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December 07, 2007

Comments

I've read a few posters here at the STR blog who might give it two thumbs up.

Ah yes, C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, good stuff, much more Christian friendly. But I wonder how you guys feel about the guy at the end of the last book in the series, The Last Battle, who spent his entire life worshiping the false God called Tash, yet Aslan accepts him? Thoughts?

Steve,

Lewis also wrote (either in The Problem of Pain or Mere Christianity - I can't recall which) that perhaps God would accept people of different religions who had never heard of Jesus of Nazareth. So I think, regarding the Tash-worshiping character, that Lewis quite possibly believed that people with no profession of faith in Christ can be saved.

This is an in-house debate among Christians.

What do you think?

Steve,

That's bc Lewis was an inclusivist. I noticed it in some of his other non-fictional writings also.

I found that at to be odd also.

What are your thoughts on 'the dwarves' that were taken into slavery yet wouldn't accept freedom when it was presented to them?
I had been toying around with the idea that they may represent indiginous peoples.

I dunno Steve, what do you think?

"I dunno Steve, what do you think?"

I love that part, I can't remember exactly when I read it, but it was some time after 9/11, so it was very easy to connect the fictional false religion with Islam. I wonder what inspired Lewis to include it, did he have a personal friend who he failed to convert? Or was it a more general assessment of good people of other faiths? I wonder if he believed mercy like this would be extended to anyone who lived a good life, or only those who were ignorant of Christ.

Steve,

c.s. lewis supported an inclusive flavor of Christianity. I think I might even get into heaven according to him.

Did anyone notice how crystal clear that preview was? High Deff. internet video is indeed god’s gift to man. Well I thought the first movie was absolute dulls ville, and left me more confused about the crucifixion, rather than inspired - so I won’t see this next movie(except maybe on fast forward).

At least the 3d effects are cool though.

I find this to be the main issue I have with Lewis. Inclusivism may seem like a nice way of thinking, but it's hardly biblically defensible.

Greg Koukl seems to be a bit of an inclusivist:
youtube.com/watch?v=XIXs5wOSVk4
Is his position also "hardly biblically defensible?"

Watch the whole video and you'll see that Greg is simply arguing that everyone knows right from wrong, except infants,etc.

He specifically says that those who have never heard the Gospel will be judged for their rebellion against God. And THAT is biblically defensible (you're not condemned because you rejected Christ - you're condemned because you've sinned against God). I'd hardly characterize Greg as an 'inclusivist'.

Anyway, here's food for thought: how do we know that those who have never heard the Gospel are not also those who would have rejected it anyway? It seems possible that God would do such a thing, doesn't it?

Dissapointing about Lewis.

William Lane Craig has a paper and some audio on his website about who goes to heaven.

I think he's also an inclusivist but to be honest his talk is over my head.

He explains each side of the issue whithout taking one. I'd really like to know what he belives on the subject.

Craig advocates molinism, which reconciles free moral agency and divine omniscience by appealing to middle knowledge - God also knows what free moral agents would do. So, it's conceivable that God would create a world where those who don't hear the gospel are those who would have freely chosen not to receive it even if they had heard it.

Of course, Craig can explain it better.

Steve,

So you see this is an in-house debate among Christians regarding the question, "How does God handle the eternal destinies of people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ?"

Since you brought up this issue, how would you answer this question?

"Watch the whole video"

I really wish people here would stop assuming things. I did watch the whole video and all his other videos. Greg Koukl says God wouldn't punish someone for a mistake of geography, I'm pretty sure that is what you would call "inclusivist" and is NOT Biblically defensible. His later statement, that "everyone will be judged for their rebellion against God" (except for Christians of course, because you've got Jesus to vouch for you) contradicts what he said first. It seems like he wants to have it both ways, the nice, politically correct, public image of an inclusivist and the more hardcore, biblically correct, exclusivist thinking that appeals to you and other Christians who want to be better than everyone else. oops, sorry, did I assume too much?

"it's conceivable that God would create a world where those who don't hear the gospel are those who would have freely chosen not to receive it even if they had heard it."

Sounds more like an excuse to be lazy to me.

"Since you brought up this issue, how would you answer this question?"

As an agnostic I can't say much. But if there is a just and merciful God who is going to give us an afterlife, I doubt he will favor Christians over anyone else.

