Responsible Christian talk of salvation is inseparable from responsible Christian talk of God. To speak rightly of God is to speak on the basis of God’s initiative in turning towards us; that turning is God’s restoration of fellowship with us, his overcoming of the distance that has come to exist between estranged creatures and their creator. The genesis of this movement lies exclusively in God’s mercy, in the majestic goodness with which God determines that the alienated should not be for ever lost, that those who have chosen death should not perish, that all things should find their due end in relation to their maker. In the gratuitousness of his outreach, God bestows not mere data about divinity but himself, enabling us to know him as he is, establishing the conditions within which creaturely apprehension of his character can and does occur. His sovereign arrival provokes amazement and perplexity – ‘What does this mean?’ (Acts 2:12) – but theology’s work takes shape in the delight with which faith makes bold to answer that question: the one who presents himself to us, Israel’s God, the Lord of all, is he in whose name salvation is found. Soteriology’s subject-matter is the story of the incomparable lengths to which this God has elected to go for the blessing of the obstinate, the obtuse and the wicked (Acts 2:14-36). The theology of salvation is a conceptual paraphrase of this gospel, possible only in consequence of the divine mission to the world. Generated entirely by the constitutive reality of that outreach, and by the antecedent divine purposes which it effects, soteriology is bound to the particularity of the way in which the God of the gospel enacts, and thus makes known, his being in his reconciling acts in creaturely history.