For there to be a heresy about the cross, there would have to be an orthodoxy about it. Michael Gorman argues that contentions over how Jesus saves lead to an inadequate grasp of what the Passion means and does.
Over the past 20-plus years in my own faith journey, the Bible’s anthropology has taken primacy for me over its theology, providing a crucial reason for the importance of covenant to salvation. René Girard’s work proposes that what has “saved” us as a species—thus far—are the false gods of our own unconscious creation.
Lent began as a time of preparation for the covenant of baptism. The Year B Lenten readings very much ring out this theme of covenant, starting this Sunday with the covenant with Noah and its interpretation in 1 Peter as the covenant of baptism. The coming weeks feature the covenants with Abraham and with Moses and finally the covenant written upon our hearts in Jeremiah 31. Developing the theme of covenant might be an edifying way to let these Lenten scripture readings prepare congregations for Holy Week—especially the high drama of the Easter Vigil, centered on the waters of baptism.
The Covenant Tradition in Politics (4 vols.), by Daniel J. Elazar Vol. 1: Covenant and Polity in Biblical Israel Vol. 2: Covenant and Commonwealth Vol. 3: Covenant and Constitutionalism Vol. 4: Covenant and Civil Society
The people of Israel stand on the threshold of their inheritance, the land of promise. The long-awaited day of glory has come; it’s time to remember their story, their failures and, most important, their deal with God.
The idea of “covenant” comes up frequently in proposed solutions to mainline crises. Before writing its final report, the PCUSA Theological Task Force on Peace, Unity, and Purity of the Church drew up a covenant of prayer, worship and careful listening.