So I am wrapping up a final semester of my M.Div. (dang, that has gone fast) and I'm taking a class called "What is Salvation?" We figure it out. We finish off the perfect theology of salvation in this class. Okay, not really. In fact we don't even try to. We do explore the various theologies found in the NT, historical theologies, and contemporary theologies that highlight different perspectives and theological spaces that are created throughout the history of the church.
I was reading James Cone today for my class tomorrow night, a book called God of the Oppressed, and came across this:
"Whatever else the gospel of Jesus might be, it can never be identified with the established power of the state. Thus whatever Christians ethics might be, it can never be identified with the actions of people who conserve the status quo. This was the essential error of the early Church. By becoming the religion of the Roman state, replacing the public state sacrifices, Christianity became the opposite of what Jesus intended." (Page198)
And also this:
"Liberation as a future event is not simply otherworldly but is the divine future that breaks into their social existence, bestowing wholeness in the present situation of pain and suffering and enabling black people to know that the existing state of oppression contradicts their real humanity as defined by God's future." (Page 159)
Powerful words that seemed quite timely for me in the midst of Obama's campaign and his pastor's remarks. If you ever get a chance to read Cone, I highly recommend his profound works on God, justice, racism, liberation, and salvation. I hope for more regularly scheduled blogging as school winds down and graduation grows closer...not to mention the new addition to the Hayden family!