Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Full Salvation…Narrow Salvation…Inauthentic mission

I stumbled into bechurch and read these thoughts…

"a friend of mine asked me a few months ago something that I've really been wrestling with for a while. It has to do with salvation and the common evangelical understanding of it. (belief in Jesus = Salvation and Righteousness.... No belief in Jesus = Condemnation and Hell)"

"Now.... I totally agree with that definition, but after really wrestling with the following question for a bit I think that I am starting to see that God's view of salvation is probably just a little more complex and less formulaic than the reader's digest version that we throw around in the evangelical church. I still believe that the reader's digest version is true, but I think there is also much more depth and richness to the gospel than we often realise."

He seems to have taken a bit of a thumping, however, has our understanding of salvation been narrowed to the point whereby we have lost the profoundness of the fullness of salvation? NB I’m not purporting to a universalist theology in any shape or form - But the comments above make interesting reading - particularly when read alongside…

"...embrace the whole of salvation and we embrace the whole of our mission..." (Ray Harris).

“Salvation is not about having the right labels it is about becoming truly and fully human – living the way God intended” (Steve Chalke).

As evangelicals we seem to be red hot on the ‘pardon from God’ aspect of salvation – but speak out aspects of wholeness; healing; community; liberation; sufficiency; fullness of life etc.. in the same breath as salvation and I’m afraid you’ll draw ‘wooly liberal’ glances quickly followed by quick condemnation and dismissal.

The impact? At best a patronising 'dumbing' down of mission, at worst a complete abuse of mission through questionable motives. The result? Inauthentic mission

"Boundless salvation" excites me in our context as I discover daily it’s full implication.

…I am saved, am being saved and will be saved… (JI Packer)

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