The Christian faith makes a claim that is increasingly unpopular in the 21st century.
By Gerhard Pfandl
In 1779, the German writer and philosopher Gotthold Ephraim Lessing wrote the play Nathan the Wise. Set in Jerusalem during the Third Crusade, it describes how the wise Jewish merchant Nathan, the enlightened sultan Saladin, and a young Christian Templar bridge the gaps between Judaism, Islam, and Christianity.
The centerpiece of the work is the so-called ring parable, narrated by Nathan, who was asked by sultan Saladin which of the three religions (Islam, Judaism, or Christianity) was true. In the parable, an heirloom ring with the magical ability to render its owner pleasant in the eyes of God and humankind had been passed from father to the son he loved most. When it came to a father of three sons whom he loved equally, he promised it to each of them. Looking for a way to keep his promise, “He decided to have made two more rings, so exactly like the first that he was unable to distinguish among them, and gave one to each son.”1
But the sons fought among themselves, each claiming to have the original ring. This, Nathan points out, is just like the Jews, the Mohammedans, and the Christians who are arguing about their three faiths. The judge to whom the sons finally went told them: “If each of you received this ring straight from his father’s hand, let each believe his own to be the true and genuine ring. Of this you may be sure: your father loved you all, and it was his ardent wish that all of you should love one another.”2
Lessing’s main point was that each of the three religions is equal in importance. It was up to the individual believer to live a life acceptable to God. When the play was published, the Catholic Church forbade the performance of the play during Lessing’s lifetime.
In a sense Lessing was way ahead of his time. When he wrote the play, Christianity was still considered by most Christians to be the only true religion. This was the conviction of the many missionaries who left their homeland during the 19th century to go to the far reaches of the world to “convert the heathen.” And what a job they did! During the 19th century, Christianity increased from 23 percent of the world population in the year 1800 to 34 percent in the year 1900.3 The century of mission, as the 19th century in church history is now called, increased the percentage of Christians in the world by more than one-third.
The Rise of Theological Liberalism
While men like John Williams, Robert Moffatt, and Hudson Taylor advanced the kingdom of God here on earth significantly during the 19th century, the rise of theological liberalism and the onslaught of evolution in the same century changed the face of Christianity. Liberal theology’s emphasis on the immanence of God in all human beings led to the belief that by an evolutionary process the indwelling Spirit brings human beings to a “moral and spiritual perfection within history.”4 Therefore, all religions were seen as ways to God; they needed to cooperate and accept one another as equal partners.
Because Christ was considered merely a human teacher who founded a new religion, He had no claim to uniqueness or superiority; He could be classed with all other religious leaders. Liberal theologians, therefore, began to shift their attention from proclaiming the kingdom of God, i.e., the message of salvation from sin, to the social gospel—the coming kingdom upon earth. Christians turned increasingly “from the expectation of heavenly bliss to the hope of a radical transformation of life upon earth.”5 This led to a rethinking of the purpose of mission.
The Beginnings of the Inter-faith Movement
In 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago on the shore of Lake Michigan. In conjunction with it, a World Parliament of Religions convened to show the contribution of religion to humanity. The Parliament was dominated by English-speaking representatives from Protestant, Orthodox, and Catholic churches, who delivered 152 of the 194 papers presented at this conference. “The opportunity for the leaders from other religious traditions was limited but significant; 12 speakers represented Buddhism, 11 Judaism, 8 Hinduism, 2 Islam, 2 [Parsism], 2 Shintoism, 2 Confucianism, 1 Taoism, and 1 Jainism.”6 Nevertheless, it was the beginning of what is today called the inter-faith movement.
