Tag Archives: accessibilism

Tensions regarding soteriology, within the Southern Baptist Convention

I am not a Southern Baptist, but I am a Baptist, and I watch with interest theological developments within the Southern Baptist Convention. Like many other Baptist associations, they have not clearly identified themselves as either Particular or General Baptists, that is, as Calvinistic or Arminian in their theology. This has caused significant tension in recent years, some of it possibly growing out of the “young, restless, and Reformed” movement because of the large number … Continue reading

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Romans 1, Calvin, and the usefulness of natural revelation in salvation

In my biblical and theological study of the possibility of the salvation of the unevangelized, I have presented a position that I call “accessibilism” (see Who Can Be Saved?). Among the varied understandings of how God makes salvation accessible to everyone, is a position I call “universal revelation accessibilism.” This asserts that God saves some people whose faith the Holy Spirit elicits through universal revelation alone. This idea does not sit well with many Calvinist … Continue reading

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Peter Kreeft’s accessibilist perspective re: the unevangelized

In Tough Questions Christians Ask, published by Christianity Today in 1989 and then reprinted as a web only article in 2003, Peter Kreeft answers 35 questions about eternity, mostly with regard to heaven. (The few questions about hell are answered interestingly, but it is difficult to tell from those answers alone whether or not Kreeft affirms annihilationism.) In general, I find his answers astute and helpful, particularly his willingness to grant that there is much we … Continue reading

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Miles on the Bible and religions

            It has been many months since I began to read and talk about Todd Miles’s book,  A God of Many Understandings?  Summer travel and moving rather messed up my academic pursuits and I am still getting back to them somewhat slowly. The Bible and religions In his second chapter, Todd gives 60 pages to a helpful review of what the Bible has to say about religions. He works his … Continue reading

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William Lane Craig affirms universal revelation accessibilism

“Salvation is truly available to all persons at all times. It all depends upon our free response.” W. L. Craig For years, I have been aware of a gospel exclusivist approach to the salvation of the unevangelized, formulated within a Molinist framework, and enunciated very clearly by William Lane Craig. In a number of publications, I have seen him argue that God has chosen a world in which everyone who would have believed the gospel, if … Continue reading

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The exclusivity of Christ and a Christian theology of religions

            The western world is increasingly diverse religiously, and so it has become more urgent that we have a well formulated understanding of how we should view and relate to the religions of the world and their adherents. This fact has not escaped the attention of either theologians or missiologists, so books have addressed it from various Christian perspectives. Todd Miles has come at the subject as an evangelical with … Continue reading

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Acts 2 and 10: gospel exclusivist or accessibilist?

Matthew Barrett examined an “inclusivist” reading of Acts 2 and 10 and found it wanting, in his 2011 ETS paper. He has done good work and his critique deserves consideration and response. Matthew Barrett’s critique of inclusivist readings Barrett studies Acts 2 because he has met inclusivist proposals that “the Spirit poured out on all flesh demonstrates that there is a saving, universal work of the Spirit even apart from the proclamation of the gospel … Continue reading

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How recklessly should we sow the seed of God’s Word?

I was stimulated by Louis McBride’s short blog post today, and so I’m sharing the thoughts his post triggered for me. I’d better  clip in the whole of Louis’s post, since it is brief and gives you what fostered my comments. Louis McBride’s post: In reading Kevin Harney’s new book Reckless Faith he offers a perspective on the parable of the sower that I’ve not heard before. He writes,  People who live day-to-day, subsistence farming (like most … Continue reading

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How correct must our theology be for our faith to be saving?

Some time ago, I spoke about the aha experience I had, while leading an evangelistic Bible study in the home of a Roman Catholic family, when I first began to ask myself whether it is possible to be justified by faith if one does not know that justification is by faith. That came back to me tonight as I read a delightful post by Justin Taylor, “How much doctrine can one distort or deny and … Continue reading

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Accessibilist conclusions from a woman who claims an after-death experience

I have not read any books by people claiming to have an out of the body experience (OBE), and I don’t have a theory to explain any of them. Given that the apostle Paul may have had one, I’m not prepared to deny that anyone else has too. Paul himself was not sure whether he was in the body or out of it (2 Cor 12:2-3), but Paul’s was not an after-death experience. Though Paul … Continue reading

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