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What About Those Who Have Never Heard?: Three Views on the Destiny of the Unevangelized (Spectrum Multiview Book Series Spectrum Multiview Book Serie) Paperback – July 7, 1995
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About the Author
Ronald H. Nash (1936-2006) served as a professor of religion and philosophy for many years, teaching at Western Kentucky University, Reformed Theological Seminary and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. His many books include The Gospel and the Greeks, Life's Ultimate Questions and Is Jesus the Only Savior?
John Sanders (Th.D., University of South Africa) is professor of religion at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He has edited and written several books, including No Other Name: An Investigation into the Destiny of the Unevangelized. Three of his previous book projects have received a Christianity Today Book Award.
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Top Customer Reviews
"What about those who have never heard" was written by three authors (Fackre, Nash, Sanders) who each holds to a different scheme for grasping salvation. But what is important, is that all three agree on the authority of the scripture and on the fact that anyone who is saved is so because of Jesus's ultimate sacrifice; without Jesus's sacrifice on the cross, all humanity is doomed. What they disagree upon, is the degree of knowledge one should have about this great atonement event and the timing of this awareness.
John Sanders argues for Inclusivism meaning that God saves people only through the work of Jesus, but some may be saved even if they have never heard about Christ. The importance is not the degree of "knowledge" about Christ, but the "faith in God" as it was revealed to the person. So, according to this view, responding positively to the light and the law written in their heart will be viewed as righteous and thus, the work of christ will be counted on their behalf. Romans 2 is given as a basis.
Gabriel Fackre argues that receptive knowledge of Christ is necessary for salvation, but that this knowledge is not restricted to this lifetime. Non-christian believers will get the chance to hear the gospel post-mortem and decide whether they accept it or not. Fackre calls it "divine perseverance", meaning that death will not stop God from allowing us to know the true gospel.Read more ›
1 We don’t know.
2 God sends more light to those who respond to His revelation in Creation et al.
3 God saves those who would have believed in Christ if they had heard of Him.
4 Jesus can come to those in near death (or actual dying) experiences and offer salvation.
5 God will try to save as many as he can. No single method, but many ways.
6 Opposite of 5, God only saves the few, the elite, the elect. The rest? Tough.
Three big options are expounded, one at a time, then has the holes poked or objections raised by the other two writers.
Sanders proposes the inclusive option. God wants to save all. Jesus died for all. Salvation is only through Him, but may come outside of the church. Some of Christ’s parables and statements seem to indicate you are included until you exclude yourself by rejecting God‘s grace. He examines Paul‘s teachings and gets a friendlier result than the other two. Yes, Creation etc can work but Jesus is faster, clearer and better. (By the way, do you need a PHD degree in the atonement, propitiation, etc. to get saved? Or are you saved despite not having full knowledge of everything involved? And then spend the rest of your life and even eternity learning more?)
Then Frackre gives a post death attempt of Jesus redoing His descent to hell after the crucifixion. To present the gospel to the bad side of sheol this time instead of Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise. He doesn’t mention if this is a daily, weekly, annual or whatever visit, and really takes Bible verses out of context to present this.
Nash presents a version of #6 above.Read more ›
You'll want to read someone else to get a proper perspective on the restrictivist view.
Certainly, we who hold the Lutheran confession would side with Nash, who easily out of the three represented does the most exemplary job of using God's Word correctly. Nash is correct in his chastisement of his two opponents for not lack of good exegesis of the Bible. It is truly sad but commonplace to find such poor, hurried exegeis as exemplified by Sanders and Fackre.
It would have been good to have one argue: univesal grace, grace alone, the means of grace, and the mystery of why some saved and others not? This would have given the complete Biblical picture. This is not demonstrated by any of the three in this book.
However, as exemplary as Nash is with his defense of restrictivism by not only showing the proper exegesis and hermeneutic of the other two sides, he has some glaring weaknesses himself. As those of the Reformed are bent to do, they always want to let logic and reason dominate, rather than letting God's Word suffice.
Or as Luther would say, "What is not spoken of in God's Word must be left to the heavenly academy for resolution." We do not have all the answers to all mysteries in God's Word!" As Moses said so profoundly on his deathbed, "The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever." (Deut. 29:29)
Nash suffers, as Sanders catches him, on Double Predestination. Calvinists cannot say that Christ died for all, but only for the elect. This is the classic error of Calvin. As well, they hedge the truth of God's Scriptures of the Real Presence in the Sacrament.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book addresses a very important issue in the Bible: What happens to people who die, and have never heard of Jesus? Do they go to heaven or hell? Read morePublished on December 11, 2012 by David the Dancer
I thought the book was very well written expressing the three viewpoints that most Christians may have on this very controversial yet important subject. Read morePublished on August 9, 2010 by Ronald R. Wlodyga
The text, as a whole, was interesting reading but I felt the authors left out some much needed historical items for discussion. Read morePublished on November 26, 2007 by Crazy Horse
I Havent finished the book yet but it does talk about the 3 different views in detail without pulling any punches. Its a good book for the topic it discusses.Published on October 20, 2005 by J. Witham
Contrary to Sanders and Fackre, Nash did an excellent job refuting both inclusivism and PME, and presented his case for restrictivism well. Read morePublished on April 19, 2005 by theologicalresearcher
This book contains no-holds barred debate among advocates of 3 answers to the question, "Is Jesus the Only Savior? Read morePublished on December 24, 1999