The three speeches of the Hindu delegate Swami Vivekananda drew the most attention from the American public. John Barrows recorded that when Vivekananda addressed the audience as “sisters and brothers of America,” they went into rapture with “a peal of applause that lasted for several minutes.”7 The archbishop of Canterbury, Edward White Benson, however, refused to attend on the grounds “that participation would compromise the uniqueness of Christianity and imply that other religions were its equal.”8
As a result of the 1893 Parliament, the religious atmosphere in America changed considerably. R. H. Seager says that after the Parliament “there were many new ways to be religious. One could be saved or self-realized or grow in God consciousness or be self-emptied. And as America itself continued to pursue its messianic mission, it was a nation under a changed God . . . other deities had been tucked up in the nation’s sacred canopy. . . America had gone into the Parliament claiming to be a cosmopolitan nation and had come out having to live up to the claim. There was no going back.”9
In the 1930s, the book Re-thinking Missions was published by the Laymen’s Foreign Mission Inquiry. It recognized that the missionaries in the 19th century had gone out believing that unless they brought the gospel to the millions of people who had never heard the name of Jesus they would all be lost. By 1931, however, the theological outlook had changed. The mode of creation, the descent of man, miracles, and the view of hell had changed to what the report called “happier conceptions of destiny.”10
The report does not present Christianity as the final truth, but sees all religions as seeking the final truth. Jesus, therefore, belongs to the same category of individuals as Buddha or Mohammed. “The commission recognized the primary effect this changed concept would have on mission work. If men are saved by a sincere seeking for God in whatever religion they may be, then there is no longer need for urgent haste on part of the missionary or the Christian Church to proclaim a message of salvation to those who would be lost if they did not receive it.”11
In the 20th century, therefore, Christianity made no progress in evangelizing the world. At the beginning and at the end of the century, the percentage of Christians in the world was the same—about one-third of the world population.
The World Congress of Faiths
An important milestone in the inter-faith movement was the founding of the World Congress of Faiths by Sir Francis Younghusband, a British officer who spent many years in India and Tibet, where he fell under the spell of Oriental religions.
In 1951, the World Congress of Faiths published a brochure titled "The World Congress of Faiths—Its Objects, Message and Work," which says: “The object of the World Congress of Faiths is to promote the spirit of fellowship among mankind and to do so through religion. . . . We endeavor while maintaining our own faiths to learn what the worshippers of Brahma and Jehovah and Allah, what the followers of Zoroaster, Laotze, Confucius, Buddha and of Jesus were and are."12
A prominent member and its chairman from 1974-1978 was Bishop George Appleton, Anglican archbishop of Jerusalem, who concluded his address to the annual conference of the World Congress of Faiths in 1975 with the statement: “We are beginning to see Truth in all religions—even God in all. Every religion has a mission; when put together, they give an idea of the magnificence, the depth and joy of God’s total creation.”13
While in 1893 the Archbishop of Canterbury refused to participate in the World Parliament of Religions, almost a century later, in 1986, Robert Runcie, then Archbishop of Canterbury, delivered the Sir Francis Younghusband Memorial Lecture in which he stated that for Christians the life of Jesus would always remain the primary source of knowledge about God, but “other faiths reveal other aspects of God which may enrich and enlarge our Christian understanding.”14
The inter-faith movement has become an important part of the modern religious world. In England, the annual Commonwealth Day is marked by a multi-faith service in Westminster Abbey in which Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic readings and prayers predominate. In 1993, the Second World Parliament of Religions, like the first in 1893, was held in Chicago. “It opened with a number of ‘blessings’ from a variety of religious sources. One of these was given by the High-Priestess of the Temple of Isis, ‘in the name of the 10,000 names, the spirits, the birds, the reptiles and trees.’”15
The Inter-Faith Association of Edinburgh has called for a radical change of approach to mission: “The attempt to convert a committed member of another faith inevitably implies a judgment that the other faith is mistaken or, at the very least, inadequate by comparison with the missionary’s own faith. It may consequently be experienced as a disrespectful dishonouring of what that faith holds most sacred and most dear.”16
No wonder the Prince of Wales in a television interview in 1994 suggested that the British sovereign’s title should be “Defender of the Divine” rather than “Defender of the Faith,” which goes back to Henry VIII’s defense of the Catholic faith against Martin Luther.
