Wednesday, March 9

Another Soteriological Term Explained

  • Historia Salutis. This term refers to the history of salvation--the way God accomplished redemption in history. Whereas the ordo salutis explains the application of redemption to the individual person, the historia salutis explains the work of Christ throughout history to bring redemption. We can think of the historia salutis as objective: how God objectively works in the history of the world to accomplish redemption; and the ordo salutis as subjective: how the redemption accomplished historically by God becomes real in the life of an individual person.

    The historia salutis centers in particular around Christ's work: his incarnation, death, resurrection, and the sending of the Spirit, etc.; although creation, the fall, and Christ's return would also be included in the history of salvation. It is with the history of salvation that we see the big change that occurred with the death of Christ and the new age ushered in at the time of his death/resurrection/ascension. Pentecost, the growth of the church, and spread of the gospel throughout the world are all part of the history of salvation--they are part of God working out the results of what Christ accomplished on the cross in the history of creation.

    When someone uses the term redemptive history, they are speaking of the historia salutis. Also closely associated with the historia salutis is the concept of "already/not yet": the idea that something changed fundamentally in the historical events surrounding cross, even though the application of that fundamental change has yet to be fully consummated in history.
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