LeRon Shults examines what salvation looks like after the “turn to relationality.” If life is inherently about relationships, what does salvation look like? If it is not about substance but about relationships, what about salvation? What happens to all our important theological categories if the essence of reality is genuinely relational? Alot!
Shults takes on not only the overemphasis on the forensic, declared status but the entire history of the discussion (from Aristotle on) about “substances.” The key turning point was Hegel for whom the dialectical unity of substance and accident leans to an absolute relation. Now here’s the uptake, and it is big time: “If human existence really is substantially relational and if not only substances but also relations are real, then forgiveness must bear on the real transformation of these relations” (155).
Again, if there is a turn to relationality, then we should not be concerned so much with the ordo salutis but with a salutary ordering: Paul is concerned less with the phase by phase movement of an individual but of the “salutary ordering of persons in community” (156).
Also, since relationality is so crucial, it is time for more evangelicals to reconsider the significance of 2 Peter 1:4: that we share in the divine nature. Redemption is about an “intensification of personal being-in-relation through fellowship (koinonia) in the Son’s relation to the Father by the Spirit” (166).
Tomorrow I will look at his last study, at forgiveness as sharing in divine grace.