The Inter-faith Movement and the Roman Catholic Church
For most of its history, the Roman Catholic Church has taught that there is no salvation outside of the church. This concept goes back to Cyprian the bishop of Carthage in the third century, who wrote, “Outside of the church there is no salvation.”17
This concept was held by the church at large for the next one thousand years. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared, “There is indeed one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which nobody at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is both priest and sacrifice.”18 Pope Boniface VIII in 1302 stated, “Urged on by our faith, we are obliged to believe and hold that there is one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. And we firmly believe and profess that outside of her there is no salvation and no remission of sins.”19 A century later, Pope Eugene IV in 1441 proclaimed: “The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives.”20
Throughout the Middle Ages, it seems, non-Catholics were all considered lost. At the Council of Trent (1545-1563), however, a window was opened for non-Catholics to be saved. The decree of Trent on justification states: “By those words there is suggested a description of the justification of the sinner: how there is a transition from that state in which a person is born as a child of the first Adam to the state of grace and of adoption as children of God, through the agency of the second Adam, Jesus Christ our savior; indeed this transition, once the gospel has been promulgated, cannot take place without the waters of rebirth or the desire for them, as it is written: Unless a man is born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.”21
According to this decree, the transition from the state of being lost to being saved takes place through “the waters of rebirth,” that is baptism “or the desire for them,” i.e., in some cases the desire itself for baptism is sufficient for justification. Philip O’Reilly explains the desire for baptism by saying, “The doctrine of the Baptism of Desire is one of many consoling proofs of God’s love for men. It means simply that anyone with the use of reason who is deprived of sacramental baptism may attain heaven by sorrow for sin and a desire to comply with God’s will.”22 Many people, it is believed, come to God in this way through non-Christian religions. Karl Rahner, one of the foremost Catholic theologians of the twentieth century, called these people in non-Christian religions “anonymous Christians.”23
The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) made a very positive assessment of non-Christian religions: “There are those who without any fault do not know anything about Christ or his Church, yet who search for God with a sincere heart and, under the influence of grace, try to put into effect the will of God as known to them through the dictate of conscience: these too can obtain eternal salvation.”24
Pope John Paul II organized the Day of Prayer for Peace on October 27, 1986 in Assisi. “In addition to Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, [Bahá’ís,] and Shintoists, representatives of primitive cults including snake worshippers from Togo were among the gathering.”25 The pope explained that the different religions were to pray separately, but that they would all be praying to the same God.
In 1991, he wrote that it is by sincerely practicing what is good in their own religious traditions and “by following the dictates of their own conscience that the members of other religions respond positively to God’s invitation and receive salvation in Jesus Christ, even while they do not recognize or acknowledge him as their Saviour.”26
This seems to be the view of most Protestants—including the majority of Seventh-day Adventists.
The Argument From Romans 2
The argument that if people follow their conscience they will be saved is based on Paul’s statement in Romans 2:12-16: “For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law
(for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”27
But does Romans 2:14 really teach that Gentiles have by nature an inner law (their conscience) which, if they follow it, will save them without any knowledge of the gospel? Some may point to John 1:9: “The true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world” to support the view that every person in this world receives sufficient light for salvation, but is this supported by the rest of Scripture?
In this age of religious pluralism, in which the ecumenical movement reaches out to people beyond the borders of Christianity, the question is frequently raised whether upright adherents to the African traditional religions, as well as good Muslims, Hindus, or Buddhists are really outside a salvific relationship with God? How can Christians, in this day and age, maintain their claim that salvation is found only in Jesus Christ?
The Scriptural Evidence
That knowledge of the gospel is necessary for salvation is the general teaching of Scripture. Jesus not only declared that no one can come to the Father but through Him (John 14:6), but He also stated repeatedly that “‘He who does not believe will be condemned’ ” (Mark 16:16; John 3:18). And faith without some knowledge is impossible.
Paul in Romans 10 first states that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved (10:13), but then he argues, “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? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? . . . So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (vss. 14, 15, 17). The answer to each of Paul’s questions is “they cannot”—they cannot call on the Lord unless somebody is sent to tell them about the Lord. Somebody must go and preach the good news.
John Stott observes that “the essence of Paul’s argument is seen if we put his six verbs in the opposite order: Christ sends heralds; heralds preach; people hear; hearers believe; believers call; and those who call are saved.”28 The opposite, of course, is also true: if nobody is sent to preach, people cannot hear, they cannot believe, hence they cannot call, and therefore they are lost.
