John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Soterio-what-ogy?

Back in April I opened a can of worms around here talking about Christians and politics and the government. There was much discussion over whether or not any involvement would ever be appropriate. I think Christians should be involved -- if for no other reason than because we bring a different kind of thinking to the party (regardless of which party we're in).

After we batted that idea around a while, we started talking about what it is that makes Christian thinking distinctive (or at least how Christian thinking ought to be distinctive), and so far we've looked at three big ideas: Theology proper; Anthropology; Christology.

But wait...there's more!

Let's talk about Soteriology for a little while.

Soteriology is the doctrine of salvation, and there's a near-constant tendency to reduce salvation down to much less than it actually is. We talk about it sometimes like it's nothing more than a free ticket to heaven or a self-improvement program. Sometimes we sound like salvation is just the forgiveness of our sins or some private mountain-top experience with no real-world application.

But if we believe that humans are more than souls, more than bodies, more than communal beings -- if we believe that humans are actually all of those things (plus probably a little more), then salvation has to include all of those dimensions. Salvation has to have spiritual, moral and social consequences.

It seems like we talk about this every now and then here on this blog, but if something's worth remembering it's worth repeating, right?

So, let's see what kind of response this generates: What is salvation?