June 5, 2006

Am I Sure That I Am Saved?

I found this article at Open Source Theology.

Am I sure that I am saved? | open source theology: "Am I sure that I am saved? I do not think that the Bible defines 'Christianity' fundamentally or centrally as a religion of salvation, and certainly not of the highly individualized personal salvation that is characteristic of modern evangelicalism; so I do not think that the question 'Are you sure you are saved?' really gets at the heart of the matter. "

I have to strongly disagree with this position. But also agree in some. Following Jesus IS essentially an act of salvation, but not solely a personal salvation. God called Abraham and his children to be a chosen people, and the requirements of obedience was essential to their salvation. Today, I think we are called to be part of the church (ekklesia means "the called out ones"), but we must begin an apprenticeship to Jesus and live in obedience. So, in a sense, there is personal salvation because at some point we have to accept the responsibility to follow and to live obediently.

Later in the article he says, "So for me, as someone who was 'alienated from the commonwealth of Israel', what I have received from God by faith, as an outworking of his grace, is incorporation into a people in the midst of which the living God dwells through his Spirit and whose 'king' or 'lord' is the messiah Jesus. That 'incorporation' is my 'salvation', I guess you could say - it is what has made me whole, it has brought me into a new humanity, it has reconciled me with the living God, it has set me free from all other kingdoms - Christ is my king." "I guess you could say" this is personal salvation because you have to appropriate the work of God, live in obedience, and begin following.

I think the author is right to want to recover the depth and complexity of the biblical narrative. I also agree that "personal relationship" is often code for living within a tighly defined doctrinal stance. However, it is a broad generalization to lump every Evangelical into that camp.

A friend of mine responded to the article by saying, "Besides personal salvation, does anyone know what else was invented by 'modern evangelicals?' (I am hoping hell, servanthood, and tithe.)" In the emerging conversation, let's be sure not to blame everything on modernity. I do think that deconstruction is good, but what I am waiting for is intelligent, God-directed RECONSTRUCTION that values all time-span movements of God. We do need to remember that God was not absent from the spiritual game during modernity and just now returning because we are becoming postmodern."

1 comment:

  1. Dude, check my blog for a mini-lesson for the masses on the difference between faith and... well... not faith. :)