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Is Jesus the Only Savior? Paperback – July 12, 1994

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Ronald H. Nash is professor of philosophy and theology at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, Florida. He is the author or editor of many books, including Faith and Reason and Is Jesus the Only Savior

From the Back Cover

Today many question the idea that there is only one way to heaven (or that Christianity is the only true faith) -- even some people who identify themselves as Christians. In a world where we are likely to have neighbors of differing faiths, to profess Jesus as the only Savior may be viewed as arrogance and intolerance. Religious 'pluralism' is gaining popularity. Ronald Nash believes that one's position on the issue is crucial to an understanding of the Christian faith and sees pluralism as a significant threat to Christianity. He explores the divergent views of pluralism ('No') and inclusivism ('Yes, but') and makes a case for exclusivism (Yes, period'). In doing so, Nash especially confronts the pluralism of John Hick and the inclusivism of Clark Pinnock and John Sanders. He presents his case compellingly, in accessible terms and a readable style.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (July 24, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310443911
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310443919
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #523,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. F Foster on July 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This effort by Ron Nash is good and worth reading. There are a number of very good things about this book, but there are also a couple of things about it that in my view, do not warrant a five star rating.
Nash attempts to argue in favor of an exclusivist view of salvation mostly by trying to present negative aspects of both the pluralist and inclusivist views. He therefore devotes the first part of the book to critiquing the pluralism of John Hick, and the second part to critiquing the inclusivism of Pinnock and Sanders.
His critique of Hick's pluralism was easily the best part of the book. Nash methodically analyzes the pluralism of John Hick and by the end of the critique, the reader is left with the impression that Hick's pluralism has been thoroughly discredited not only on intellectual grounds, but on emotional ones as well. As in his other writings, one of Nash's analytical strengths is his insistence on quoting from relevant sources at length. Nash dedicates a significant part of the pluralist section on quoting from John Hick and letting Hick's own words be the basis for Nash's analysis. Nash's conclusions about Hick's philosophy and the ramifications thereof become all the more convincing as a result.
In my own view, I cannot say that Nash had the same level of success in analyzing inclusivism in section 2 as he had with demonstrating the falsity of pluralism in section 1. It's not that this section is bad, because it isn't, there is a lot about his analysis that is good, particularly his analysis of PME and how Pinnock's embrace of it totally contradicts the inclusivist worldview that Pinnock also embraces.
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Format: Paperback
For my mind, Nash, while making a case for exclusivism, nevertheless leaves questions unanswered. What does happens to stillborns? What about people who have never heard the Gospel? For all its faults, at least inclusivism and exclusivism have some answers to give. Thus, the major problem with Nash's writing is that he gives one plenty of reasons not to be pluralist or inclusivist, largely based both theories logical implications pushing them beyond the bounds of historic faith, he never gives me any real reasons to be exclusivist. Not only so, but his own arguments are in ways logically inconsistent. For example, in speaking of stillborns, he makes the comment that surely some development must take place after death since those who die in infancy will obviously not spend eternity that way. And yet, it is his firm belief, made apparent throughout the book (and probably based on his Southern Baptist denominational affiliation) that for one to be saved, one must have a conscious, cognitive belief in Christ as Savior. So, in other words, infants must somehow develop to the point that they can do so after death, and yet in one chapter, Nash himself explicitly rejects the possibility of coming to saving faith after death, though logically this is exactly what infants must do because they can do no else, yet, somehow, they are still, in his mind, saved.

One other problem I've had with this book is not only does he dismiss important issues with an, "I've already covered that in another book so I'll just assume you've read all my work and move on," he also has a high preponderance to reference himself in support of his ideas.
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Format: Paperback
Ronald Nash's book Is Jesus the Only Savior? is a scholarly response to the oft-asked question of our generation. Nash takes the current answers given by many evangelicals and non-evangelicals alike and compares them to Scripture and makes a terrific case for answering "yes" to the question.

First, Nash takes on the pluralist position which answers the question of Jesus' exclusivity with a resounding "NO!" John Hick is the main proponent of pluralism that Nash deals with in the book. Chapter by chapter, paragraph by paragraph, Nash shows how far Hick is from traditional Christianity and the plain teaching of the Scriptures.

In the book's second half, Nash takes on the inclusivist position which is making inroads into evangelicalism. This position answers the question "Is Jesus the Only Savior" by saying "Yes, but..." Clark Pinnock's version of inclusivism is targeted by Nash's devastating critique of the doctrine.

Is Jesus the Only Savior? may be too scholarly for the average layperson. You will probably not hand this book to someone who asks you questions about the uniqueness of Jesus. However, Nash's argumentation provides you with the resources necessary to help you answer the question yourself.
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Format: Paperback
If Nash's analysis suffers from any one thing, it may be pride. Though his arguments against pluralism and inclusivism are well worth considering, they are constantly crippled by the author's semi-veiled disdain for those who hold such views. For the pluralist argument, Nash considers the philosophical and spiritual development of John Hick but never quite gives him quite a fair analysis. Instead, he makes statements such as that found on pg. 15, "And as with almost all his neo-liberal peers, it apparently never occurred to Hick to examine critically the faulty presuppositions that had led him to deny even the possibility of divinely revealed truth." Such a slap in the face to a respected, if misled, philosopher is quite unnecessary and takes away from Nash's credibility as a scholar. Similar, if milder, sentiments are found in Nash's analysis of Clark Pinnock's inclusivism.

Another drawback to the book is that it simply does not cover the material thoroughly. Nash writes with the confidence that his arguments are conclusive and unlikely to be refuted by those with any true respect for the Bible. However, especially in the inclusivism study, he does little more than summarize inclusivist views on certain Scriptures and interject his own opinions as to their mediocrity. This is simply inadequate.

Overall, Nash's book might be recommended to those who are already of the exclusivist mindset and want an overview of the opposing perspectives. However, anyone actually struggling with their view should look elsewhere. The lack of depth and the veiled disrespect will likely inspire nothing but disappointment in many readers.
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