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Jesus Saves? Saves What?

by John K. Stoner (March 4, 2015)

I made a placard for a demonstration once that read "War Wastes, Jesus Saves." I wanted to make the point that whatever Jesus is doing, it's the opposite of what war is doing. Don't know if it worked.

You've seen the highway signs, "Jesus Saves."

So I ask, what does Jesus save?

Fundamentalist Christians say that Jesus saves souls for heaven. They claim to base this on the Bible, using John 3:16 "For God so loved that world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."

But the fundamentalist interpretation of this verse is belied by the next verse, John 3:17: "For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved."

This says that God's project through Jesus is to save the world, not just some souls. The Greek for world is "cosmos," which means "the whole thing,"

We discuss God's will to save the world in EMPIRE, pp. 243ff. Have you ever thought of the resurrection of Lazarus as a parable of God's will for every person here and now to overcome the grip of the world's obsession with and propaganda of death?

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