and theological issues”. I think that is exactly how the Bible uses the idea. For instance, I think she is echoing the scriptures when her reflections of an “unquiet soul” […]

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Lesson 7: Saved from What?

Lesson 7: Saved from What?

I’ve put aside my original outline and am following Bob’s advice to examine Lupe’s points one at a time. She suggested we might do well asking from what we are being saved and observed that traditional answers fall short. Let me list four different takes on from what we are saved. 1. The first is […]

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Lesson 8: First, Ask the Right Question.

Lesson 8: First, Ask the Right Question.

Americans are obsessed with “What must I do to be saved?” I think that is the wrong question. When we ask it, we are very much like the rich young man in Mark 10: 17-28, and Jesus’ response to him is very much what he would say to us. After the man reveals he is […]

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Lesson 9: What About Hell?

Lesson 9: What About Hell?

Bob reminds us we can not get way without saying something about hell. As you consider the most typical idea of salvation– a trip on the up escalator rather than on the down one — you face a problem. How do we account for the clear expressions in the New Testament of the fate of […]

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Lesson 10: Return to Paradise

Lesson 10: Return to Paradise

Many, if not most, pictures of salvation are very general, enabling us to fill them with our own ideas. I am thinking of salvation as God’s will being done. Scholars sometime speak of this as “whatever it is when God has God’s will with you”. A second describes salvation as participation in the life of […]

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