Who are the exceptions?

Wow.  I’m not sure how this woman (Linda at Kingdom Grace) got into my head and then took what she found there and made it so beautiful and succint:

This might be kind of quirky, but I really am enamored with this topic.  For over a year now,  it has been like a shiny object that I hold in my hand or pocket and take out frequently to admire, study, and enjoy.  I am not sure if the fascination is because it is new to me or if it is just inherently fascinating.  Anyway, I appreciate the people in my real life and on the blog who humor me in my latest obsession.

So what did Jesus accomplish in his death and resurrection?

Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:18)

One has died for all, therefore all have died. (II Cor. 5:14)

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. (Romans 6:5)

For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (I Cor. 15:21-22)

Who are the exceptions to “all”?

Just as death spread to all men through Adam, in Christ we all died and we have all been raised into new life.  We weren’t consulted about this.

The gospel has never been about qualifying people for salvation, it is about letting them know the really good news . . . that they are already loved and embraced by the Father. (Link)

(I posted something similar by Bonhoeffer earlier.)

12 thoughts on “Who are the exceptions?

  1. Toni

    Funnily enough I was thinking about this very topic this morning while reading John 14-17. The language used by Jesus doesn’t seem ambiguous in those passages.

    “The gospel has never been about qualifying people for salvation, it is about letting them know the really good news . . . that they are already loved and embraced by the Father.”

    Loved, yep. Embraced… um, that could be a little tricky – can anything sinful come before God, and what were we before we received Jesus (I can see the chicken-and-eggness of that one, but never mind). I think the *offer* is there for all men, but only those that accept receive.

    It raises another question: what about Judas, who is described as condemned. If salvation was going to (eventually) happen to everyone, why would he be an exception?

    The gospel IS about letting them know the good news rather than qualifying them, because the love and generosity of God is so huge. To be told “you’ll fry unless you believe what I’m going to tell you” cannot qualify as ‘good news’.

    I somewhat hate this kind of quote because the thinking behind the original text is setting up a emotional brick under the hat, in order to only let you see it their way to escape feeling like you’re making God nasty. And I’m really not interested in following up the link to find out if there’s any more context because the initial taster was bitter, wrapped in a splenda coating.

  2. Marc Post author

    Toni: your comment moves from positive and mildly supportive to bitter. What happened?

    There is no more context, because I have reproduced the majority of the original post.

    FWIW, the author isn’t a universalist. It occurred to me earlier today that these thoughts do not necessarily lead down that road.

  3. Toni

    Sorry Marc – bitterness not intended – I was only responding to what I saw as emotional blackmail to support a POV.

  4. Marc

    I guess I don’t see the emotional blackmail in this.

    It’s simply a good question the author asks–who are the exceptions to “all”?

  5. Marc Post author

    Probably. I haven’t read much Barth, but from what I have read, it sounds like something he might say.

  6. Linda

    Thanks for the link. I also enjoyed your link to the Bonhoeffer quote. It actually surprised me that he said that. In reading “Cost of Discipleship” I didn’t really get that sense of inclusion from him.

    While many of these ideas are new to me, I am discovering they aren’t really new but can be traced back through theologians like Torrance, Barth, etc., the Eastern Orthodox church, all the way back to Athanasius and the early church fathers.

    It is disappointing to me that this has not been the prevalent teaching of the church, but it has been life changing for me and some of my friends to discover. Although unfamiliar, I believe it is very orthodox (God honoring, Jesus-centric, Spirit focused, scripture based), so I am often surprised at the resistance it raises.

    Anyway, thanks again for the link.

  7. Marc

    Thanks, Linda. I feel the same way. This previous year of seminary was an eye-opener in this respect (it included reading Barth, Torrance and Bonhoeffer).

    I hope you don’t mind that I reproduced your post nearly entirely. I couldn’t imagine which part could have been edited out.

  8. Toni

    Maybe I’m too suspicious of people, and particularly of people you quote here, Marc. I should probably stop just reading what you write.

  9. Marc

    Wouldn’t being less suspicious of people be a more profitable endeavour for you than not reading what I write? Otherwise you’ll just go an be suspicious of someone else’s writing. 😉

    Actually, if I read between the lines, it seems to suggest that you are not suspicious of other people I quote, but suspicious specifically of me (with the result that you are suspicious of those I quote as well). Why would this be? What are you suspicious of? I’m not hiding anything.

  10. Andrew

    … Skepticism isn’t a bad thing, of course, but it also pays dividends to have an open mind to alternative explanations of the world, theology, etc.

  11. Toni

    Marc – it’s hard for me to answer that, not because I can’t, but because the answer is complex and likely to offend. Hiding is not at all the issue.

    Guess I’d rather talk about this stuff face to face with you.

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