Thursday, March 08, 2007

[THO] The Problem with Personal Salvation

I wrote a paper last year which uses Moltmann's theology as a critique of the Evangelical vision of grace. I did really well on it and the professor, Ken Melchin, agreed to help me work on it some more in hopes of finding it a home in a scholarly journal of some sort. I just finished reading it and it was really encouraging. If I were to nutshell my argument I would say that Evangelicals consistantly have an orientation towards personal salvation that blinds them to constructive participation in the world. The hard part is that this insight of personal salvation is important and worth protecting. But when our focus on personal salvation becomes an escapist philosophy then we miss the incarnational insight of Christ's life. I tackle some of the issues that flow out of this like the breakdown of medieval synthesis and the prevalence of apocalyptic decline narratives in the article, I think it will be a worthwhile read if I can find it a home.


byron said...

Looking forward to reading it if it ever finds a home.

One of Freedom said...

I got some excellent feedback to take it from an academic paper to an article, that's my next step. Then to find a home. Regardless of if I find a home, I will eventually make it available to the Moltmann Yahoo!group. But my target audience is the Evangelical Christian community - not who I'm used to writing for despite being one. Occupational hazzard of doing your formation at a Catholic Seminary, I'm used to writing to those folks.

Anonymous said...

A while back when I was an evangelical (did the pastor thing in a couple of Vineyard churches) I happened upon some writing re: personal salvation. It was basically the world view: creation, the fall & personal redemption vs. creation, incarnation & restoration (or re-creation). Kind of a larger pic. of the global community, wholeness and a bit less attention on the individual and a bit more on Jesus.

I used the thinking in a Master’s Thesis…only asked if I felt like a heretic a couple of times. I think there is so much more and I would love to read your paper/article.

Academic papers, I’m told, are read by approx. 6 people…usually just scanned. Articles in a secular magazine would probably catch the eyes of more than a few evangelicals.

One of Freedom said...

Hey Anonymous, great to have your comments. I realize that it is probably the wrong audience, and I think what will happen is a non-academic version will emerge at some point. But right now I'm looking at this as an opportunity to speak something worthwhile and establish myself academically. I did this with an article on the Eucharist a while back, the technical version is in the Resonate Journal and a non-academic version was picked up by Christian Week. In either case I'll definitely link to the article from here.

a.k. said...

Thanks for the reply Frank. I'll pop in and out of your blog from time to time.