The Fate of the Unevangelized and the Need for Faith in Christ (Todd Miles)
In the January issue of Credo Magazine, “In Christ Alone,” Todd Miles has written an essential article defending the exclusivity of the gospel against inclusivism. First, a little about Todd Miles. Todd Miles (B.S., M.S. in Nuclear Engineering at Oregon State University; M.Div., Western Seminary; PhD in Systematic Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Theology at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. Before his doctoral studies Miles was a Research Engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for ten years. Now Miles teaches Systematic Theology, Hermeneutics, and Ethics at Western Seminary. Miles is married to Camille and they have six children, Natalie, Ethan, Levi, Julius, Vicente, and Marcos. Miles serves as an elder at Hinson Memorial Baptist Church in Portland. Miles is the author of A God of Many Understandings? The Gospel and Theology of Religions (Nashville: B&H, 2010).
In his Credo Magazine article, Miles looks at some of the most important biblical passages, which demonstrate that faith in Christ is necessary for salvation. Here is the introduction to Todd’s article:
In recent years, particularly the last century, the question of the fate of the unevangelized has bothered many in the church. The questions are all the more acute in our current postmodern context where religious others live next door as quality neighbors and requirements of belief in Christ seem hopelessly out of date, narrow, and intolerant. For some, lack of acceptable resolution to this issue has been a stumbling block and defeater of the Christian faith. For others, the question has led to speculation on alternative ways that the atoning work of Christ could be applied to those who have never heard the gospel. Does the Bible really teach that one must actually possess conscious faith in Christ in order to be saved? Must we really put such a rigid requirement on all people? Have we not progressed as a society to the point where such intolerant convictions can be abandoned? As these questions find traction, I fear that we depart further and further from the biblical testimony. The result is our salvation is not quite as great, our Lord is not as glorious, and our commitment to proclaiming his gospel is diminished.
Of course, it is the height of chronological snobbery to believe that our sensibilities are more refined and godly than that of previous generations. And I daresay that men such as Peter, Paul, and John were more compassionate and wise than me. Yet they clung doggedly to the truth that the only hope that anyone, anywhere, has to be saved is by repentance and faith in Jesus. To the biblical authors, the answer to the question, “What about those who have never heard the gospel?” was “Go tell them!” . . .
Read the rest of Todd’s article today!
The January issue argues for the exclusivity of the gospel, especially in light of the movement known as inclusivism. This issue will seek to answer questions like: Can those who have never heard the gospel of Christ be saved? Will everyone be saved in the end or will some spend an eternity in hell? Must someone have explicit faith in Christ to be saved? Contributors include David Wells, Robert Peterson, Michael Horton, Gerald Bray, Todd Miles, Todd Borger, Ardel Caneday, Nathan Finn, Trevin Wax, Michael Reeves, and many others.
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