Salvation

Lesson 15: Summary

Lesson 15: Summary

Looking back over all the biblical pictures of salvation you find many similarities. For one they are primarily about healing what is rather than escaping from this world. They reflect our craving for something better that the suffering of our society. In that sense, they not only report what God promises to do but also […]

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Lesson 14: Challenges

Lesson 14: Challenges

A couple of my face- to- face fall classes used Kristen Largen’s What Christians Can Learn from Buddhism: Rethinking Salvation. In her last chapter she suggests four challenges Buddhism offers to our popular Christian picture of salvation. In many ways, the suggestions simply ask us to recognize parts of our tradition that have always been […]

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Lesson 13: Salvation as a Wedding Feast

Lesson 13: Salvation as a Wedding Feast

Although Jesus did not offer a comprehensive picture of salvation, he often referred to it as a dinner. Quite a few times his parables proclaimed the Kingdom of God is something like a meal or a banquet. Almost all his resurrection appearances, surely previews of salvation, included eating with his disciples. He used the symbol […]

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Lesson 12: Christmas Story as Salvation

Lesson 12: Christmas Story as Salvation

I think “The Peaceable Kingdom” and “The New Jerusalem” might be the only detailed pictures of salvation in the Bible. Most of our conceptions have been pieced together from short illustrations. The Christmas Story is a perfect example. Matthew’s and Luke’s versions are quite different, yet still offer the same magnificent picture of salvation. The […]

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Lesson 11:  An Urban Paradise

Lesson 11: An Urban Paradise

If Isaiah’s Peaceable Kingdom is the most fleshed out picture of salvation in the Old Testament, certainly John’s New Jerusalem in Revelation 21 and 22 is the New Testament’s. The latter offers much the same promises as the former but in an urban rather than agrarian setting. The religious sillies have so misread Revelation that […]

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Lesson 10: Return to Paradise

Lesson 10: Return to Paradise

Many, if not most, pictures of salvation are very general, enabling us to fill them with our own ideas. I am thinking of salvation as God’s will being done. Scholars sometime speak of this as “whatever it is when God has God’s will with you”. A second describes salvation as participation in the life of […]

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Lesson 9: What About Hell?

Lesson 9: What About Hell?

Bob reminds us we can not get way without saying something about hell. As you consider the most typical idea of salvation– a trip on the up escalator rather than on the down one — you face a problem. How do we account for the clear expressions in the New Testament of the fate of […]

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Lesson 8: First, Ask the Right Question.

Lesson 8: First, Ask the Right Question.

Americans are obsessed with “What must I do to be saved?” I think that is the wrong question. When we ask it, we are very much like the rich young man in Mark 10: 17-28, and Jesus’ response to him is very much what he would say to us. After the man reveals he is […]

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Lesson 7: Saved from What?

Lesson 7: Saved from What?

I’ve put aside my original outline and am following Bob’s advice to examine Lupe’s points one at a time. She suggested we might do well asking from what we are being saved and observed that traditional answers fall short. Let me list four different takes on from what we are saved. 1. The first is […]

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Lesson 6: Care For All

Lesson 6: Care For All

As Bob observed, “Lupe’s comments throw open the gates in defining salvation, using the concept as a key to address some of the core social and theological issues”. I think that is exactly how the Bible uses the idea. For instance, I think she is echoing the scriptures when her reflections of an “unquiet soul” […]

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