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Ordinary soteriology: A qualitative study

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces the concept of 'ordinary theology', understood as the theology and theologising of those who speak of God reflectively, but who have received little or no theological education of a scholarly, academic or systematic kind. Ordinary soteriology, by extension, is the account of what Jesus does for human salvation that is offered by those who have received little or nothing by way of formal theological education. Data on this topic were collected from 45 regular Anglican churchgoers by means of in-depth interviews. Analysis of these data specified three main soteriological positions, identified as exemplarist, traditionalist and evangelical. The chapter portrays and analyses each type, employing illustrations from the data, and discusses various soteriological issues in relation to each of them. It also explores a number of other soteriological difficulties. The pastoral, theological, educational and evangelistic implications of the findings are briefly discussed.

Keywords: Anglican churchgoers; evangelical soteriology; exemplarist soteriology; God's love; human salvation; ordinary soteriology; soteriological difficulties; traditionalist soteriology



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