Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Ingrid Schlueter at Slice of Laodicea has posted an article entitled "TIME: More Evangelicals Believe All Paths Lead to God". Of course, TIME here has got it wrong. Very few evangelicals (self-described, I mean) believe that. What they DO believe, however, is that people can be saved by Christ without knowing the first thing about Him, and all the time living in their paganism.

This idea has a long and dishonourable history. It is directly linked with Pelagianism, semi-pelagianism and Arminianism. For if it is true that all men are born good and able by their own free-will to respond to God, does it not follow that there are, or might be, those in other cultures who do in fact do good? Despite its being explicitly declared to be heresy in the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England No less a man that W.H. Griffith-Thomas, once of Dallas Seminary, in his 'Principles of Theology', at least allowed for the idea, and C.S. Lewis teaches it in 'The Last Battle', the last of the Narnia books chronologically. Dr. Hywel Jones of Westminster Seminary California has written an excellent work against it entitled 'Only One Way'.

"They also are to be had accursed that presume to say that every man shall be saved by the law or sect which he professeth, so that he be diligent to frame his life according to that law and the light of nature. For Holy Scripture doth set out to us only the name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved." (Aticle XVIII of the Church of England)

This error is increasing among evangelicals, no doubt, because it sounds nice and loving, but has only one problem - it kills mission. Because if the hypothetical ;'good pagan' HEARS and REJECTS the Gospel, then he would otherwise have been saved will be damned for ever. Far kinder to leave him in his error. But the Bible holds out no 'wider hope', for:
"How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10.14

Let others go with philosophical speculations. We shall remain standing on the all-sufficient Word of God.

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