Good morning! After some worries that my sermon on sin might leave people in an untenable place of not believing it possible to both care for self AND care for neighbour I hope my ideas about salvation came as some light in the tunnel. In this week's sermon we looked at the churchy words of salvation and atonement. I took a pretty hard position suggesting that the traditional view of atonement - i.e. Jesus, through his death, paid the price for my sins - just doesn't make sense to me. Some scholars suggest that a better view of atonement is breaking it down into the phrase of
"at-one-ment". I like the idea that through Jesus God was pursuing harmony (at-one-ment) in the world, but I still don't believe that God required Jesus' death.
Jesus' absolute commitment to love resulted in him being put to death by those whose relentless self-interest knew no bounds. Both his acts of and commitment to love inspire me and hold open a space where I might allow love to triumph over self-interest. My salvation comes in those moments when I am drawn toward acts of love. Although we long for love to universally inform human actions (futuristic eschatology); for now I have to believe I am "saved" in those moments when love captures my heart and informs my actions (realized eschatology).
Well this is a pretty "thick" discussion but I believe it is so essential if we are to understand the historic Christian message in our era. I would very much appreciate hearing from some of you about whether salvation is still a relevant concept in your life. Looking forward to it -