Sunday, December 14, 2008

It takes a community...

My salvation coach raised an interesting question. Salvation is a central theme of the Christian faith. Salvific themes of the Old Testament include escape from captivity, freedom from oppression and hope for a transformed and reconciled world.

In the New Testament Jesus announces the coming of God’s kingdom by forgiving sins and healing the sick. This is the work of salvation, which the Church would continue, instituting a new Heaven and a new Earth.

At least three things stand out. The first is that this salvation is experienced corporately, not individually. The Old Testament writers speak in terms of a community in which the presence of God could be experienced within a fellowship bound together by devotion to God. For the writers of the New Testament, Jesus was never to be thought of as a personal saviour, as though He were our personal toothbrush.

We are not saved individually, as though by some private act of divine indulgence. It is within the community that we can find forgiveness for the past, and hope for a way of beginning again.

A great read from the Dean of Perth. Read it all here.

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