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Christianity and Salvation Essay

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That Jesus Christ is saviour is one of the core beliefs of Christianity. Outline and critically evaluate some traditional ways of understanding salvation. Outline and critically evaluate some contemporary theologians’ thinking on salvation. Briefly address the implications of this for teaching salvation in schools.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines salvation as “deliverance from sin and its consequences, believed by Christians to be brought about by faith in Christ” .
“Sin”, in turn is defined as “an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law” .
One of the core beliefs of Christianity it that Jesus Christ is saviour and is, therefore, responsible for delivering humanity from perpetrating acts that are
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Anselm of Canterbury, also a twelfth century theologian, had a quite different understanding of sin and redemption. He espoused the theory of Satisfaction that argued “it is not enough for humans to cease from sin. They must offer satisfaction for the sins that they have already committed” . He argued that only Jesus, who was born without sin, could offer his life to God as satisfaction. Humans could not do so because they owe everything to God.
While Anselm’s theory draws upon “the double Homo-ousios of Chalcedon – that Christ is both consubstantial with the Father of his divinity and consubstantial with us in his humanity” , it was, however, developed within the limited socio-cultural context of a feudal system where rigid social structures determined the rights and responsibilities of individuals within the “acknowledged feudal order” of that society.
While Anselm disowned any account of redemption as a ransoming from the devil, he overemphasised the legalistic interpretation of salvation where the debt to God was paid in full by the death of Christ and saw redemption as simply being “the restoration of a pre-existing and pre-ordained order” of creation that had been distorted. Fiorenza suggests, however, that Anselm
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