Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An inclusivist reading of John 14:6

From the Anglican Scotist.


unkle e said...

I've long thought two things (at least) were in favour of an inclusivist reading:

(1) Surely faithful OT Jews came to the Father even though they didn't know Jesus? Of course it was still because of Jesus. So perhaps could other people.

(2) CS Lewis took an inclusivist view when he had the Tash-worshipping Emeth enter heaven in "The Last Battle".

Bert Power said...

Lewis in Mere Christianity:

Here is another thing that used to puzzle me. Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about the other people are. We do know that no man can be saved except through Christ; we do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him

Victor Reppert said...

Lewis was not an exclusivist. Of course, exclusivists think this was one of his theological errors.

Gregory said...

I think Ronald Nash's book "Is Jesus the Only Savior?" solidified my doubts about exclusivism, which, in my mind, relies too heavily on a "faith" in propositions. And I must say that despite his Calvinism, despite his compatibilism, despite his exclusivism and despite his bibliographical and footnoting self-advertisements, I still have learned much from the man. I did not realize that he died in 2006, but my prayer is "may his memory be eternal".

A close reading of Acts 17:26-28 might remove many doubts about the inclusive nature of God and of His grace towards all. What St. Paul is driving at is the fact that no matter where a person is born, or what his upbringing might be, God is still within reach.....even reaching out to them through the things they have received in their own pagan traditions.

Also, 2 Chronicles 36:15-23 presents a deeply puzzling case for the exclusivist. It also provides a really interesting counter-example to "unconditional election" and "once saved, always saved" theology.