According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thomas Jay Oord - On Salvation: God's part and ours

On Salvation: God's part and ours
by Thomas Jay Oord

A short Wesleyan explanation of God's offer of 
salvation and free creaturely response


*preferred: "Essential Kenosis Freewill Theism"


  • Russ Slater Thanks Tom. I kept waiting for an open kenosis view where a new band comes in, pushes the old band off the stage, and plays hip hop or something, which neither partner knows, and must learn together. 
    June 16 at 3:59pm · Edited · Like · 3
  • Kenneth L. Harrell Thomas Jay Oord, thanks for this. I am glad you distinguished views 2 and 3. Many from view 1 insist that 2 and 3 are the same. In a lecture at Calvin College a professor insisted that Wesley and all Arminians are semi-pelagian. While I am sure that is true of Finney and that that view of conversion is still popular among Southern Baptists I do not believe that it does justice to the Wesleyan-Arminian position. Will you show how your view is not just more attractive but more biblical?
  • Thomas Jay Oord Thanks, Kenneth. The arguments for showing the view is more biblical come from arguments about love, covenant, and moral responsibility found in Scripture. Find the details in books such as "Why I am a Wesleyan and Not a Calvinist," by Jerry Walls or "Arminian Theology," by Roger Olson

This is good and consistent with the revelation of God's action to humanity in scripture. It is important to note that the freedom and ability to respond to the invitation and the dance is a God ordained, created dynamic of humanity. People do not have any agency removed from God's design. That said, the ability evokes a responsibility that is either directed cooperatively with God or otherwise. In the conversations I am in the objection to the third option in favor of the first is the perception that we on the other side of the dance floor are dead, incapable of response. 

I agree entirely, Ron. We Wesleyans think God's grace makes us alive to respond freely to the gift. So while we are dead abstractly speaking, in reality God's grace enlivens us to the possibility of responding to God's call and living abundant life!

Love the analogies, even though it sounds odd to hear of a Nazarene dancing haha. The third part you discussed, with free agency in dancing, would that be considered divine-human synergism?

Thanks, Nick. Yes, the third part involves synergism, but with God acting first -- preveniently -- to empower and inspire response.

I love this image of the dance ! There is one other scenario as well, God stays on His side of the "gym" and makes us work our way all the way to Him. You may have to crawl on hands and knees over broken glass, or pray x- number of prayers or in some way earn enough merit to gain His attention and favor. Only when He thinks you have done enough does He stoop to save you. How wonderful to realize that God comes all the way to us and then graciously, humbly, non-coercively " asks for our hand." I just love this!!

Thanks, Bob. You describe even better the second way I mention briefly in this video. I wish I had added the additional "works righteousness" examples you offer!

Great explanation of the Wesleyan view of salvation. Prevenient Grace + Free Will.

Dance on! And follow His lead.

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