Salvation

Tim Keller: Salvation’s Purpose = Make This World Great

keller

“I’m trying to overcome a typical, wrong, unbiblical attitude on the part of Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, toward this material world.

There’s a tendency for many Christians to think of this material world – the world we’re in now – as a temporary theater for getting saved so that some day you can escape this material world and live happily in heaven forever.  An awful lot of Christians say, ‘this world is going to die, it’s going to burn up, and while we’re here basically the only thing that’s important is to get people saved, and if they get saved eventually they’ll be able to leave this world.’  So it’s a temporary theater for salvation.

Instead, let’s start at the end.  At the end of time when we actually see what the triune God has been doing in creation and redemption through Jesus Christ, when we get to the very end of the Bible we see not human beings individually rising out of the material world and going to heaven forever.  Instead we see heaven, the power of God, coming down and renewing this material world.  That the whole purpose of everything God is doing in redemption is to create a material world that’s clean, that’s right, that’s pure.  A material world in which there’s no disease and there’s no death and no injustice, there’s no unraveling, there’s no decay.  The whole purpose of salvation is to cleanse and purify this material world.

Jews and Christians believe that this material world is permanent – it’s a good thing in itself.  That an eagle’s flying and great music and the ocean pounding on the shore and a great cup of wine are good things in themselves, because God is not temporarily ‘God is here so someday we’re going to live in heaven’ but the whole purpose of salvation is to make this world a great place.

God sees this world as not a temporary means to an end of salvation, but actually salvation is a temporary means to an end – to the renewal of creation.

Saving souls is a means to an end of cultural renewal.  Does the Christian church understand that?  I’m not sure.”

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Tim Keller: Salvation's Purpose = Make This World Great

keller

“I’m trying to overcome a typical, wrong, unbiblical attitude on the part of Christians, particularly evangelical Christians, toward this material world.

There’s a tendency for many Christians to think of this material world – the world we’re in now – as a temporary theater for getting saved so that some day you can escape this material world and live happily in heaven forever.  An awful lot of Christians say, ‘this world is going to die, it’s going to burn up, and while we’re here basically the only thing that’s important is to get people saved, and if they get saved eventually they’ll be able to leave this world.’  So it’s a temporary theater for salvation.

Instead, let’s start at the end.  At the end of time when we actually see what the triune God has been doing in creation and redemption through Jesus Christ, when we get to the very end of the Bible we see not human beings individually rising out of the material world and going to heaven forever.  Instead we see heaven, the power of God, coming down and renewing this material world.  That the whole purpose of everything God is doing in redemption is to create a material world that’s clean, that’s right, that’s pure.  A material world in which there’s no disease and there’s no death and no injustice, there’s no unraveling, there’s no decay.  The whole purpose of salvation is to cleanse and purify this material world.

Jews and Christians believe that this material world is permanent – it’s a good thing in itself.  That an eagle’s flying and great music and the ocean pounding on the shore and a great cup of wine are good things in themselves, because God is not temporarily ‘God is here so someday we’re going to live in heaven’ but the whole purpose of salvation is to make this world a great place.

God sees this world as not a temporary means to an end of salvation, but actually salvation is a temporary means to an end – to the renewal of creation.

Saving souls is a means to an end of cultural renewal.  Does the Christian church understand that?  I’m not sure.”

Saved But Not Whole

“What happens when it all becomes about some other life is we end up being very fractured, broken people. I began to discover that you could be a Christian in a nice Christian church and be saved and be singing all the right songs and actually be miserable. And to have anger and rage and people you haven’t forgiven. I discovered it’s possible to be a super-Christian and yet salvation hadn’t even begun to (be) a part of your life. It’s possible to lead a church and to be like a shell of a person. I want to be the kind of person who’s pursuing wholeness and allowing every single area of my life to let the light get shone in, and let God make peace where there wasn’t (peace) before.”  –Rob Bell

“Though today some Christians believe that Jesus came to enable us to escape this creation and live eternally in an otherworldly and heavenly dwelling, such an understanding of salvation would have been entirely foreign to Old Testament prophets, to first-century Jews — and to Jesus himself.  Salvation is not an escape from creational life into “spiritual” existence: it is the restoration of God’s rule over all of creation and all of human life.  Neither is salvation merely the restoration of a personal relationship with God, important as that is.  Salvation goes further: it is the restoration of the whole life of humankind and ultimately of the nonhuman creation as well.  This is the scope of biblical salvation.” —The Drama of Scripture

Billy Graham: Jews, Muslims, Buddhists May Be In Heaven

Billy Graham

An article by Ingrid Schlueter in ChristianWorldviewNetwork.com titled Does Billy Graham Believe in Narrow Way?, after critiquing Billy Graham for saying in a Newsweek article that he is leaving it up to the Lord to judge who will be in heaven and who won’t, ends with this sentence:

As believers, our resounding message must be, ”Escape! Escape for thy soul’s sake to Jesus Christ. He alone is our salvation!”

This is called escapist theology, which is, to my growing understanding, not what the Scriptures mean when they speak of salvation. Rather, salvation has to do with Jesus redeeming all of creation – worms, dogs, people, the earth, everything.

See also: Billy Graham’s Apostasy from WorldNetDaily.com by Tom Flannery.

Way of the Masters’ Todd Friel on Rob Bell and Salvation

Todd Friel

Todd Friel has a radio show called Way of the Master. A lot of people know him as the guy who did the Bullhorn Response video to Rob Bell’s Nooma Bullhorn. The following is a conversation with a caller named Sara on the January 12, 2007 show:

Todd Friel: So what’s happening today, Sara?

Sara: Um, well I’m wondering exactly – and I’m glad you brought up all this Rob Bell stuff because I’m just getting, like, I posted your, uh, Bullhorn Response on my Myspace, and I’m just getting this flood of comments just completely freaking out cause’ all these people love Rob Bell and they’re just flipping out on like your video. And what exactly is the line between, like, bad theology and heresy?

Todd Friel: That’s an extremely important question, Sara… (talks about T.D. Jakes not believing in the Trinity…)

Sara: What about, um, like I had an email conversation with, uh, Nate Dawson from the Mars Hill Bible Church, Rob Bell’s church…

Todd Friel: Right.

Sara: And, like, they believe in holistic salvation, and just, weird things like that…

Todd Friel: I don’t even know what that means.

Sara: Would that be heresy, like…?

Todd Friel: Is holistic salvation, that, what, he heals every part of…I don’t even…

I actually like Todd. He’s a funny guy and I think we’d have a fun time hanging out. But I also think he’d be wise to look a little more into the Bible’s broad concept of salvation rather than preaching the version that’s been passed down to him.

Nothin’ but love for brother Todd.