Faith is “pistis”, pistis is “to be pursuaded”, grace produces pistis, grace is God’s active presence in the world. The two together, we have a moral conviction about how to be in the world and that’s all God’s doing and God’s plan. Two gifts to humanity.

To “please” God then means “responding to grace through faith”. This has nothing to do with works or belief as any part of salvation whatever. Faith is not belief, it is a draw to the good!

Salvation isn’t about pleasing God. It is to discover God through living life. God is an interchangeable word for “the good”. Whether we recognize the good on our own or because the presence of God enables us to, all people respond with pistis; moral conviction, essentially about the character and nature of the God we are icons of. That’s theology talk, so there’s no reason to think that in talking this way about things that any of this requires knowledge of God, a confession of some belief, or anything else; living, responding, seeking, becoming; this is salvation. Life then, and living it, is a sacrament; a visible sign of God in the world.

A response to faith is salvation. Salvation is a process, an experience. In whatever measure we have it here, any of us, it is in how much we seek and respond to life, to the good, through pistis; the draw to the good, which is God.

How does Jesus fit in? This is all very Abelardian, classical, traditional. Jesus is a man who embodied God’s grace, responded to it in all ways, knew the fullness of his humanity and the full sense of divinity in it as a result, and this is God’s intent for all humanity and always has been. Jesus is exemplar, not a gatekeeper with the only key. If you read the very first theology we have of Christianity, the gospel of John, read just the beginning chapter in greek, and learn the history, culture, and language of that author, this is clearly and readily apparent in his use of what logos, hodos, alethea, and zoe mean.

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