The Breadth of Salvation
Rediscovering the Fullness of God’s Saving Work
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All too often, the Christian understanding of salvation has been one-dimensional, reducing all that God has done for us to a single conception or idea. In this volume, one of today's leading theologians offers a brief, accessibly written, but theologically substantive treatment of the doctrine of salvation.
Drawing on the broad tradition of the church and the Christian faith in explaining the Christian understandings of salvation, Tom Greggs challenges the contemporary church to be captured afresh by the immeasurable height, depth, and breadth of God's saving actions. Professors and students of theology, soteriology, and Christology as well as pastors and theologically educated lay readers will value this work.
1. The Breadth of the Cross
Salvation in Christ, Not in Models of Christ's Atonement
So What Do Theologies of the Atonement Do?
The Range of Images in Scripture
The Breadth of Models or Interpretations of Salvation
The Breadth of the Human Jesus's Passion
2. The Breadth of Salvation in the Society of God
A Vertical and Horizontal Fall
Christocentric Horizontal Reconciliation
"To Your Advantage That I Go Away": The Breadth of the Spirit's Work of Salvation
Salvation through Loving the Given Other
3. The Breadth of Grace for the World
The Keys of the Kingdom
The Complexity of New Testament Judgment Imagery
At Once Justified and Sinners
The Place of the Assurance of Faith in a Fallen World
4. The Breadth of Repentance
Turning to Christ
Turning to Outcasts
"This is Christian theology of the highest quality--engaging and biblical, shaped by the rich resources of Christian tradition and personal experience. The Breadth of Salvation is the work of an outstanding preacher, theologian, and disciple."
David Wilkinson, principal of St. John's College, Durham University
"With stories, examples, clarity, and a brimming personal faith, Tom Greggs tells us of the sheer abundance of God, which overwhelms our petty models of salvation, our divisiveness, and our easy, conventional expectations. This is a profound book, but it is entirely readable. Herein 'the lamb may wade and the elephant may swim.'"
Iain R. Torrance, president emeritus, Princeton Theological Seminary
"This is an important resource for Christians who want to grasp the breadth and depth of salvation--and who perhaps have begun to wonder if the good news of the gospel is truly good news for the world. While Christians tend to mistake belief in models and theories of atonement for salvation itself (and risk turning the good news into the bad news of judgment or condemnation), Greggs offers a holistic picture of salvation that is surprising, radically inclusive, and worthy of hope."
Jennifer M. McBride, author of Radical Discipleship: A Liturgical Politics of the Gospel; president, International Bonhoeffer Society--English Language Section
"Tom Greggs underlines the wideness in God's mercy in hopes of decompartmentalizing our many, distinct conceptions of God. He is looking for the saving Oneness behind our abstract manyness! While holding firmly to the anchor of God's grace to the world, to individuals, and to the 'society of God' (the church), Tom breaks down the confining wall of human distinctions in order to shine a light on the universal reach of God's one Interruptor of human self-absorption, who is Christ. Tom's is a synthetic theology that unbinds straitjackets in favor of wonder."
Paul F. M. Zahl, dean and president emeritus, Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry
"The question of what it means to be saved is complex, fraught, and sometimes divisive. Often we try to keep our understanding of salvation within narrow parameters that may give us some degree of clarity and security but at the same time have a tendency to limit God's grace. In this book Tom Greggs clarifies and expands our understanding of salvation in ways that open us up to the fullness of God's wondrous gift. Greggs's book is a gift to the church and to those disciples who seek to live out salvation in ways that are full, faithful, and transformative."
John Swinton, professor in practical theology and pastoral care, King's College, University of Aberdeen
"Greggs's book is a needed corrective to what he sees as inadequate approaches to studying theology which tend to limit the scope of God's surprising grace and salvific gifts at work in the world. . . . [A] helpful book."
Daniel K. S. Koh,
Studies in Christian Ethics
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