The Problem with the Post-Enlightenment View of Salvation

The basic problem with our Post-Enlightenment view of salvation is that it is completely anachronistic. We cannot impose our 21st Century framework back on to Paul living in the First Century. Paul was a Jewish thinker living in a Hellenistic culture ruled by imperial Rome. The separation of Religion from politics was unimaginable to him. An individualistic view of salvation would be completely foreign. If the main focus of Paul was how do we get to heaven then he would have repeatedly addressed this issue directly in a single passage. He never does this. Instead we have to pick and choose passages (think “Roman road”) to make text say what we think it should say. This should be a very troubling fact for those clinging to the narrow view of salvation once this is recognized. A good writer would repeatedly stress his main point, clearly, directly and simply. By forcing our anachronistic view on Paul we have made him into a very poor writer who cannot convey his message in a simple passage. I assume that anyone who is inspired by the Holy Spirit is a fairly good writer.

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