Monday, August 31, 2015

Explainer: Is it true only Christians will be saved?

I remember the tears I cried as I drove away from my Hindu grandfather's house in Malaysia – I knew this would be the last time I would see this frail but noble old man. I also remember getting an angry knot in my stomach when I thought about the doctrine of the uniqueness of Jesus, and the idea that not everyone will be saved.

The idea that it is through belief in Christ alone that someone can be made acceptable to God is a controversial doctrine to hold in a multicultural context, let alone in a multicultural family like mine. The exclusivity of what theologians call "salvation through Christ" sounds unfair, ungracious and unacceptable to a society that paradoxically finds the idea of an afterlife both a great comfort and a primitive or backward way of thinking. It is true that sometimes Christians have shown an ugly arrogance and a lack of compassion towards people considered unbelievers. But it is also true that the idea of an exclusive salvation is difficult for our culture to swallow. This doctrine feels like it might soon be under pressure in the Church, despite the fact that we still enjoy singing most of the lyrics to popular worship songs such as In Christ Alone and My hope is built on nothing less. Keep reading

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