Plural Model of Salvation

Jesus may not be the only Savior.  We can learn from other religions.  New is not wrong, just like the ideas of slavery have changed.  This psychology of faith says we have to follow the example of Jesus, really experience the presence of God in Jesus.  The Christian mission to teach all remains, but Christianity is not the final or superior religion.  Christianity is the best good news, not the only good news.  We appreciate all colors, but those in love say that the most beautiful woman in the world is the women that that they love.

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Exclusive Model of Salvation

The exclusive model holds that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation, as the only Son of God, the only Savior.  Jesus is the clearest way to salvation.  Evangelicals believe that you are not saved unless you accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior.  Certainly, he is the “best.”  Baptism in Jesus Christ brings the fullest revelation of truth.  There may be positive values elsewhere, but can you learn anything else?  The Christian Church is the one and only true religion.  There is no salvation outside this church.  Missionaries and evangelists have preached the need to know Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

The Old and the New Testament

The two major parts of the Christian Bible are the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Does this give a false impression that we have two different Bibles?  The New Testament books make references to the Old Testament works.  There was no New Testament canon until the second century, since consensus on its contents did not occur until the late fourth century.  The Old Testament or Hebrew Bible canon has an even more complicated history.  Often, people are surprised to learn that two-thirds of what we call the Christian Bible actually existed before the time of Christ, since it describes the words and actions of God’s interaction with his promised chosen people, the Israelites, the Hebrews, or the Jews.

The peaceful reign of Yahweh (Mic 4:3-4:3)

“He shall judge

Between many people.

He shall arbitrate

Between strong nations far away.

They shall beat their swords

Into plowshares.

They shall turn their spears

Into pruning hooks.

Nation shall not lift up

Its sword

Against another nation.

Neither shall they learn

War anymore.”

This was a vision of a time of perpetual peace that is often cited by pacifists, exactly the same as an oracle in Isaiah, chapter 2, word for word.  Yahweh would arbitrate and judge all nations.  Then there is the famous saying that they would beat their swords into plows.  They would turn their spears into pruning hooks.  No one would lift a sword against anyone else.  People would forget how to wage war since no one would learn how to do it.  This is the utopian theocratic peace that has Jerusalem rule the world through Yahweh.  It has never happened and probably will not.

The future reign of Yahweh at Zion (Mic 4:1-4:2)

“In days to come

The mountain of Yahweh’s house

Shall be established

As the highest of the mountains.

It shall be raised above the hills.

People shall stream to it.

Many nations shall come.

They shall say.

‘Come!

Let us go up

To the mountain of Yahweh!

Let us go

To the house of the God of Jacob!

He may teach us his ways.

We may walk in his paths.’

Out of Zion

Shall go forth instruction.

The word of Yahweh

Comes from Jerusalem.”

This is exactly the same as an oracle of Isaiah, chapter 2, word for word.  The Lord’s house would be on the highest mountain above the hills at Zion in Jerusalem.  All the nations of the world would come to the God of the house of Jacob, so that they could learn the ways and paths of Yahweh, the Lord God.

Daniel questions the elder’s condemnation (Dan 13:47-13:49)

“All the people

Turned to Daniel.

They asked.

‘What is this

That you are saying?’

Taking his stand

Among them,

He said.

‘Are you such fools?

O Israelites!

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without examination?

Have you condemned

A daughter of Israel

Without learning the facts?

Return to court!

These men

Have given false evidence

Against her.’”

They all turned to Daniel after he had spoken out. They wanted to know what he said. Then Daniel stood up in the middle of them. He then asked them if they were fools. Why had these Israelites condemned one of their own daughters? He said that there had been no examination or attempt to learn the facts of the case. He wanted them all to return to court, because he believed that these two elders had put forth false evidence against Susanna. There was no indication on how he knew this.

The life and curriculum of the young students (Dan 1:5-1:5)

“The king

Assigned them

A daily portion

Of the royal rations

Of food,

As well as wine.

They were to be educated

For three years.

At the end

Of that time,

They could be stationed

In the king’s court.”

This was the common near eastern practice to give young men 3 years to learn how to be a court page. While they were learning, they were able to eat and drink what the royal family was having. Thus, they would become accustomed to the royal habits.