I have taught and mostly defended liberation theologies for 40 years, but this quotation from “Womanist theology saved my faith” by Sarah Ann Bixler (March 24) confused me: “I needed empowerment, not another call to serve and suffer.” I thought empowerment and serving/suffering were, for all Christians, a both/and, not an either/or. As I understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, he empowers us to serve and suffer, and serving and suffering empower us to be effective citizens of the kingdom of God.
Bixler writes that “God saves out of empathy and compassion, not to make a sacrifice for human sin.” Again, I see this as a false either/or; God saves us through the death of Jesus Christ out of empathy and compassion by making a human sacrifice for human sin. To say otherwise is, it seems to me, to ignore, intentionally or unintentionally, much of the New Testament.
Roger E. Olson, Aurora, Colo.
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