Screwing for Virginity

Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Salva Side Note Segue

Jeff has asked me to answer these questions: "What is salvation? How does it relate to sin and the concepts of heaven/hell? Addititionally, how does it effect our concrete suffering currently?"

Well, let me start by trying to answer the first part: Salvation is a saving force that frees one from the consequences of sin and evil. I would say that "the force" would be from God, since we are talking about a biblical view on salvation. I would also call the force "grace." I don't think it is something we can achieve, but rather receive. Receiving is only possible through the belief in Jesus.

Second part: I don't believe that if one recieves salvation, they are no longer going to commit sins. Just that the eternal consequences of those sins has been abolished. That would lead to the heaven/hell aspect. If one has received God's salvation, I believe that when their physical body dies their spirit will be accepted into heaven as a result of Jesus' sacrifice and the following salvation. If one goes to hell, it is evidence that they did not "accept" this salvation.

As it pertains to our current state, salvation in the eternal sense does not eliminate any consequences of sin on earth. One could not argue that because they are "saved," that they can steal and they will not be punished.

Salvation is not simply a word to describe eternal matters, it is just the most common biblical usage.

Jeff, I'm not sure if this is my views on salvation or just the answers to your questions. But if I think of more, I'll include them in the comments. Feel free to interact


  • At 5:18 PM, July 20, 2005, Anonymous Jeff said…

    Thanks for the reply. Your usage suggests that in your view salvation denotes an event in the life of the believer which can be pinpointed, most likely the moment of conversion. What do you think about the idea that salvation is a process? After all, given that fact that I still sin, in a very real sense, I'm not "saved" from sin.

  • At 12:32 AM, July 22, 2005, Blogger Ryan said…

    Actually, it's funny that you would say that. I don't believe that salvation is an event that occurs in the life of a believer. Like I said, I was referring to eternal salvation. So I would agree with you that since you are still sinning, you are not "saved" from sin on this earth.
    I believe that our salvation from sin on earth is a process, through which we all struggle. Of course, I agree with you if that's what you're asking. But if you're talking about being eternally saved from sin's consequences, I don't believe that it's an event or a process. I see now why we have the confusion, as these 2 uses of the word are not usually differentiated properly. Does this help?

  • At 3:31 PM, July 22, 2005, Anonymous Jeff said…


    As you've pointed out, we're addressing two different dimensions of salvation. First, there is the deliverance from sin here on earth. Second, salvation results in the Christian (or their spirit???) being "accepted into heaven."

    We disagree sharply on the second point. Salvation is in no way about acceptance into heaven. The object of hope for the Christian is not heaven. Instead, we long for the new heaven and the new earth; we look forward to the day when creation's groans for deliverance are answered. We hope the place where all creation is freed from the bondage of sin which results in brokenness, hurt, and injustice.

    For me, salvation is *much* more about the here and now, the concrete struggles of the day. Salvation (righteousness, peace, justice, happiness, whatever word you'd like) is about the restoration of broken and malformed relationships. Sin affects my relationship with myself, others, and God, so salvation is about the healing of those relationships. A problem with evangelicalism is that it tends to focus on the inward, personal sins of Christians neglecting the relational, political, structural dimensions of sin.

    Like I said, heaven is never the object of hope for people of faith. Instead, heaven is a temporary residence for disembodied Christians. we long for the restoration of this earth or, rather, the merging of heaven and earth.

    Perhaps that was something of a rant. If so, I apologize. You understand, though, why I found your following statement troubling: "If one has received salvation, I believe that when their physical body dies their spirit will be accepted into heaven." Again, God is not concerned with getting spirits (or souls) into heaven; God is interested in having creation live in the life-giving, good way as he desires.

    This view of salvation has little to do with either heaven or hell (which has, of course, been the dominant salvation paradigm in evangelicalism). That's not to say it's unconcerned with the the afterlife (man i hate that word). Hope for the future is absolutely central to my faith. Like I said, though, I do not long for heaven, I long for the correcting of things which have gone wrong on earth.

    Perhaps we agree on a few more points than I'm aware. If that's so, let me know. In any case, I'm interested in hearing your thoughts.

  • At 1:57 AM, July 23, 2005, Blogger Ryan said…

    I do not believe that by stating that there is an element of salvation that relates to heaven, that means I am saying that it is the goal of any Christian. I never said it was what we should strive for or even hope for. All I was stating was that those covered by the grace of God will be accepted into heaven, which is connected with their salvation.
    I completely agree on your thoughts concerning where our hopes should be focused. Are you trying to say that salvation is not connected with heaven/hell at all? It doesn't seem like it, but on the other hand I only made one side comment concerning heaven and you claim that we sharply disagree. I'm finding it interesting that the conclusions you draw from what I'm saying are not things that I would claim to believe. It just shows once again how typing can only say so much. In trying to clarify our words, we totally miscommunicate all over again. I'm glad we can get to the bottom of what we're trying to say though, instead of assuming the other believes things that they don't.

  • At 9:42 AM, July 23, 2005, Anonymous Jeff said…

    You're right. I probably did leap to some conclusions. Where I've misunderstood you, please correct me.

    Let me try to explain a few of the things I said. You were right in saying that our (perceived?) "sharp disagreement" was based simply on a few lines you said. I think the phrase was justified, though, because I did indeed sharply disagree with some of what you said.

    Some of these and other statements confused me and I guess I did leap to some conclusions about what you were saying. Perhaps the best way forward is to highlight a few of these statements and give you a chance to explain yourself.

    "If one has received God's salvation, I believe that when their physical body dies their spirit will be accepted into heaven as a result of Jesus' sacrifice and the following salvation."

    and "salvation in the eternal sense does not eliminate any consequences of sin on earth."

    In the first quote, it seems you're saying that salvation is about getting our spirits into heaven. To answer your question, I basically believe that salvation is unconnected with heaven. I'm not sure what I believe about hell.

    In the second quote, I really don't understand your distinction between eternal and temporal(?) salvation. I think this may be the cause of some of my confusion.

    So please explain those points of your thought where you feel I'm not quite understanding and we'll pick up the discussion from there.

    By the way, did you basically agree with what was said in my previous post?

  • At 4:48 PM, July 24, 2005, Blogger Ryan said…

    Well, I feel that I explained what I meant concerning this first quote in my last post, but I will try again. I would disagree that heaven has nothing to do with salvation, as I stated that if you have not received it then you would not go there. I did agree that it is not the goal of a Christian life just to get into heaven.
    Second quote, I wasn't talking about the new heaven and earth there, where obviously the salvation of these 2 would eliminate sin on earth. I was only saying that just because a Christian will be accepted by God into heaven b/c of Christ, that the Christian will not suffer the temporal consequences of sin in their present world. Just re-stating that heaven is not what it's all about.
    You seem so bent on putting the emphasis where it should be, that you understate the validity of other thoughts. I agree with you and your priorities (and your thoughts on evangelicals), but some of your sweeping statements about heaven having nothing at all to do with salvation I think we do disagree on.
    Just so we're clear on the difference between eternal and temporal salvation, here's what I meant: Being freed from sin on earth is a process, where God helps sinners to become more Christ like. Being freed from sin eternally is not a process, nor a conversion experience. It's grace as a result of a sacrifice.


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