The Redemption Context

African Christians put emphasis on creation and deliverance from hardship, while European Christians put emphasis on sin and salvation.  These differences show up in death rituals and funerals.  The early Church suffered political persecution.  Freedom from slavery saw redemption as the main form of freedom.  The early Medieval Church (4th-11th centuries) was more concerned about freedom from the power of the devil after Augustine had emphasized the concept of original sin.  The early Scholastic theologians like Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) put less emphasis on the ransom from the devil.  Adam had disobeyed and dishonored God.  Christ has saved us by being the second Adam, the so-called satisfaction theory.  Order and honor were more important.  The Third world today sees redemption as something else.  Christian redemption is the same reality, but there are different interpretations of what it means to be redeemed.

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Pantheism

Pantheism is close to polytheism, but goes one step further.  Pantheists proclaim that the transcendent God is imminent in everything.  Everything is divine, since there is no separation between all reality and God.  God is everywhere and in everything.  This is a long way from the monotheism mentioned earlier.

The division of the land by tribes (Ezek 47:21-47:21)

“Thus,

You shall divide

This land

Among you,

According

To the tribes

Of Israel.”

Now that the boundaries of the country of Israel were established, it remained to distribute the land to the various tribes of Israel. Like the boundaries of the country, it sounded easier in theory than in reality. Much of this had been laid out in Numbers, chapter 34, and Joshua, chapters 13-19.

The wicked ruler (Prov 28:14-28:17)

“Happy is one who is never without fear.

But whoever is hard hearted

Will fall into calamity.

Like a roaring lion

Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

Like a charging bear

Is a wicked ruler over a poor people.

A ruler who lacks understanding

Is a cruel oppressor.

But one who hates unjust gain

Will enjoy a long life.

If someone is burdened with the blood of another,

Let that killer be a fugitive until death.

Let no one help him.”

The wicked ruler is a reality. However, if you always have fear, you will be happy. Remember that fear of Yahweh was the beginning of wisdom. If you are hard hearted then things will go bad for you. The wicked ruler is like a roaring lion or a charging bear. Do not get in his way. If he lacks understanding he will be a cruel oppressor. If you are willing to not accept an unjust gain, you will enjoy a long life. However, if you killed someone, you are a fugitive for life. No one will help you.