Monday, March 23, 2009

The Scandal of Universality

What is salvation? Salvation comes when we stand in right relationship with God. It's a healing of the rift that exists between we selfish, solipcistic creatures and our Creator.

All of the terms and images that are used throughout the Gospels and Epistles point to Jesus of Nazareth as the One who fully manifested the self-emptying servanthood that is required if we are to conform our wills to God. He's the physical reality of the logos that underlies the universe, so woven up into who God is that parsing out where the man ends and God begins is a fools errand. Or the errand of theologians. Six of one, half dozen of the other.

More importantly, through him we come to see that this logos isn't just the disengaged Enlightenment clockmaker or the abstraction of an Aristotelian unmoved mover. Instead, Jesus expresses the logos to us as love. He has soteriological power..that means savin' power, kids...because he is God's own self-expression. He's not the Ba'al of a neo-Canaanite Trinity, sacrificed and raised by El like a subordinate mediator god in a tripartite pantheon. At his most essential, substantial level, Jesus is God.

As such, being Christian..and being saved...is less about emulating Christ and more about participating in Christ. It's not about our own heartfelt emo conviction that we've been adequately spattered with His plasma and corpuscles. It's not measured by our ability to memorize and recite scripture or the doctrinal assertions of our particular tradition.

It's measured by our participation in that love that is God the Father, which Christ expressed through his life, and which the Spirit struggles every day to manifest in us.

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