The Apostle John wrote, “He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12), and Paul said, to be without Christ is to be without hope (Eph. 2:12). According to Peter, salvation was possible only through Jesus Christ: “‘Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved’” (Acts 4:12), and “Peter does not appear to be referring to Jesus merely as the ontological ground of salvation—that is, as the sole source of atonement. Rather, he is indicating what must be acknowledged about Jesus before one can be saved.”29 The general teaching of Scripture seems to be that unless people hear the gospel of Jesus Christ they are lost, but what about Romans 2? Does it show another possibility?
The Issue in Romans 2
The issue in Romans 2:11-16 is the accountability, not the salvation of Jews and Gentiles. The fact that God is no respecter of persons (vs. 11) is illustrated by what Paul says in verse 12: “As many as have sinned without law will also perish30 without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law.” Those “without law” are the Gentiles who do not have the written law, given to the Israelites on Mount Sinai. They will not perish, however, because they did not have the written law, they will perish because they are sinners.
On what basis can they be said to be sinners? They are sinners because they have transgressed against the law “written in their hearts, their conscience” (vs. 15). What is written in their hearts is not the new covenant mentioned in Jeremiah 31:31-34, but the deeds or conduct required by the law. Jack Blanco’s expanded paraphrase of verse 15 says, “They give evidence that the principles of the law are written in their hearts because their consciences are guided by God.”31 Among the Gentiles, conscience performed the same function as the law performed among the Jews.
This passage, therefore, cannot be used to argue that the Gentiles who have never heard the gospel will be saved on the basis of their obedience to their conscience, because this would be salvation by works. Furthermore, it needs to be emphasized once more that this passage is not speaking about salvation but about judgment (2:16). Paul contrasts two groups of people, the privileged Jews who have the written law of God and the less-privileged Gentiles, who do not. How can God be fair to both and judge them impartially? Each, says Paul, will be judged by the method appropriate to their case. The Jews will be judged by the written law, and the Gentiles by the unwritten law of their conscience. Judged in this way, both groups will be found to be sinners. The Jews, it will be found, have sinned against the written law of God and the Gentiles against the unwritten law of their conscience. The outcome, therefore, is the same for both groups—they are sinners and they are all lost. Both can be saved only through the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross.
The statement that the Gentiles “do by nature the things in the law” refers to the fact that even pagans practice things stipulated by the law of God, “such as the pursuit of lawful vocations, the procreation of offspring, filial and natural affection, the care of the poor and sick, and numerous other natural virtues which are required by the law.”32 In that sense they “are a law to themselves” (2:14), i.e., they have a general knowledge of God’s requirements for a virtuous life. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that even if a Gentile would live up to all the law his conscience reveals to him, this could not save him, otherwise it would be salvation by works, something Paul clearly denies. Throughout his writings he hammers home the truth that “a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (3:28, etc.).
One of the purposes of the written law as well as of the law of conscience is to provide a basis for God’s judgment. While the Gentiles have no explicit knowledge of the written law, God can still judge them “in the day when God will judge the secrets of men” (2:16) because they have transgressed against their conscience-law. On judgment day no one will have an excuse, no one will be able to say, “Lord, how can you judge me, I did not know anything about your law.” That day will reveal that all, Jews and Gentiles alike, have sinned because “‘there is none righteous, no, not one’” (3:10).
Thus, Romans 2 is in harmony with the general teaching of the rest of Scripture. There is only one way of salvation: Jesus Christ (John 14:6). “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (17:3). Paul therefore says, “I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil. 3:8, NRSV).
Jesus’ commission, “‘Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations’” (Matt. 28:19) and the knowledge that there is only one way of salvation (Acts 12:4) have been the driving force behind Christian mission. The conviction that people will be lost unless they hear the gospel has sent thousands of missionaries into lands where the name of Christ was unknown. But does this mean that everyone who does not hear the gospel is therefore automatically lost?
The Inclusivist View
Inclusivists believe that because God is omnipresent, God’s grace is also at work in some way among all people. They place great emphasis on the work of the Holy Spirit in reaching people who never hear the gospel preached.
