Analysis Of Four Views On Salvation In A Pluralistic World

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Four Views on Salvation in a Pluralistic World is a collection of essays, which presents contending views on salvation. Outlining their case, and also responding and critiquing each, the authors John Hick, Clark Pinnock, Alister McGrath, R. Douglas Geivett, and W. Gary Phillips provide the reader a platform for discussion. The book begins with the pluralistic view, where Hick argues salvation as being universally available through all ethical religions. Set apart from Hick’s liberal position, the three other views are progressively conservative. These views range from inclusivism (Pinnock), to particularism (McGrath), and finally exclusive particularism (Geivett and Phillips). Objectively, the purpose of the book is to promote the importance…show more content…
By denouncing the Bible’s authority, Hick is able to properly denounce Christ as God incarnate. However, as Geivett and Phillips correctly relate, Hick’s problems fall within the category of Bible difficulties where “phenomena reported in the Bible [conflict] with scientific knowledge” (71). Yet outside Hick’s coherent mind, the physical world does contain paradoxes and mysteries, which scientists have come to accept as reality without much dissonance. Hick wrongly undermines the Early Church’s conclusions about Jesus Christ; especially in the compiling and evaluation of all the evidence related to him. Contrary to Hick’s ideals, a pluralistic utopia violates the integrity of Christian tradition by distorting Christian doctrine which is…show more content…
Each author’s view is heavily marked by their understanding of the Bible and theology, and as a consequence, sheds greater light on the need for exceptional hermeneutics and purity of historical Christian tradition. Aside from contending the exact mechanism of salvation, the book discloses the theological bedrock used to characterize God. Within the space of the book itself, both Hick and Pinnock present a syncretized picture of Christianity with world religion and culture. Thus, both cases appeared less appealing and more distorting of Christ and the gospel. Left between McGrath and Geivett/ Phillips, the case presented is more difficult to resolve. The Geivett/ Phillips view espouses a logical and evidential condition to receiving salvation, which appears to undermine the mysterious and glorious work of the Holy Spirit in an individual’s heart. Therefore, I find McGrath’s position as the reasonable and correct view. In my opinion and understanding of the Bible, God’s salvation work cannot be bound to human
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