The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Surprising results of global survey on religious exclusivism


#1


It’s worth reading the couple of paragraphs where I found this (blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2011/12/one-true-god-not-as-popular-as-you-might-think/). Some of the comments about it on patheos.com/blogs/jesuscreed/2011/12/15/what-do-you-see-here/ are interesting too. However, here’s just one of the things which caught my attention.

One of the things which surprised me is the large proportions of the top 3 countries in regards to exclusivism.


#2

Nice to see Russia is not too high up there.


#3

Guess it’s time to move to Spain. :laughing:


#4

Wait … I thought exclusivism was a good thing? Isn’t this blogging website primarily representative of exclusivist universalism, consistent with Gregory MacDonald (aka Robin Parry) and his book The Evangelical Universalist?

Don’t most of us, especially the administrators of this blogging website, believe that “Faith in Jesus Christ IS the only true path to salvation”?


#5

I am an exlusivist and reject unconditional everlasting damnation.


#6

You seem to be confusing rejection of pluralism with exclusivism.

For instance, the Orthodox are not pluralist, but they do not limit salvation to the Orthodox Church only (fortunately for you) or even to Christians at large (since heterodox Christians and non-Christians are honestly not that different).

Exclusivism typically means that you believe whatever benefits of your faith, in Christianity’s case that would be salvation, are only available to members of your religion (typically assumed prior to death).


#7

I think I’d have a difficult time answering this question. I think heaven is God’s kingdom, and in that sense, we are (or should be) in His kingdom (under His reign) already. I believe that all people will eventually find their way to the Father (or be led or carried there), but only through Jesus Christ. I suppose I’d have to check the box for “other.” :wink:


#8

I define exclusivism according to the next two articles.

From: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trinitarian_Universalism

From "Robin: “Bell’s Hells: seven myths about universalism” on this website at Robin: “Bell’s Hells: seven myths about universalism” :

The next quote is from the “Statement of Faith – Please Read” posting on this website at Statement of Faith -- Please Read :

So apparently this website is representative of an exclusivist universalism.

Of course anybody on this website can believe what they want. But I think we have to be careful about speaking of exclusivism as if it is incongruent with universalism (and incongruent with The Evangelical Universalist for that matter.) In fact, if we are to allow the above quote from the Statement of Faith to clarify our definition of EU, any form of universalism that is NOT exclusivist could NOT be uniquely called Evangelical Universalism.


#9

Fired Up,

There are certainly people here who disagree with me on what I consider to be vital points. That said, I suspect that the problem with this question is that, for us, it isn’t specific enough. Like I said, I do believe that all people will “go to heaven” (although I think that phrase is based on faulty exegesis and a lack of understanding of Jewish culture). I also believe that no one comes to the Father except through Jesus Christ, the Son. Therefore, those who are on all those “other paths” must eventually be led aright, leave the wrong paths, get onto the narrow way, and come through Jesus. I also suspect that nearly all the people here agree with me on that point (whatever their Christology may be).

And based on that, the poll doesn’t address my beliefs. I am both exclusive and all inclusive. :wink:

Blessings, Cindy


#10

I think it depends on whether we are talking about the scope or the method of salvation.

From my point of view:

Exclusive effective scope (i.e. some) + pluralist method (not only through Christ) = not good :frowning:

Exclusive effective scope (i.e. some) + inclusive method (not only through faith in Christ) = not good :frowning:

Exclusive effective scope (i.e. some) + exclusive method (only through faith in Christ) = not good :frowning:

Inclusive effective scope (i.e. all) + pluralist method (not only through Christ) = not good :frowning:

Inclusive effective scope (i.e. all) + inclusive method (not only through faith in Christ) = tricky** :neutral_face:

Inclusive effective scope (i.e. all) + exclusive method (only through faith in Christ) = awesome :mrgreen:

I try to love, respect & listen to people, even if I think their theology is “not good” or “tricky”.

** see firedup2000 comments about CS Lewis’ view


#11

Alex,

That’s a good way of breaking it down. I guess, according to my understanding, the last item (i.e. inclusive scope and exclusive method) is what I would called exclusive universalism, which is still exclusivism.

I am assuming that with each category you are talking about Christ-based believers (i.e. people who believe that ultimately it is Christ who saves.) With this in mind, I think to be extra clear, your parenthetical comment “only through Christ” should read “only through faith in Christ”. The reason I say this is because Christian “inclusivists” never deny that only Christ can save. However they affirm that the benefits of Christ can come through other means than “faith in Christ.”

As an example I think CS Lewis would fall in your second category: Exclusive effective scope (i.e. some) + inclusive method (not only through faith in Christ). He would probably allow for the idea that some Buddhists will be saved by Christ even thought they never put their faith in Christ (prior to actually entering heaven) – which wouldn’t really be faith anyway at that point since they would already be face to face with the Lord. Yet in his view, Christ would still be doing ALL of the saving and Buddha would do NONE of it.


#12

Yes, good points firedup2000, I’ve edited my post to reflect them. It’s tricky with the Lewis example, I guess that highlights the difference between inclusivism & pluralism. I must admit I didn’t take that into account, obviously I think Lewis was a Christian…


#13

Except that their economy is even worse than ours…


#14

Ah, you burst my bubble, Mel :frowning: :stuck_out_tongue:


#15

Hey, I don’t see New Zealand on the list…


#16

Interesting how Hinduism sells itself as really inclusive but somehow India and the US are tied!