One of the areas with the intense debate in recent Christian theology has been understandings of salvation. Much of the debate has focused on theories of the atonement, theologies of the cross, interpretations of theologians such as Anselm and Luther, views of the doctrines of Christian tradition.
Not so much attention has been paid to the biblical portrayals of salvation, except as viewed through the lenses of the various atonement theories. I have been working on a book that does indeed focus directly on biblical theology. I have gotten quite a bit done on this project; I am calling it: Mercy Not Sacrifice: The Bible’s Salvation Story. I mostly need yet to flesh out the chapter on salvation in the book of Revelation and to complete a concluding chapter, “Is There an Atonement Theory in This Story?”
Since I am focusing my energies elsewhere for the time being (and since I have struck out so far in my tentative attempts to find a publisher), I will post here on Peacetheology.net the manuscript as far as it has been developed.
1. Violence as a Theological Problem
2. Salvation in the Old Testament
3. Guardians for the Way of Wholeness: Salvation in the Prophets
4. Jesus’ Teaching on Salvation
6. Jesus’ Death and the Powers: Cultural Exclusivism (Law)
7. Jesus’ Death and the Powers: Religious Institutionalism (Temple)
8. Jesus’ Death and the Powers: Political Authoritarianism (Empire)
10. God’s Saving Justice: Paul and Salvation
Ted, thanks for this. I just scanned a couple of chapters and look forward to reading the rest. I’m currently reading your Theology As If Jesus Matters, and find the perspective intriguing. I also read Denny Weaver’s Nonviolent Atonement which was a refreshing take on the typical atonement presentation. I like this Anabaptist stuff. As a lifelong Southern Baptist, now disaffected from the fundamentalist direction of the SBC, I may have found a home. I had William Estep for Anabaptist history at Southwestern Seminary, and have just reordered his revised The Anabaptist Story, which connects the Baptist tradition I grew up in with our anabaptist roots. Anyway, look forward to reading more of what you have to say here, which I suspect is a far cry from the “make-a-decision” theology we have come to. Have a wonderful Easter weekend! -Chuck
Ted, thanks from me too. I have finished your Theology as if, and followed it up with Borg’s third Jesus book. the latter pretty much states the position I find myself at, but is lacking in significant discussion of what atonement and salvation mean in that framework. Hoping this will plug the gap. Antony Solomon