Inclusive Model of Salvation

The inclusive model holds that Jesus Christ is the normative expression of God’s will for all people.  The problem is that many people have never known Christ.  What role has the God of love for them?  Is Christian faith offered to everyone?  Some Christians believe in predestination so that only a few are chosen.  Christianity has always been missionary, sometimes overly zealous, as in the Crusades and the Inquisition.  What about those who have never heard of Jesus Christ?  The Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1563) in the 16th century talked about a baptism of desire.  You will be saved by Jesus without knowing him.  Salvation is fully found in Jesus, but offered to everyone in all genuine religions who live the good life, who sincerely seek God, moved by grace, and strive by their deeds to do his will as they know it.  Sometimes we call them like Karl Rahner (1904-1984) “anonymous Christians.”

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Obedience not revolution (Isa 1:19-1:20)

“‘If you are willing,

If you are obedient,

You shall eat

The goods of the land.

But if you refuse,

If you rebel,

You shall be devoured

By the sword.’

The mouth of Yahweh

Has spoken.”

This oracle of Yahweh was clear, since the mouth of Yahweh had spoken to Isaiah. Obedience meant the good life. Rebellion meant death. Forgiveness could be achieved by being obedient, instead of being rebellious. You had to be willing and obedient to enjoy the good foods of the land. However, if you refused and rebelled, you would fall by the sword.