One of the things that I worry about in all the changes and chances that take place in the world is whether or not we are communicating the truth of the Gospel in ways that people actually understand. I have a friend that answers my greeting of “how you doing?” with “living the dream”. I can take that as a statement of contentment and freedom or I can take that as a sarcastic commentary of life with it toils and vicissitudes. It all depends on tone and expression and a certain amount of sensitivity. There is a real thing called a “tin ear”.
How do we know in the church whether someone knows, or can hear what we are saying when we talk about things like justification or redemption or sanctification etc. Fewer people are even aware of what used to be a common language of faith.
I was just reminded about what an old professor of mine said about the word “salvation”. He wrote, “When the last Israelite with his possessions got safely through the waters of the Red Sea, salvation had come to that people. This is, in
part, the significance of the term “salvation.” Fundamentally it refers to having room enough to move around in. It also contains the thought of healing, of living beyond the frustrations and irritations which trouble us. The Word of truth, the Gospel is good news because it consists of the proclamation that such salvation is already a sure prospect since we have been sealed by the gift of God’s Spirit in Baptism.” We are living the dream, God’s dream dreamt for us to life in His story; the story of salvation.