I’ve been thinking a lot about salvation over the past couple of weeks. I find it interesting that there is very little discussion in blogdom about this topic. Yet it is so central to the ideas of mission and incarnation.
I don’t know if this is true or not, but it seems like a lot of the current rethinking about church simply avoids this topic. Sure, we hear things like “salvation is more than getting your sins forgiven so you can go to heaven when you die.” So… if salvation is more than going to heaven, then what is it?
Is salvation a possession I acquire (and could potentially lose) or a process that I participate in every day? Is it something that Jesus did in the past, something he’s doing in the present or something he will do in the future or all three? And what is my role in salvation — do I lay back passively as if helpless on a stretcher or do I train actively like an athlete? What am I being saved from? How do concepts like mercy, grace, faith, justification, sanctification, and theosis connect with salvation? Is salvation an individual or communal thing? And is salvation offered only to human beings or is it for all of creation?
I have a lot of thoughts on this topic and hope to find the time to unpack them.
Until then, I want to share this wonderful description of salvation by Father Anthony Coniaris:
liberation from evil,
the defeat of the devil,
the transfiguration of man,
putting on Christ,
the restoration of the image of God in man,
participating in the life of God,
restoration of communion with God,
receiving the Holy Spirit,
becoming temples of the Holy Spirit,
forgiveness of sins,
ascending to the throne of God,
participating in the Kingdom of God,
being by grace what God is by nature,
the destruction of death,
seeing the light,
being in a process of growth that never ends,
living life the way God meant it to be.”