- Christian soteriology
Soteriologyis the branch of Christian theologythat deals with salvation; it is often considered a branch of Christology. [ Soteriology. Dictionary.com. WordNet® 3.0. Princeton University. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/Soteriology (accessed: March 02, 2008).] It is derived from the Greek "sōtērion" (salvation) (from "sōtēr" savior, preserver) + English -logy. [ [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/soteriology soteriology - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary ] ] For similar concepts in other religions, see Salvation.
Christian soteriology traditionally focuses on how God ends the separation people have from him due to sin by reconciling them with himself. ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%205:10-11;&version=9; Rom. 5:10-11] ). Many Christians believe they receive the forgiveness of sins ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=51&chapter=2&verse=38&version=31&context=verse Acts 2:38] ), life ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=8&verse=11&version=31&context=verse Rom. 8:11] ), and salvation ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=59&chapter=5&verse=9&version=31&context=verse 1 Thess. 5:9] ) bought by
Jesusthrough his innocent suffering, death, and resurrection from the dead three days later ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=47&chapter=28&version=47&context=chapter Matt. 28] ). While not neglecting the Paschal Mystery (Christ's death, resurrection, ascension, and sending of the Holy Spirit), many Christians believe salvation is brought through the Incarnation itself, in which God took on human nature so that humans could partake in the divine nature (2 Peter 1.4). As St. Athanasius put it, God became human so that we might become divine (St. Athanasius, De inc. 54, 3: PG 25, 192B.). This grace in Christ ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=1&verse=4&version=31&context=verse 1 Cor. 1:4] ) is received as a gift of God that cannot be merited by works done prior to one's conversion to Christianity ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%202:8-9;&version=31; Eph. 2:8-9] ), which is brought about by hearing God's Word ( [http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=10&verse=17&version=50&context=verse Rom. 10:17] ). Some Christians teach the reception of Christ by grace alone through faith alone (Eph 2:8-9). Catholics and the Orthodox's progressive theology grew to the teaching that grace is bestowed both by one's faith "and" one's works.
The different soteriologies found within the Christian tradition can be grouped into distinct schools: the Catholics and Orthodox on Justification, the Church, the
Sacraments, and the freedom of the will; Arminianism's synergism; Calvinism's predestination; and a large range [http://www.wels.net/university/moodle/mod/glossary/view.php] of Lutherandoctrine, including conversion [http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/L/LangeWill/LangeWill.PDF] , Justification by grace alone through faith alone [http://www.wlsessays.net/subjects/IJ/ijsubind.htm#Justification] , the Means of Grace [http://www.wlsessays.net/authors/B/BartlingMeans/BartlingMeans.PDF] , and the Church [http://books.google.com/books?id=cxsRAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA37&dq=&as_brr=1#PPA1,M1] .
* [http://www.5solas.org/archive.php?view=topic&topic=1 site with links supporting salvation by faith]
* [http://orthodoxwiki.org/Soteriology Greek Orthodox article on term]
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