“The world is the arena of God’s presence, and the Spirit knocks on every human heart, preparing people for the coming of Christ; the Spirit is ever working to realize the saving thrust of God’s promise for the world. From the Spirit flows that universal gracing that seeks to lead all people into the fuller light and love.”33
They see their biblical foundation in texts like John 1:9: “‘The true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world’” and John 12:32: “‘And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.’” Since God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4), He must give everyone the opportunity to be saved. Paul therefore says, “The grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11). God, they say, never leaves Himself without witness among all people (Acts 14:17), and Jesus spoke of “‘other sheep I have which are not of this fold’” (John 10:16).
Inclusivists point to biblical examples such as Melchizedek (Gen. 14:17-24) and Cornelius (Acts 10:1-48) to show that God was at work in pagan cultures, saving people who responded to the activities of the Holy Spirit. Clark Pinnock goes so far as to say, “I welcome the Saiva Siddhanta literature of Hinduism, which celebrates a personal God of love . . . I also respect the Buddha as a righteous man (Matt 10:41) and Mohammed as a prophetic figure in the style of the Old Testament.”34 At the same time, he is careful not to attribute salvific power to other religions. He recognizes that the Holy Spirit is the power unto salvation, not other religions. “God saves through faith, through a heart response not confined to a religious framework.”35
It is certainly true that the Holy Spirit’s activities cannot be confined to the boundaries of Christian churches. At the same time, however, we must be careful not to see God at work in all religions just because they have some elements of truth. In the great controversy between Christ and Satan, the latter may use many nuggets of truth to deceive people into thinking a particular religion or teaching is of God. Thus while inclusivism has some merit, it goes beyond what the biblical evidence permits. It is, however, widely accepted among supporters of the inter-faith movement.
The Work of the Holy Spirit Among Non-Christians
As Seventh-day Adventists, we have a high regard for the writings of Ellen G. White. On the topic under consideration, she has some very interesting observations. On the one hand she said that “The world will perish unless it be given a knowledge of God through His chosen agencies.”36 And “Multitudes perish for want of Christian teaching. Beside our own doors and in foreign lands the heathen are untaught and unsaved.”37
On the other hand, she wrote: “Among the heathen are those who worship God ignorantly, those to whom the light is never brought by human instrumentality, yet they will not perish. Though ignorant of the written law of God, they have heard His voice speaking to them in nature, and have done the things that the law required. Their works are evidence that the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts, and they are recognized as the children of God.”38
“In the depths of heathenism, men who have had no knowledge of the written law of God, who have never even heard the name of Christ, have been kind to His servants, protecting them at the risk of their own lives. Their acts show the working of a divine power. The Holy Spirit has implanted the grace of Christ in the heart of the savage, quickening his sympathies contrary to his nature, contrary to his education.”39
In each case, it is the Holy Spirit or the angels of God reaching out to these individuals and implanting the grace of God in their hearts. These heathens are not saved because they have done the works their conscience told them to do. (This would be salvation by works.) They are saved because the Holy Spirit has touched their hearts and revealed God’s love to them.
Ellen White’s comments regarding the salvation of the heathen fall into three categories: (1) The majority of her statements make it clear that God’s general way of saving the heathens is through the church. (2) In some quotations, she indicates that God brings honest people among the heathen in contact with the gospel. (3) In some cases God, through the Holy Spirit, speaks to individuals in heathen lands and brings them the gospel without any human messengers.
God’s usual way of saving the heathen is through the preaching of the gospel, but occasionally for reasons known only to Him, God reaches out to people who have never heard and never will hear the gospel and brings salvation to them. Such occasions, however, are not the rule but the exception.
Some will object to this teaching and argue that God’s justice requires that every person receive an opportunity for salvation. While this seems perfectly logical, it is nevertheless unscriptural. Ezekiel 3:18 and 33:8 teach that the watchman is to warn the wicked so he can mend his ways. If he is not warned, God says, he will die in his sins, but the watchman is held responsible. Similarly, Romans 10 teaches that it is the responsibility of those who know the gospel to pass it on. If this is not done, people will be lost. We must never forget that the so-called holy books of non-Christian religions such as the Vedas of Hinduism, the Dharma of Buddhism, the Qur’an of the Muslims, and the Zend Avesta of the Zoroastrianism present salvation by works, whereas Christianity teaches salvation by faith.
Scripture teaches that there is only one name under heaven whereby human beings can be saved (Acts 4:12). Christianity is exclusive because only Jesus lived the life we should have lived and died the death we should have died. None of the other great founders of religions, Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad, did that. And only Christ lives today and ministers for humans in the heavenly sanctuary. None of the other religions has a post-resurrection ministry by their leaders, nor do they have a Holy Spirit to apply salvation.
For more than a hundred years, the inter-faith movement has promoted the concept that all religions are equal, that Christians may have a shortcut to heaven, but all the others will get there as well. This idea is not in harmony with Scripture. It is based on human wisdom, not divine revelation.
Though in general God saves the people through the preaching of the gospel, there are occasions when He intervenes directly and through the Holy Spirit touches the hearts of people to bring salvation to them without any human agent. Why he does so in some cases and not in others, only He knows. However, knowing that billions of people have never even heard the name of Jesus should motivate every Christian to do all he or she can, to spread the good news worldwide.
Gerhard Pfandl, Ph.D., is Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute, Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S.A.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
1. See http://www.theatredatabase.com/18th_century/nathan_the_wise.html. Accessed August 31, 2011.
3. David B. Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia (Oxford: University Press, 1982), p. 3.
4. Kenneth Cauthen, The Impact of American Religious Liberalism (New York: Harper and Row, 1962), p. 222.
5. H. Richard Niebhur, The Kingdom of God in America (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1935), p. 151.
6. R. H. Seager, The World’s Parliament of Religions, Chicago, Illinois, 1893: America’s Religious Coming of Age (Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, 1986), p. 87.
7. John H. Barrows, ed., The World’s Parliament of Religions: An Illustrated and Popular Story of the World’s First Parliament of Religions, Held in Chicago in Connection with the Columbian Exposition of 1893 (Chicago: The Parliament Publ. Co., 1893), vol. I, p. 101.
8. Herbert J. Pollitt, The Inter-Faith Movement (Carlisle, Pa.: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1996), p. 4.
9. R. H. Seager, op cit., p. 277.
10. William E. Hocking, chairman, Re-thinking Missions (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1932), p. 19.
11. Rubin R. Widmer, Jesus, the Light of the World (Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Publ. Assn., 1967), p. 23.
12. Herbert J. Pollit, op cit., p. 5.
13. Ibid., p. 9.
14. Ibid., p. 12.
15. Ibid., p. 19.
16. Mission, Dialogue and Inter-Religious Encounter (London: Inter-Faith Network, 1993), p. 6.
17. Cyprian Epistle 72.21 (ANF 5:384).
18. Norman P. Tanner, Decrees of the Ecumenical Councils (London: Sheed and Ward, 1990), vol. 1, p. 230.
19. Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church (Peabody, Mass.: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1882-1910, 2002), vol. 6, p. 25.
20. Http://foru, vol. I ms.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=134267. Accessed August 29, 2011.
21. Norman P. Tanner, op cit., vol. 2, p. 672.
22. Philip O’Reilly, 1000 Questions and Answers on Catholicism (New York: Guild Press, 1956), p. 138.
23. Karl Rahner, The Church (New York: Kennedy, 1963), p. 135.
24. Norman P. Tanner, op cit., vol. 2, p. 861.
25. Herbert J. Pollit, op cit., p. 74.
26. John Paul II, Instruction Dialogue and Proclamation (May 19, 1991), n. 29; L’Osservatore Romano English edition (July 1, 1991), p. 3.
27. Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references in this article are quoted from The New King James Version of the Bible.
28. John Stott, Romans (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1994), p. 286.
29. R. Douglas Geivett and W. Gary Phillips, “A Particularist View: An Evidential Approach” in Stanley N. Gundry, ed., Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996), p. 231.
30. The word apollumai is used in John 3:16 and 1 Corinthians 1:18 to refer to the ultimate destiny of unbelievers.
31. Jack Blanco, The Clear Word (Hagerstown, Md.: Review and Herald Publ. Assn., 2000).
32. John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publ. Co., 1965), p. 73.
33. Clark H. Pinnock, “An Inclusivist View,” in Stanley N. Gundry, ed. Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 1996), p. 104.
34. Ibid., p. 110.
35. Ibid., p. 117.
36. Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 459.
37. The Ministry of Healing, p. 288.
38. The Desire of Ages, p. 638.
39. Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 385.