For a few weeks now I have been picking away at the book A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren. Just so you know it has nothing to do with the Orthodox Church.

So far I like what he is writing, I don’t always agree with everything but he has a nice way about his style and I like what I have read. I have two other books by him so I have some reading to do.

In this particular book he speaks of his own life and why he is what he is. I am not going to give too much away in case you want to read the book, and I will post a review once I have finished it. In one particular chapter he speaks about the word saved. How many times have you been asked, are you saved? How does one answer this question? Let me quote from the book:

Let’s start simply. In the Bible, save means “rescue” or “heal”. It emphatically does not automatically mean “save from hell” or “give eternal life after death,” as many preachers seem to imply in sermon after sermon. Rather its meaning varies from passage to passage, but in general, in any context, save means “get out of trouble.” The trouble could be sickness, war, political intrigue, oppression, poverty, imprisonment, or any kind of danger or evil. (pg 93)

Okay let’s unpack this a little. Rescue or heal, I like that and how that sounds. God will rescue me in times of trouble and he will heal me when I am sick. “Get out of trouble,” man we need this! How man times have we been in a place in our life that we would rather not be in and ask for God’s help. So with this definition in mind then we are all saved! We are all in the process of being saved everyday. There really is no end as there is no end to the mercy and love of God. Every time we fall, He picks us up, he saves us.

Let us look further at this term saved:

God, throughout the Hebrew Bible, repeatedly saves from danger and evil, so to say that God saves means that God intervenes to rescue. God compassionately and miraculously steps in, gets involved, intervenes, and protects his people from their enemies and themselves. (pg 93)

I like this. This is the image of the shepherd that Jesus will pick up in the Christian Scriptures. God intervenes to rescue. He will do this, but we have to ask for it. We have to ask for Him to help us and to save us he will not just do it on His own. His hand is always there before us all we have to do is reach out and take it. The last part of that quote is great, protects his people from their enemies and themselves. He will protect us from ourselves. Nice.

McLaren goes on to say that God saves in three ways; judging, forgiving, and teaching. This is nice as well. Judgement in the sense of bringing truth and justice into our deceived and oppressed world. God forgives, I have spoken of this in the past so I wont bore you again. And He teaches.

…because we are so often ignorantly wrong and stupid, Jesus comes with saving teaching, profound yet amazingly compact: Love God with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength, Jesus says, and love your neighbor as yourself, and that is enough. (pg 97)

That sums up the life of a Christian very well. If we worked on that for awhile I am sure things would get better and God would save us from ourselves. We need to stop hitting each other over the head and start working together. But aside what we disagree about and focus on what we agree about. Stop being arrogant and say we have the only way, and get on with the work of the church! It’s that simple, get on with the work of the church.

So are we saved? Have we been saved today? Have you saved anyone today? Think about it, love your God, love yourself, and love your neighbor.

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