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Exclusivism is the only coherent position which Christian Theology can hold.

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Introduction

Exclusivism is the only coherent position which Christian Theology can hold. Exclusivism holds that those who do not believe in Christianity will not be assured salvation, and they will be condemned to hell. This view is held by fundamentalist evangelical Christians in Exclusivism's strongest form and Catholicism in a weaker form. If Christianity were not exclusive in any way, then what would be the point of following it and not another religion which claimed to be exclusive? Other religions do hold certain similarities to Christianity, indeed there are even many discrepancies between Christian denominations. However, other religions have certain beliefs which are necessary for salvation, but they do not have sufficient beliefs for salvation. Exclusivism realises that there are many paths to the same salvation, but the other paths are not sufficient. Christianity is made distinct by its following of Jesus Christ. By coming down to earth, Jesus Christ offered himself to a death he freely accepted to take away our sins. ...read more.

Middle

Therefore it is difficult condemn such people, especially if they live lives of virtuous paragon. The authority of the Bible is not essential to all who can achieve salvation. Furthermore, what about those who for whatever circumstances never knew about Christ and Christianity (e.g. those who lived before Jesus)? Augustine argued that God knew who would and would not accept the word of the Gospel, and therefore argues that everyone is predestined. Aquinas took up a similar stance, saying that special revelation would be given to those in extraordinary situations, and he gives the example of a child being brought up by wolves. However, natural revelation could not secure salvation but only prepare the person so that when they finally encountered the Gospel, their minds would be ready to embrace it fully. This enables this argument to work even if people have divine experiences, but believe in another religion. Furthermore in Peter the "ecclesia ab Abel" argument is that after Christ died, "he descended to the dead" for three days, in order to save those ...read more.

Conclusion

This suggests that the non-Christians who can be saved cannot be dedicated to another religion such as Judaism or Islam. However, the essential reason as to why Christian Theologies have to be exclusivist in order to hold a coherent position is that they would otherwise people would do necessary acts, but not sufficient acts (such as the fundamental conviction in the Bible and Christ). If Christianity were not exclusivist, then there would be no reason as to why one ought to follow this path to salvation than another, different path to salvation. However, this Exclusivism can be in the form of a weak Exclusivism, where an implicit desire for the gospel and the sacraments of baptism and Eucharist can ensure salvation even if these cannot be received in reality. However, the stress is that other religions cannot receive salvation, even though there is a bit of Christ in all of us, as their teachings are fundamentally different, and therefore the wrong values towards salvation are being promoted. ?? ?? ?? ?? 10/05/2007 1 Will Forbes ...read more.

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