Salvation- A dialogue

Here’s another Dialogue, I kinda like these because you get me thinking out loud and on the spot. This conversation has been edited into paragraphs while retaining as close to the original structure as possible. I cut out and modified spelling errors and edited paragraphs for flow, and perhaps modified some sentences to be complete among other things.

enjoy. -Eli

Eli
The life of Christ and the redemption he offers are God’s justice because they are what God’s justice demands. God’s justice manifests mercy and vice versa they’re sine qua non.

RR
do you think that’s true?

Eli
Well, i think that the two are necessary, and go hand in hand, and are never separated, that was one of luther’s mistakes. He too quickly divided law and grace that’s the lutheran assumption the antagonistic nature of law and grace, justice and mercy.

11:38pmRR
sure
I was thinking more in the other direction theologians are questioning whether we need to see God as somehow needing to be satisfied by Christ’s blood

11:39pmEli
hmm
i dunno about that
11:39pmRR
it’s almost antagonistic towards
Luther

11:39pmEli
sure hebrews paints that picture, in some ways. Luther was very much about that, same with Calvin.

11:39pmRR
sure
I didn’t know what to say either but I do know the Eastern Orthodox tend to avoid framing redemption that way (as Jesus recieved punishment meant for us).

11:40pmEli
Yeah, I disagree with the idea that jesus received punishment meant for us from the Father, in our place.

11:41pmRR
Oh, right. . . so explain the sine non qua then

11:42pmEli
well justice cannot function theologically without mercy and vice versa.

11:42pmRR
Ok and . . .

11:43pmEli
the life of christ is judgment on us

11:44pmRR
now we’re getting somewhere . . .
what does that mean?

11:44pmEli
it means Jesus is god’s say of saying no to us
and saying we’re not good enough

11:45pmRR
never heard it explained like that before

11:45pmEli
i thank several theologians for it but he’s also god’s way of saying yes to us.

He is God’s way of saying yes to humanity, of saying yes to creation, but as he does so he sets it right, thus, he “justifies” it this setting right is justification. Thus justice is setting things right setting things the way they should be according to new creation that’s why we hope for resurrection bodies and not just heaven. Jesus judges us, and in judging us finds us lacking, his life itself is God’s judgment on us we’ve all had a preliminary judgment in the life that christ lived which makes hell possible now, only because the possibility of heaven is finally made concrete as well we’re shown the possibility of true humanity and found lacking.

11:50pmRR
so why does he have to die?

11:50pmEli
good question, he dies i think and others would agree to deal with Sin, not sins

11:50pm RR
and how does that work?

11:51pmEli
i’ll explain. He never submits to sin either in the flesh or the spirit thus, he is sin’s master. At that point in overcoming temptation both in the desert and throughout his life he is the master of sin at all times by never submitting. But, He as a master of sin in bodily flesh can subject the power of sin to himself on the cross by taking it with him in his flesh and exposing it to its own fruit, he takes senseless violence to undo violence by subjecting violence to its essence, and undoing it from within. He uses the curse of the law to condemn sin since he is sinless but where he has mastery over sin is his flesh thus his flesh must become sin for us not sinful, but sin sin must dwell within the condemned flesh, subjected to it that it might be abolished in him. follow?

11:55pmRR
yup
makes sense
well-spoken
you’re much stronger on theology than public policy
11:55pmEli
haha
thanks

11:55pmEli
Jesus real enemy and Gods real enemy is death and the universe doesn’t boil down to god vs. satan but god vs. death. Lord of life, vs. power of death only like that does resurrection make final sense. I think satan serves death, as another emissary, more powerful than sin, but not as powerful as death Satan serves death, he causes sin, and is thus more powerful than it but even he is not more powerful than the impersonal power of death that he unleashes when he causes the fall. Sin leads to death, sin literally leads us to his master his master being death itself. Sin is a power that has other powers subject to it, but Jesus has to start with sin and take it to the cross so that he can get at the heart of death’s power and explode both sin and death from within thus in his death, he has taken sin with him and ultimately condemned sin, so that he can get at death and undo death. In doing this He makes possible resurrection for all who enter into him that’s what we call salvation what it does for us in these terms is take our focus off a seemingly abstract devil, and force us to take seriously the power of death, and its opposition to our God. and it forces us to take seriously the idea that justice is not just an idea of balance or fairness but is the setting things right according to the justified vision of new creation

Well, the death of Christ in these terms, is paul’s argument in romans, a new exodus. Baptism, is the inaugural step into a new people being called out into the wilderness from the bondage to sin and death/pharaoh and in the wilderness we have sustenance from christ himself, sacraments eucharist living water, in terms of both holy water, and extreme unction.

RR
sure

12:06amEli
but atonement here is liberation which is what Paul seems to be saying as the controlling metaphor for everything. Adoption, exodus and new humanity are all ways o talking about liberation not from “sins” as in, the actions i commit but from SIN the power to corrupt and decay this body that i am with death and so make my body oppose the Lord of Life. Christ is after attacking the power of that death to perpetuate my falling from god’s order into corruption.

RR
so he didn’t really “pay” for sin but freed us

12:09amEli
he does “pay for sin,” but he pays sin with sin, he pays a ransom, but the ransom is paid not to God, but to the world, who demands violence against god violence for mercy. His payment “for” sin is a payment to the world, not to satan. We demand of god and god in his mercy meets our requirement to put the “payment for sin” in terms of legal abstractions is quite calvinist his payment “for” sin is a payment to the world, not to satan. We demand of god and god in his mercy meets our requirement and bears our fury with His love, exhausting the power of the world to condemn and ultimately rising to New life to undo the violence of the world from within.

RR
Ah so the world was satisfied by his death ?

12:11amEli
Jesus pays the world for its own deviations. Yes. which seems to make far more sense of everything

12:11amRR
Yeah it makes more sense to me than paying God for it which is what I was always taught

12:11amEli
hebrews paints that picture, in some ways. But it’s only one picture and it’s intimately tied to his role as representative high priest

12:12amRR
that’s essentially what Kung said
but he didn’t explain salvation as well as you did. I remember thinking it odd that people could ask forgiveness and get it but Christ still had to die. Under the model you’ve described both go together in harmony

12:20amEli
yes
12:20amRR
God could always forgive sins but the cross was to free us.

12:20amEli
He had to deal with the power of sin itself, and make us all into Israel

12:20amEli
i mean, he could have spread the temple cult but that doesn’t deal with SIN which is what hebrews says, and it doesn’t spread the new covenant to all the nations as the prophets prophesy.

at this point, we switched subjects onto civil law, reconciliation and the mission of the church, but I hope you enjoyed this. I know I did.

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