Monday, March 12, 2012

Hope and fidelity (Grenz)

Stanley Grenz captures well the tension felt by those of us who reject religious pluralism (i.e., all roads lead to God), uphold the exclusiveness of Christ as the only way of salvation, yet are deeply troubled by the thought that someone who never had a chance to hear and respond to the gospel is eternally lost.

To summarize the current situation: The evangelical heart, it seems, would deeply desire to hold out hope that the eternal community will include persons who have been found by the God of the Bible even though they appeared to live beyond the reach of Christian evangelists. At the same time, given the scanty information available in Scripture about such persons, evangelical zeal rightly keeps before the church the crucial task of carrying the good news to persons who have not yet heard Jesus' blessed name.

This quote is found on p. 276 of Renewing the Center, and comes at the end of an excellent summary of the three primary contemporary Christian approaches to other religions -- exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism.

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