Steve said: "But if there is a just and merciful God who is going to give us an afterlife, I doubt he will favor Christians over anyone else."

I guess it all depends on the nature of God. But since you have yet even to get to the reality of God's existence you are right to say that you can't say much.

It seems your first priority should be to seek God. I think perhaps your presence on this blog is part of that. I think God wants you to find him. I think he knows if you will or won't. It is, I believe, the most important question we must face in this life.

"It seems your first priority should be to seek God. I think perhaps your presence on this blog is part of that."

Don't listen to them Steve! I've been posting on this blog for three years and I believe less than ever!

:)

Steve,

Before I invest any time or energy in addressing your (mis)understanding of what Greg said, I need to know: might you be wrong? Might you be mistaken about what Greg was saying? I'm not asking this in principle; I really need to know that my answer won't fall on deaf ears.

"I need to know: might you be wrong? Might you be mistaken about what Greg was saying?"

Absolutely.

You have to start at the right place though. If Jesus is the only way to God, then so what if tribes in the middle of the jungle haven't heard. I know people who aren't Chistian because it's too "exclusivist". Say you are in a sinking ship and the crew won't let you on a life boat unless you put on a preserver. they have plenty of boats for everyone, but they have to were a preserver. Are you going to start by saying, "no, thats exclusivist, I should be allowed on whether I have one on or not." chances are, no. if the truth is that the boat is going down and you will die in the freezing water, I would put on the preserver, get on the boat, try to get others to do the same and then wonder why I had to where the preserver.

The truth is, we are condemned because of our sins by default. We need Jesus to rescue us. Rejecting Jesus because other people, for one reason or another, were not saved, seems unwise.

But I don't think people are condemned simply because they live to remotely to hear from a missionary. They are condemned by their crimes against God. But God has put much of his law in our hearts, we don't need a bible to understand basic truths about right and wrong. I think the "dwarves" in Lewis' story were an example of those people who reject even the basic truths, whatever God gives them, they do not realize. But the man who followed Tosh, he was giving his heart to the the good things done in the name of Tosh and rejecting the evil things. So when Aslan revealed himself, the man was ready, and understood that the good things done in the name of Tosh were actually Aslans. I don't think God would punish anyone for their geography or, in a way, getting his name wrong, but the latter does need correcting and God has promised that the seeker will find.

I think it ultimately comes down to what is in our hearts. Since we can't know with certainty what is in the hearts of others, there is no way of knowing with certainty whether they will be saved. What we can know is how to be saved by following the truths God revealed to us.

We can't know whether God will make an exception for someone who doesn't know these truths or even rejects them for some reason, since only He can see what is truly in their hearts. We can only see their actions or hear what they say they believe or don't believe. This gives us our only clues to what might be in their hearts. If their actions and beliefs don't match up to what God has revealed, that is a reason to believe they are not on a path to being saved and there is no reason to believe they will be.

So for those who don't know about the revealed truths of God or don't accept them as true, that is a good reason to try to show them. The most we can do is show them, keep showing them, and pray for them. If they still choose to reject it. That rejection is all we have to go off of and we can't know whether the rejection is a choice made in their heart, or whether it's possible that they are 'good' hearted and things just aren't making sense in their head. To say, with any certainty, that someone is saved who hasn't heard the Gospel (or even anyone for that matter) is to claim we know what is in their hearts. That's a pretty big claim to be made by any individual. We can only act on what we see as evidence of their hearts. God will ultimately make the final decision.

Tony,

Take some responsibility for yourself, man! Anyone with internet access can post on these blogs. If you are looking for a single, unified, irrefutable solution to all of your personal questions, you will NOT find it on a public weblog. Read Greg's articles. He's the top dog of this site. We are all his extended guests here.

Steve,

"As an agnostic I can't say much. But if there is a just and merciful God who is going to give us an afterlife, I doubt he will favor Christians over anyone else."

Thank you for your response. Does it make sense to you that, if God exists, He would simply allow everyone to enjoy eternal heaven, because this would be good and loving? That a divine Judge would surely spare multitudes from an unnecessary, endless torment out of basic compassion?

>>Or was it a more general assessment of good people of other faiths? I wonder if he believed mercy like this would be extended to anyone who lived a good life, or only those who were ignorant of Christ.

Who/what is good? What is the definition?

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