Yale theologian Miroslav Volf has written an incredible article on the Virginia Tech shootings. Volf says, “As scandalous as it might seem, God’s grace was immediately available to Cho [the shooter], his parents and family”. Find the article here.
I’ve been struggling with and trying to find some concept that adequately explains and does justice to the condition variously termed “saved,” “born again,” “justified,” “in right relationship with God,” “believing,” or “having faith.” I’m sure there are other ways of describing this as well, but I think these are the most common. Essentially, they speak of the period where one is generally considered “Christian” by those within and without the Church.
Although it is difficult to draw all of these diverse ideas together, I think the phrase that does it best is “maintaining a posture of receptivity.” (A phrase used by Miroslav Volf; I didn’t invent it.) Because essentially, this is the posture of faith towards God. There are improper postures, such as self-sufficiency and rebellion; the correct posture toward God, then, is one of pure and simple receptivity–accepting grace from the hand of God upon the basis of the Crucified One who represents us.
The impetus behind this is ecumenical. I’m attempting to formulate–Donald Miller wouldn’t like that word very much–an understanding of what is variously described above that can serve as an anchoring point to draw together many Christian denominations and their own understandings of this “posture of receptivity.” Hopefully I’ve found something helpful.