06 September 2009

Newbigin on Salvation

"There is an unexamined assumption that we know what we are talking about when we ask such questions as: Will the devout Hindu or Muslim be saved? It is the unexamined concept of salvation which needs to be scrutinized. The whole discussion, if I am not mistaken, is focused on the destiny of the individual's soul after death. But that is not at all the focus of attention in the Bible. Attention is focused on the final event in which God will complete His purpose for all humankind and all creation. The urgent question is not: How shall I be saved? But: How shall God's name be hallowed, His Kingdom come, His will be done on earth as in heaven? The focus is on knowing and doing the truth now, so that we may be partakers in the corporate and cosmic consummation at the end. Not only in the Old Testament but also in the New, the commanding vision is not of a way by which I can leave this world for another where I shall be safe, but of the way by which God will come to this world, the way by which God will come to this world to communicate His purpose for the whole creation. Salvation lies in the future for Abraham and Moses and David as much as for me. And being saved means being made part of the company which bears in its life and communicates to the world the secret of what God has in store for His whole creation." -Lesslie Newbigin's 1986 Henry Martyn lectures, Signs Amid the Rubble, p. 71

No comments: