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Jesus Creed

Chp 4 of Gracious Christianity deals with the “Fullness of Salvation.” The authors, Douglas Jacobsen and Ben Sawatsky, open with a grand vision of what salvation is, and they begin with Ephesians 1:3-23: salvation is God’s redemption of the entire universe, including you and me. Do you agree with their definition? Here it is:
“At its core, personal salvation is the process through which we internalize God’s love for us so that we, in turn, can externalize tht love to others” (64). Or, “Salvation restores our relationship with God and allows us to become partners with God in the work of reconciling the rest of creation with the Creator” (64). The quote 2 Cor 5:18. But, this salvation “does not come in a one-size-fits-all package that applies to everyone” (64).
They expound salvation as forgiveness with others and God through confession, renewal, and reconciliation. On renewal they envision humans as flat balloons with holes; forgiveness patches the holes, but it God’s Spirit that renews us and fills us. Renewal is a lifetime of growth in holiness. Reconciliation with God and with others: evangelism, peace, natural world.
Salvation is the work of the trinitarian God (not Jesus alone). Jesus’ work, within the ambit of the Trinity, involved the incarnation: life of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, the cross, the resurrection. In searching for a metphor of the cross, the authors suggest that the courtroom is not enough: “the real meaning of the cross is about love, not law” (73). This is a significant statement and cuts deeply into a major issue in atonement theology today: namely, is penal substitution the best image of the cross?
Resurrection is inherent to the gospel of salvation.
Conclusion: “Salvation is both deeply personal and thoroughly social” (75).

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