Tuesday, August 12, 2014

About the traumatic encounter

More specifically, it [the emphasis on conversion experience] reflects a narrow understanding of soteriology to a specific “traumatic event which chronicled the day and the moment from here to eternity.” This practice of salvation expresses the conviction that if one turns from sin, prays “the sinner’s prayer,” and let’s Jesus into one’s heart, and believes, one is saved. In other words, this specific experience of regeneration diminishes the journey or story of salvation to a transactional, decisive, voluntary, punctiliar, individual moment which provides immediate salvation, once and for all. The negative effect of such a foreshortening of the drama of salvation for Baptists in the American South has resulted in, first, an overemphasis on justification, understood in almost exclusively forensic terms, and secondly an increasing divide between justification and sanctification. Moreover, salvation has been located in the solitary self, whose traumatic conversion experience alone could attest to the efficacy of Christ’s work of reconciliation. Thus the soteriological focus is an almost exclusive concern for the gateway to conversion rather than on the way of the Christian life.— Theosis, Volume 2, page 206

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And then we wonder why there are so few willing to go beyond a simple confession into a life of discipleship...
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