Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Visual ordo salutis?

Salvation is important, maybe even very important. I found that for along time, including right into Theological College I wasn't sure how all the doctrines of grace fitted together. The traditional Ordo Salutis was some help but I quickly realized that not all aspects of salvation are sequential and a simple list doesn't convey the difference between God's objective work and our subjective experience of his grace. I want to make this a public project probably lasting a couple of years to come up with a coherent and accurate summary of salvation. So this post is about the concept and the broad sweep of what I'm trying to achieve, we'll get into the nitty gritty of what should go where and how it should be described and explained later.


Luke said...

Reader participation encouraged!

I'd appreciate any comments, even if you know very little about theology, because I'm trying to communicate visually a profound and complex topic. What works, what doesn't work, have i missed something, could I change something visually to make it clearer? Do you approve of the project, what is your reaction is salvation? (Although we'll get into the nitty gritty details later, meta comments for now.)

Bryan Hickey said...

I like the project for a number of reasons.

Firstly, it is a subject that is close to my heart. I have always stood in admiration of a God who decrees and patiently brings about his plan. This goes to show that God learned a great deal from Cranmer who was patient in bringing about the lasting change of reformation in England.

Secondly, I feel the visual breakup is very clean and helps to make complex multiple 'timelines' comprehensible. I wonder how it might work as a story board using something like

Lastly, I like the project because it makes clear the reformed understanding of God's objective and his plan in history to complete his objective. This is also the point at which I feel most anxious. It reminded me of something I read by an Edwards scholar, Professor Perry Miller:

'That intense dislike, which is far from uncommon, for severe reasoning has even made a kind of reproach to Edwards of what is called his "inexorable logic". To condemn a man for being honestly in the wrong is generally admitted to be unreasonable; but people are even more unforgiving to the sin of being honestly in the right. The frankness with which Edwards avowed opinions, not by any means peculiar to himself, has left a certain stain upon his reputation.'

Perhaps their is a cautionary tale there for those who would want to make clearer the sometimes ambiguous nature of belief.

Marion said...

Not sure what imputation means, how it fits into the diagram. But the rest works very well. It's how I understand things - drawing a little picture.

Andrew Bowles said...

I approve of the project, it seems you've done a lot of great thinking and integration so far. It would be great to have a simple way to explain what the Christian life is in its entirety, since most presentations focus on repentance and conversion.

I think the major weakness there might be with this diagram is using 'chronology' as an organising axis. You've already identified that as a problem with the traditional ordo, so why not get rid of it altogether? Even predestination is not 'before' the rest of the events of salvation, since it happens in eternity where there is no time. If I were to do this I would organise the process of salvation around the Persons of the Trinity and their acts in our lives, since that is the integrating centre.

Sethals said...

Bro, as a visual learner i certainly appreciate diagrams. However I still think this one is overly complex, if i were a new Christian there would be a lot of aspects here that I would not understand, especially Christian Jargon like Predestination. Is there any way you could break down the components more? Or different choice of words/images?