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Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Invincible Ignorance=Universalism?
Being the lunatic proceeding with a Reformed Protestant seminary education while most likely entering the Roman Catholic Church in a few weeks, I hear interesting things that strike me in funny ways. One of my professors was speaking about a student who is entering the Eastern Orthodox Church. That student had given him a book defending Orthodoxy, and he said he was disturbed by Orthodoxy's belief that God could show mercy to people in other religions due to ignorance. (I mentally noted that Rome's position probably isn't any different.) Is this a compromise of John 3:19, 14:6, and Acts 4:12, to name but a few? Well, let's think it through. Premise 1: God is the final Judge, and we are not. Premise 2: God judges the hearts of mankind, and will do so without error. Premise 3: He is free to show mercy, or not, to whom He wills (Romans 9:15-16). Premise 4: Christians are commanded to plainly declare the good news of God in Jesus Christ, without respect to persons. Premise 5: Christians are not privy to the judgments of God in the secret counsels of His own will. Premise 6: The mercy of God comes to men through Jesus Christ. Conclusion(s): Other religions are not equal paths to God; they do, however, demonstrate the human search for God. Insofar as these religions teach truth, it is truth derived from Christ, who is the Truth. (John 14:6) Further still, the failure to preach Christ is a presumption upon God's mercy, not an expansion of it. Sanctified speculation regarding the ignorant is nothing more than an admission that God's judgments are unsearchable; you might say it's an elaborate way of saying "I don't know" to the question of who precisely populates the kingdom of Heaven. I could think of no wiser thing a creature could say, except perhaps, "Jesus is LORD." In fact, I don't fear the exploration of other religions for educational and apologetic purposes, precisely because they derive truth from Truth itself. Because Jesus sanctified human life by taking on human nature, he has left his footprints on every step toward God. I'm not super-versed in comparative religion, but I can tell you that every true thing I ever heard in other religions reminded me of Jesus.

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