Tag Archives: unevangelized

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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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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D’ Costa’s critique of Strange’s subversive fulfilment interpretation of other religions

Dialogue between Gavin D’Costa and Daniel Strange D’Costa’s response to Strange’s position Gavin D’Costa begins his response to Daniel Strange’s subversive fulfilment approach by enumerating numerous foundational points of agreement, but he is conscious of a Calvinist-Catholic divide that is daunting (145-46). Among points of difference which D’Costa attributes to this divide are: Dan’s rejection of the concept of “invincible ignorance,” which arose within Catholic theology in the 16th century and was particularly emphasized in … Continue reading

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Knitter’s critique of Strange’s subversive fulfilment interpretation of other religions

Dialogue between Paul Knitter and Daniel Strange The largest distance between perspectives in this book exists between Paul Knitter’s unitive pluralist approach and Daniel Strange’s subversive fulfilment approach, so we will begin with their conversation and then take up D`Costa`s critique in another post.   Knitter’s response to Strange Paul Knitter chose to focus on what he believes are dangers in Dan’s arguments, namely, the elements that can be harmful – to “the individual Christian … Continue reading

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A “subversive fulfilment” interpretation of other religions

  Daniel Strange gives a third Christian perspective on other religions, in chapter 3 of Only One Way? Three Christian Responses to the Uniqueness of Christ in a Pluralistic World. Daniel Strange’s proposal Since Dan is the only one of the three authors whom I know personally, I am going to switch to referring to him that way in this section dealing with his material. Calling him “Strange” sounds a bit too distant for my … Continue reading

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Conversation about D’ Costa’s fulfillment approach

Paul Knitter’s response to D’ Costa Knitter responds to Gavin D’ Costa as a fellow Catholic and a friend, but he asserts that D’ Costa is wrong on a number of critical points: D’ Costa thinks tradition to be “like a wise man living through the centuries, learning to adjust and speak different languages as times and cultures change,” whereas Knitter images it as “a couple procreating new embodiments of truth and so producing a … Continue reading

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A “fulfillment” approach to other religions

The proper Christian approach and attitude to other religions and their adherents is not a new issue for Christianity. The church of the second century faced it squarely. But the ease of world travel, and the increasing diversity of the population in western nations, have made this a pressing issue for us in our time. Not all Christian theologians agree on the correct answers, and so we need a constructive conversation about this, within the … Continue reading

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Accessibilism and missionary motivation

Gospel exclusivists frequently express grave concern that, if Christians were to believe that God saves some people who do not hear the gospel from a human messenger, they would become unwilling to make the costly sacrifice that the missionary mandate requires of Jesus’ followers. Since reaching accessibilist convictions myself, I have taken that concern seriously because I would be extremely sorry if I contributed to any diminishment of the church’s commitment to global evangelism. Growing … Continue reading

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