Posts Tagged ‘salvation’

Tupperware, pt 2

I’m a little bit disappointed that more people didn’t weigh in on my last post. Guess I’m not inflammatory enough… =)

(it’s not too late, btw … even if you disagree vehemently with me, say something!)

I’ve been processing a few things in my mind lately regarding this idea of evangelism, specifically the concept of salvation. On much of this, I have to credit Dr. Mark Love at ACU and his “Narrative Evangelism” material for kick-starting my thinking in this direction. Dr. Love (great name, eh? Dr. Love blogs over here) From his most recent blog post:

But, let’s let that alone, at least for now, and begin to explore what alternatives might look like. I’ve been exploring for a long time different ways to say this. Here’s one way. Salvation is less a transaction, and more participation in an event. It is less a set of ideas to be believed and more a story in which to participate. It is more than just a change of status, but the offer of participation in a God-empowered way of life.

I’d go even further … salvation has also been mischaracterized as a first and foremost the act of believing in several particular propositions. The virgin birth, the resurrection, the sinless life of Jesus, Jonah being eaten by a whale, for example.

But if salvation is first and foremost participatory — and I’ll proceed under the assumption that it is, though I am open to other interpretations and defenses thereof — then how much does one need to know to be considered “in”?  Traditionally, Christians have required that people believe in certain propositions before they are considered to be “in” or “on the journey” or “Christians” or whatever … but is it too much to expect that the 21st century mind (especially the postmodern one) will automatically ascribe to these propositions? 

I’d argue that a gospel that is primarily embodied, or participated in, requires only that people believe that the Way of God through Jesus is the very best, most loving, most just way to live — and begin living that way.  As people see that the lived-out gospel is true, and as they find a place in God’s great mission to heal a broken world, they begin to also recognize the truth behind the central propositions of the faith as well.  But instead of this intellectual ascension being the first hurdle to clear, it becomes a gradual last hurdle.

These are thoughts in process … what do you think?