Soteriology, or the doctrine of repurposing 
Monday, July 29, 2013 at 2:19PM
Terry-Michael Newell

While leading a small group discussion yesterday, I was struck by a new image of salvation.  The concept of “repurposing” (i.e., recycling and reusing old wood/materials for a new use or project) was connected to the Christian idea of salvation.

I am big fan of repurposing, especially in some my woodworking projects.  There’s a table I built in my office made out of materials from my parents’ old screened in porch. I have a bulletin board at home recreated from wine corks and scrap lumber from previous projects.  And, I built a planter box on the deck which is made from an old wood pallet I found trashed behind the local hardware store.

Old materials could go to waste or they can be given a new purpose. Obviously, the latter is my preference.

While our tendency is to think of salvation as only a future reality (something that happens once we’ve died), our challenge yesterday was to reform even the idea of what salvation can mean for us presently. Isn’t it a present reality as well as a future one? Isn’t there some present usefulness to “being saved?” Isn’t there some good use right now for this old bag of bones, flesh, and blood that can add beauty, meaning, and purpose in this life as well as the next?

Repurposing old wood takes more time, energy, creativity, adjustment, and flexibility. And I am thankful that for “those who are being saved,” God embodies these characteristics quite well.

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