Dr. Joseph Hama
27 February 2015
Part 2 – Is Jesus the only Savior?
In today’s society we have many different religions that argue constantly over the view of salvation and how one receives eternal life. Many even believe that there is only one way to heaven or that Christianity is the only way. Many beliefs are obvious, and many believe that all paths of religion lead to heaven, and never would a loving God send anyone to hell. In his book, “Is Jesus the only Savior,” Ronald H. Nash makes a great argument about the inclusivists. Inclusivism is the view that people can actually receive God's gift of salvation based on Jesus Christ's atoning work, however, the sinner need not believe the gospel in order to actually receive this salvation. Inclusivism agree that God’s mercy is so complete that it can and does embrace many. This is in contrast to exclusivism, which believes, that a sinner can only be saved by a conscious understanding and faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Nash discussed in detail in chapters 1-6 his argument against pluralism. Nash now begins chapter seven with an introduction of the inclusivists stand point. He quotes many inclusivists, giving them the benefit of the doubt. However, he yet proves all their theories wrong. Nash makes every attempt of the inclusivist use of scripture look weak and unsupported. He sees their position as middle ground between exclusivism and pluralism where God’s salvation is completely available by all grounded on the Billingsley 2
work and person of Jesus Christ , there are nowithout restriction (103). Nash goes on to say that there are two axioms of inclusivism, the particularity axiom and the universality axiom. Nash makes it clear that both these axioms pose a definite untruth. Inclusivists believe, “That there to axioms complement each other, The universal axiom expresses their belief that God must make salvation available to all human beings, including everyone who lived before Christ outside the sphere of Jewish influence and everyone since Christ who has lived without hearing about the gospel” (106). The particularity axiom focuses on Jesus Christ as the only mediator for salvation. Nash goes on to talk about general and special revelation in chapter eight. General revelation is revelation that God makes available to all human beings. Special revelation is shown by the distinctive revelations that God made to such people as Abraham, Moses, and Paul. He only gave it to specific people at certain time and places. Nash states, “That special revelation that is accessible has been preserved, recorded, and inscripturated” (117). Those who are iInclusivists accept that a general revelation is adequate to bring an individual unto salvation. As Nash looked at scripture he shows that Romans chapters 1-3 backed what he believed and that an individual's knowledge of general revelation is not enough for the salvation of the individual. Nash even touches on why the inclusivists faith does not line up with the word of God. He puts a damper on Pinnock’s thoughts of faith, Pinnock believes that people are saved by the faith principle, stating, “That one must satisfy the conditions of Hebrew 11:6.” Pinnock’s weakness is shown here because Christ has to be the object of our faith. Faith has to be rooted in Jesus, not just knowledge of Him. Nash lets us also know that the inclusivists idea about Old Testament saints, was not logical. The inclusivists felt that because the Old Testament saints did not even know of the Savior as we do today, they were rewarded with eternal life because of their faith, so then Billingsley 3
they can determineconclude that it is also true for them today who do not have a clear understanding of Jesus Christ. Another interesting thought of inclusivism is Nash’s thoughts on “Holy Pagans”. Inclusivists’ key idea in their identification of these “holy pagans” is that...
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