Salvation: Individualistic or Communal?

Volume 4
Spring 1976
Salvation: Individualistic or Communal?

The popular evangelical conception of salvation as an almost exclusively intrapersonal phenomenon was shown to be the result of a shift in Christian thought which fails to do justice to the emphasis of the Apostle Paul. Paul's concern was demonstrated to be the integration of the Gentiles into the messianic community (hence, a social problem), and not merely to posit by means of Law-justification theology the solution to the problem of a plagued conscience and assurance of personal acceptance by God. It was further shown how modern Western humanity's emptiness stemming from the scientific-technological revolution has induced a breakdown in communal life and given rise to a self-destructive alienation, both in society as well as in the institutional church. A summary statement was given of an empirical study conducted by one congregation which explored the logotherapeutic effects of an attempt to embody a fuller expression of the meaning of salvation by creating a sense of community through a six-week encounter-type group experience.

L.W. Ratzlaff
108 - 117
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