It’s sad how myopic Christianity has become only on account of the unthoughtful Christian. In America at least, both believer and non believer actually think there is only one idea of what Christ, Christianity, and all else related is about. But, never has it been so and never before have so many folks approached God, Christ, or scripture as things to be propositionalized, made black and white, reified, things which are true and things which are false. Instead, name God “the good”, seek it, ask if Christ embodies universal human, and yes, secular, values.
In seeking the good, we are seeking the only thing we can hope links us in any way to God; human nature. It should become clear that the only relevance in talking and “beliefing” about God is one criteria alone, and that is, they move us deeper into an understanding of ourselves, which is to say, moves us closer to God; the idea that goodness itself is a principle beyond just ourselves and one in which we all necessarily participate. Believer, non believer, it doesn’t matter; grace is the name of the principle of salvation and the response only need be being moved into encounters with the good; the experience in the doing and consequences of the doing.
“There is no salvation outside the world … the creative and saving presence of God’s grace [becomes manifest] wherever human persons minister to one another, especially to the neighbor in need. Human love is an embodiment, a sacrament, of God’s love … [These experiences] are fragments of salvation.”
Edward Schillebeeckx, “Extra Mundum Nulla Salus”, 2008, symposium lecture at Leuven, Belgium, held in his honor.