During the course of the Christian millennia, Christian claims about salvation and about the role of Jesus of Nazareth in God’s final and definitive deed of saving humanity have included a variety of understandings, explanations, and analogies. Moreover, those claims and their various renderings have a doctrinal and theological history, within which St. Thomas Aquinas occupies a canonical position
So, at last we have come to the place of reconciliation in all this. I hope you can see why I took the scenic route rather than plunging straight in. I wanted to make it clear that for us the first and root meaning of reconciliation is not an ethical demand. In the understanding of the Christian faith, it is first of all something which has triumphantly happened in a sphere more real than ours, and which is tilting our universe on a new axis, whether or not we understand it. This means that what we think of as real, as stable and as ordered is not so, and what is real and true and ordered and stable is not what is behind us, but what we can become as we learn to undergo being set free from our imprisonment in what we might call “social order lived defensively”.