Friday, October 10, 2008

Integration (#3) — Full Salvation

My hope is that this particular topic will become a book that can be published. I started to say its origins are in the conflict I went through as I wrestled to integrate my Evangelical soteriology (theology of salvation) with the new and foreign — at least to me — understanding of salvation expressed through Catholicism. Actually the origins are earlier than that, and go back to similar angst as I sought to rectify my Arminian background with Calvinistic emphases I faced throughout my educational journey.

The short version — and my simple point here — is that Beelzebub has hoodwinked Christians of varied traditions into embracing a limited understanding of salvation and then seeing any other expression as being “wrong.” It's as if we have settled for how little one can know or experience of salvation and still hope to be “saved.” No one knows where that line is but God alone, but surely it is not the right attitude. One who has a heart for God does not desire a "least common denominator salvation,” but rather to enter into as much of the fullness of what God has for His people as possible.

As I began to think more intentionally in this expanded way, I began to see different streams of Christian expression, with their varied emphases about salvation, as being facets of a whole that need to be integrated rather than polarizing sets of mutually exclusive teachings for which only one is right and the others mostly wrong.

The details will come into focus, I hope, in my intended book (but don’t look for it this year!). In the meantime, begin to think of Sovereign Choice / Personal Conversion / Sacramental Consecration — understand/feel/do — as elements of the whole that need to be integrated rather than competitive emphases at war with each other.

God is BIG. God’s salvation is big. The few strands of truth we each grasp need to be integrated into the Whole — a full salvation.

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