Thursday, August 12, 2010

Faith Being Credited

The implications of Genesis 15:8 are, of course, simply enormous. But how enormous? Was Abraham one of a kind? If there were others (Job, Noah, Deborah, Rahab, David, Esther, Ruth, and the other OT heroes), were his "kind" pre-Calvary figures only? And if not, then is God saving people now who don't know the name of Jesus or, if they know a name, don't take it as representing the Son of God, the Messiah, the Lord? We cannot rule out that God, in his sovereignty, can certainly do so. If the covenant God works this way, then does that mean that we can look among Jews, Muslims, Hindus, even pagans as Abraham was when God called him, and find brothers and sisters in Christ?

This is the sort of thinking that happens when you get into a deep discussion with Morgan and Walter.


Anonymous said...

Then they might be in agreement with the NEW Billy Graham.

I'm disturb by this issue. Help me to settle this again.


Anonymous said...

Acts 4:12 (New International Version) "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."


Paul Stokes said...

I do not take issue with Acts 4:12. Only through Jesus Christ is anyone's faith credited to righteousness. Without his sacrifice, there is no hope for anyone. People should know about him, should know about the Gospel and we should go tell them.

I think a text I would cite against the propositions implied in the post is John 3:16, which requires belief in "him."

Blog posting is not exactly the best means to communicate theology (or even to raise questions about settled views). I can't resist looking at the big questions, however, and here to probe the question of the scope of God's grace. Is it wider than we think or narrower.

The other side of the question would be this: how many people who claim Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord by name, in ways that fit the formulas, are saved? I will be posting on what Mary said to me about her visit to Rwanda - Rwanda, where people who called themselves Christians, even clergy, were complicit in the genocide.