Saving/Blessing theology

The book “Biblical Foundations of Spirituality” is a good read and I encourage anyone to read it, however I just ran across chapter four again and it is helpful for me to frame my own frustrations very well.

The author argues there are two overarching perspectives in the Biblical story which seem to dominate all other perspectives: “saving theology” and “blessing theology”. Both are true but often times we tend to focus in on one to the exclusion of the other.

“Saving theology” is described as seeing God as one working on behalf of Israel to save and redeem them throughout history. “It is almost as though God’s very name for them is hyphenated as the ‘God-who-brought-us-from-the-land-of-Egypt’.” The savior God comes from nowhere to intervene for those in need. God is surprising and unpredictable in this image but it can also lead to seeing God as a miracle worker or a superhero. This view recognizes humanity as radically in need of God’s saving grace, and the goal of human existence is liberation and freedom from that which oppresses.

“Blessing theology” is described as experiencing God as the source of blessing and providential care. This is the time when we see the world as hospitable and our lives are marked with success and satisfaction. God becomes the constant protector and provider of all good things. God established cosmic order and holds existence at every moment. God is creator and sustainer who does not intervene but is ever present in the midst of the world, creating and sustaining it. This view recognizes humanity as co-creator and sharing with God, and the goal of human existence is the fullness of life understood as the rightful exercise shared of power and privilege.

While I identify both are critical to a fuller understanding of God, I find myself primarily located in “Blessing theology”. This is a good thing, however, I feel guilty about this because I know there is so much suffering in the world and I am very luck to be where I am. I tend to idealize “Saving theology” and become frustrated when others (like myself) defend “Blessing theology”. I need to remember BOTH ARE CRITICAL TO GOD.

What story of God is dominate in your theology; God of saving or God of blessing? I imagine it is a rare thing to find a person who gives each story equal footing.