I received this question
from an highly regarded internationally known theologian. There is reticence on the part of many to agree with the premise of
Evanngelical Inclusivism because the first two Biblical Facts that I
offer to support this view (see INTRODUCTION) are contrardictory.
As to the reticence, it may be due to a feeling that
what you are proposing is not coherent. The two biblical facts
are contradictory. If the first is true, all must be saved.
But according to the second they are not. It is repugnant
to believe contraries. Would this explain the reticence?
God Bless, (signed)
My Response: The two facts' are not contradictory. I invariably I refer
to the passages (e.g. Romans 5:18) as the "SO-CALLED" universalistic
passages because they are not universals. They are generalizations. A generalization is a universal
declaration that has known exceptions. Therefore it is not so that
'If the first is true, all must be saved.'
The three major theological
traditions have made the error of viewing these passages as "true
universals" having no exceptions:
UNIVERSALISTS — salvation is for
all persons without any exception.
ARMINIANS — say there is a potential or possible salvation for
all persons without any exception.'
CALVINISTS — have made the same error. They say those passages
refer to 'All elect persons without any exception.'
We make a very serious error either if we do not accept what
these passages say or if we refuse to recognize the exceptions
that are found in the broader context of the bible. The clearest example of the Bible using generalizations is I Cor. 15:27 "For he 'has put everything under his feet.'
Now when it (the Bible) says that 'everything' has been put under
him, it is clear that this does not include God himself who put everything
This principle must be applied to Hebrews 2:8 "In putting everything under him, God left nothing that is not subject to him." Even in the Scriptures universal statements may have exceptions (see Posting #3).
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