Thursday, July 05, 2018

What is salvation?

There are different concepts of salvation. How we define salvation is crucial to the vision and mission of the church. 

1. Alienation from nature

According to secular environmentalism, humans are simply animals. Technology alienates humans from their natural surroundings. In addition, technology upsets the balance of nature. Humans become too dominant and destructive to the ecosystem. 

"Salvation" is to regain our sense of where we belong in the natural order. Our place. 

To sacrifice human flourishing for the common good of the ecosphere.

2. Escape from divine punishment

In traditional theology, one of God's duties is to punish wrongdoers. That's what makes God a just God.

In liberal theology, a punitive God is unthinkable. The doors of hell are locked from the inside. 

3. Divine alienation

It's common to say man is alienated from God. More controversial is to say there's a sense in which sin alienates God from man. In liberal theology, the impediment to fellowship is entirely at man's end, not God's end. 

4. Deliverance from death and physical impairment 

That awaits the afterlife

5. Emancipation from demonic influence

Especially in cultures dominated by witchcraft. 

6. Deliverance from destructive passion

Reason is often the slave of passion. Unbridled passion destroys relationships. Results in violence.  

7. Deliverance from depression, self-loathing, and mental illness

Sometimes that happens in this life although complete healing may await the afterlife.

8. Escape from the wheel of reincarnation

According to Hinduism and Buddhism

9. The state becomes the church

In secular ideology, the state saves humans from their destructive and self-destructive impulses. 


  1. I think some atheists and secularists (e.g. Carl Sagan, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk) seek "salvation" in moving beyond the Earth and colonizing other planets.

    Aubrey de Grey seeks salvation in stopping if not reversing aging. Regenerative medicine. He pushes cryonics as well.

    Nick Bostrom and Ray Kurzweil seek salvation in using biotech to augment, enhance, merge, and ultimately transcend who we are as human beings so we can live forever. Such as cybernetics. Such as uploading our consciousnesses (e.g. Altered Carbon, Black Mirror). The next stage in human evolution. A technological singularity which will make us super humans.

  2. Q. 33. What is justification?
    A. Justification is an act of God’s free grace,[91] wherein he pardoneth all our sins,[92] and accepteth us as righteous in His sight,[93] only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us,[94] and received by faith alone.[95]

    Isaiah 12:2. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.