Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Crazy Week and Developing Thesis

  Originally uploaded by noqontrol

This week is crazy full.  Along with the normal day to day activities, I am working on the final paper for my class at Fuller.  The paper is due Friday, but I need to finish it by tonight (Wednesday) so I have time for edits and such.

As I have been working through the various passages of scripture and thinking about my topic, my thesis has developed a bit.  Out of the three options I posted earlier, I basically went for the second one, with a slightly different approach. 

Here is the current way I have it worded at this time. (This is the latest update after the great feedback that I have received up to this point. 

My thesis is that we cannot separate personal from social salvation because scripture declares that there is both a King and a Kingdom, which means that as kingdom citizens we have been born into an alternative community under the rule of the King, where we are called to embody an economy of love, practice justice, and share our resources with one another.  Embodying the ministry of reconciliation demonstrates that we have become a part of God’s new creation.

Of course this claim is what I am setting out to argue.  I am sure that I will be adjusting this thesis here and there as the day goes on, but this is where I am at currently.  I am supposed to use 2-3 passages from each testament.  My current chosen texts in order are:  Mark 1:1-15, Luke 4: 14-21, Lev. 25, II Cor. 5:11-21  I will probably be adding one more OT text, even though Luke 4 refers back to Is. 61.  Any thoughts?  Is the claim clear to you?  Any input would be appreciated.  Of course, for it to be helpful I would need it by this afternoon – Wednesday, June 6th. 

5 Responses to Crazy Week and Developing Thesis

  1. Love the thesis.

    I would highly recommend using Isaiah 58. Here God chastises his people for acting righteous and supposedly seeking after God but their oppression of workers and injustice negates all their supposed searching for God. Yet, the promise that he provides if they seek to do justice is powerful.

    Good luck.

  2. JR Woodward says:


    Dude that is a great passage for this thesis. Thanks for the suggestion. I think I might use it.

  3. Mike Thomas says:

    Here’s couple thoughts in summarizing the stuff we chatting about.

    I think including a statement about the poor, oppressed, and marginalized in your “claim” as a way of clarifying your interpretation of social salvation would be great.

    the other thought you wanted me to include here was that the “kingdom citizen” concept doesn’t necessarily imply that we act on behalf of the poor … It does, however, imply that we are part of polity or rule of life that is governed and shaped by the “king.” That then begs the question, what does the king’s kingdom look like? What is valued? How are people supposed to act? Etc..

    Personally, I wonder about the phrase “act on behalf of the poor” because it seems allows individuals and communities to maintain a realational distance and sort of sees the poor as another people group, though I understnad why it’s used a lot and think it’s a move in the right direction. When thinking about the poor, oppressed, and marginalized, I think that the church is called into community life with these groups, to “necessarily” be made up of people that fall into these suffering people groups. In that sense, the church is actually acting “on behalf” of itself and those it has relationships with. Not that it won’t benefit others, but that our “actions” are shaped/informed/in response to those actually impacted and hurting and needing “salvation.” This is basically what I meant last week when we were talking about how the “mission” of the church should be impacted by, driven by, in response to the experience of the poor, oppressed, and marginalized. If it’s not, it’s because they aren’t an influential part of the church OR their wholistic liberation (physical, relation, psychologcial, social, spiritual) has been truncated by a bad interpretation of scripture that devalues some elements of liberation (aka salvation). This is probably possible the locus of power in churches that DO include the suffering resides in the hands of the strong, wealthy, socially fit, etc. Hence, theological and practice has been more shaped by an external reality than their own. Does Chrisitan colonialism come to mind here? 🙂

    Ok.. that’s it for now I’m sure some of this may not even be helpful but I thought I’d through it out there anyway. I gotta get back to work!


  4. Martin Garcia says:

    Hi JR:

    I love your point. I also would use some texts like Neh 1, when Nehemiah prays and confess the sin of the community as his own sin. That proves part of your point about communal salvation and acceptance for the sin of the group as if it is his own sin.

    I hope this is helpful.


    Martin Garcia

  5. I. Galindo says:

    The point about the corporate nature of salvation is related to a concept I often stress: the nature of faith is corporate. While it has personal dimension it is never “individual.”

    In addition to the textual support one can ask biblical theological questions like: How are you “saved” in the O.T.? A: By being part of the People of God (there was no salvation outside the community of God’s chosen people). And, one can ask: How are we saved in the N.T.? A: By being part of the Body of Chist. There is no (biblical) salvation outside of the Church (that’s “Church” with a capital “C”–not a local church, local denomination, or a particular brand of “church”).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.