Zombie excursus: ‘ordo salutis’

Order of Salvation from the Undead

In Christian circles there is something in theology known as the ‘ordo salutis‘ (Latin for “order of salvation”).  The premise is that salvation is something that follows a semi-temporal sequence based on verses like this one:

He knew them in advance and he marked them with the likeness of the image of his Son that he might be the first-born among many brethren. 30 Moreover, those whom he marked in advance, he has called, and those whom he has called, he has declared righteous, and those whom he has declared righteous, he has glorified.

Romans 8:29-30

I say semi-temporal because some steps in the process of salvation are immediate while others are a process.  The “process” of salvation is further complicated by the fact that some of the steps are done by God, others by humans.  In case this is already sounding more complicated than it needs to be (especially since I have not given the order yet!), there are at least five versions of the ‘ordo salutis‘ that I know of, meaning there are surely more, making the whole thing more ridiculous.  Oh, and in case you are wondering, theologians of the stature of Karl Barth have criticized the whole system.  In case you find this whole thing depressing, you can blame the Lutherans of the early 18th century for having come up with the term in the first place.  Without further ado, here are three example versions of the sequence:

Lutheran:

  • Calling
  • Illumination
  • Repentance
  • Regeneration
  • Justification
  • Mystical Union
  • Sanctification
  • Conservation
Arminian:

  • Foreknowledge
  • Predestination
  • Election
  • Prevenient Grace
  • External Calling
  • Repentance and faith
  • Regeneration
  • Justification
  • Sanctification
  • Glorification
Calvinist:

  • Predestination
  • Election
  • Calling
  • Regeneration
  • Faith
  • Repentance
  • Justification
  • Sanctification
  • Perseverance
  • Glorification

Now, what theologians of the 21st century have not bothered to write about is the zombie enthusiast version of the order of salvation.  To be clear, zombie enthusiasts come in all religious stripes and may adhere to any of these theological opinions, or others, or none at all.  The Zombie Order of Salvation is concerned with one thing and one thing only: salvation from the undead.  Fortunately for beginners, there are only four steps which are easy to remember:

Another thing you will notice is that all four of these appear to be human actions, not divine.  Well, have no fear my friend, in the case of a zombie uprising you can be sure there will be tons of prayer as each step is carried out.  These steps need not necessarily be done in this particular order either.  As situations vary, certain steps will be impossible, impractical, or happen in a different order.  Take the example of Noah (the first zombie hunting team leader); he already had his family around (step 3) and did not have access to bullets (step 4).  Not only that, but as we know the majority of the Noah story is the building of a mode of transportation (step 2) that could withstand the ultimate anti-zombie weapon enacted by God.   That being said, you are probably not of the same zombie slaying stature as Noah so just stick with the four basic steps of the Zombie Order of Salvation.

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