Monday, August 31, 2009

Word Association: Salvation

This theological word is central to Christian faith and belief. Here are some ways the word works in everyday language and how they might be related to its theological meaning.

Salvation, or being "saved" implies rescue from danger. It may also imply saved as in kept and not discarded (as in a possession or treasure) or saved for something, or saved to use later. It connects to being made safe as well, as in security.

Are we saved like money in a savings account? Maybe God wants us to earn interest . . . like the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.

Are we saved like a drowning swimmer? Rescued, needy, and perhaps, helpless?

Are we saved like useful objects in the basement? Will God use us as a part to repair something?

Are we safe now, like a house with an alarm system? Maybe that's why we're told that perfect love casts out fear . . .

Both care and imagination in the use of this weighty and crucial word are critical to theological thinking and writing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Word Associations: Proleptic Eschatology

"Proleptic" = anticipatory; assumption that a future event has already happened.

"Eschatology" = from the Greek eschatos "last" and -logy "study of." The study of the end time, last days, the consummation and perfection of God's creation.

Flash forward;
God's future, accomplished in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ;
the new heavens and new earth;
anticipation of the reconciliation of all things;
God's goal for creation;
the first fruits of the resurrection;
the "now" and the "not yet;"
the time between the resurrection and the last days.

Key scripture reference:
Isaiah 11:6 "the wolf shall dwell with the lamb"
See also Isaiah 65:25.
Art: The Peaceable Kingdom
See also Ted Peters, God, the World's Future.