Presentationon Evangelical Soteriology

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Presentationon Evangelical Soteriology

  1. 1. What Happened in the Garden? What Happened at the Cross? by Kyle A. Roberts Bethel Seminary An Evangelical Presentation of the Doctrine of Salvation
  2. 2. Key Biblical Texts <ul><li>“ You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” (John 8:23-24) </li></ul><ul><li>“ I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) </li></ul>
  3. 3. Biblical Texts <ul><li>“ There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) </li></ul><ul><li>“ If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dimensions of the Evangelical Understanding of Salvation: <ul><li>The Universal and the particular </li></ul><ul><li>God desires that everyone be saved (1 Timothy 2:4) </li></ul><ul><li>God saves people through faith in Christ </li></ul><ul><li>The Vertical and the Horizontal </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation affects the person’s relationship to God </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation affects the person’s relationship to herself and to others </li></ul><ul><li>The Now and the Not-Yet </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation is eternal </li></ul><ul><li>Salvation is temporal </li></ul>
  5. 5. Our Current Context and Challenges <ul><li>Context: Postmodernity and Religious Pluralism </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge: Particularity and Exclusivity </li></ul><ul><li>Context: Violence and Civility in Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge: Revisiting Penal Substitution </li></ul><ul><li>Context: The Necessity of Relevance in Religion </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge: The Emphasis on Salvation as Eternal life </li></ul>
  6. 6. What Happened in the Garden?
  7. 7. The Genesis of Sin <ul><li>And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil . . . But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die . . . For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>- Genesis 2:9-3:5 </li></ul><ul><li>And the LORD God said, &quot;The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever. </li></ul><ul><li>- Genesis 3:22 </li></ul><ul><li>The LORD saw how great man's wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. </li></ul><ul><li>- Genesis 6:5 </li></ul>
  8. 8. What Happened in the Garden? <ul><li>Human nature was wounded and/or weakened (Catholicism and some forms of Protestantism) </li></ul><ul><li>Human nature was corrupted: Total Depravity (Reformation Protestantism) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Human nature is Incurvatus in se (bent in upon himself) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bad fruit only comes from a bad tree </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>-Martin Luther </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. The Biblical Witness to the Pervasive Reality of Sin <ul><li>“ Sin lurks deep in the hearts of the wicked, forever urging them on to evil deeds.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>— Psalm 36:1 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately corrupt; who can understand it?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>— Jeremiah 17:9 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>“ On this propensity to evil, how did it creep in to cover the earth with treachery?” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>— Ecclesiastes 37:3 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. You were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. — Eph 2:1-2 We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin. As it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one. — Rom.5:9-12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned — Rom.5:12
  11. 11. Theories of Atonement: <ul><li>God’s Power displayed/Satan defeated: Classic/Christus Victor </li></ul><ul><li>God’s wrath appeased/ sin atoned: Penal Substitution/Satisfaction </li></ul><ul><li>God’s Love revealed/the way of love promoted: Moral influence </li></ul><ul><li>Justice exemplified: Governmental theory </li></ul><ul><li>Humanity United to God: Recapitulation theory </li></ul>
  12. 12. A Core Evangelical Conviction(?): Penal Substitutionary Atonement <ul><li>Expiation: Removal of guilt </li></ul><ul><li>Propitiation: Satisfaction of God’s justice </li></ul><ul><li>Reconciliation: From enmity to friendship </li></ul><ul><li>Adoption: From separation to family </li></ul><ul><li>The nagging question: Is the Atonement Violent or Non-Violent? </li></ul><ul><li>The Best Answer: The Trinitarian Context </li></ul>
  13. 13. Reconciling by Restoring Righteousness <ul><li>Righteousness is Imparted / Infuse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Righteousness is Imputed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Reformation Protestantism) </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Penal Substitution and Imputed Righteousness <ul><li>God “blots out your transgressions and “will not remember your sins.” — Isaiah 43:25 </li></ul><ul><li>“ And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” — 1 John 2:2 </li></ul><ul><li>“ For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” — 2 Cor.5:21 </li></ul><ul><li>“ If, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life thorugh the one man Jesus Christ.” — Rom. 5:17 </li></ul>
  15. 15. An Evangelical Challenge: Revisiting Penal Substitution <ul><li>“ Divine Child Abuse” and the Question of Violence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-Violent Atonement - Dennis Weaver </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is Justice as “Deep” as Love in God? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Greg Boyd’s question to Schreiner </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The Problem of the Objective / Subjective Distinction </li></ul>
  16. 16. Reconstructing Penal Substitution <ul><li>The challenge to the assumption that justice is necessary for forgiveness </li></ul><ul><li>A Trinitarian theology of Atonement </li></ul><ul><li>A Kaleidoscopic View of Atonement </li></ul>
  17. 17. An Evangelical Challenge: Salvation as more than eternal life <ul><li>Two Definitions of Salvation: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Deliverance from sin and guilt </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Preservation from trouble or danger” (Cruden’s Commentary) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Needed: A Robust Understanding of “Abundant Life” </li></ul><ul><li>Needed: Emphasis on Jesus’ Life as well as Death and Resurrection </li></ul><ul><li>Needed: God’s Project of Reconciliation through the church </li></ul>
  18. 18. Voices Evangelicals Should Hear <ul><li>Jesus as Liberator, Healer and Revolutionary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Voice of Liberation Theology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Voice of Feminist Theology </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Core Evangelical Convictions <ul><li>Scripture is inspired and authoritative </li></ul><ul><li>Christ is the incarnational revelation of God </li></ul><ul><li>Christ reveals the Trinitarian God </li></ul><ul><li>People are sinners and need a Savior </li></ul><ul><li>God is love, is compassionate, is wise, and is just </li></ul><ul><li>God desires relationship with humanity </li></ul><ul><li>Human knowledge is limited </li></ul>
  20. 20. Two Final Questions <ul><li>How is God redeeming the whole world and the whole person in Christ and the Spirit? </li></ul><ul><li>How are persons invited into that redemptive process? </li></ul>
  21. 21. A Final Challenge <ul><li>“ We need a Christology much sturdier than the weak accommodations current among the pluralists. Yet also needed is a bold particularity ready to acknowledge the wider mercies of Christ’s common grace.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>— Gabriel Fackre </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. A Final Question for Reflection: Can Universalism be an Article of Hope? <ul><li>“ For there is no good reason why we should forbid ourselves, or be forbidden, openness to the possibility that in the reality of God and man in Jesus Christ there is contained much more than we might expect and therefore the supremely unexpected withdrawal of that final threat…If we are certainly forbidden to count on this as though we had a claim to it…we are surely commanded the more definitely to hope and pray for it…to hope and pray cautiously and yet distinctly that, in spite of everything which may seem quite conclusively to proclaim the opposite, his compassion should not fail and that in accordance with his mercy which is “new every morning,” He “will not cast off forever” (Lam 3:22) </li></ul><ul><li>— Karl Barth CD , IV/3, pp.477-78 </li></ul>

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