Just another way we get it wrong.

I’m reading Dave Kinnaman’s You Lost Me. As I read through the chapter titles “Exclusive,” my mind wandered into preaching Jonah, which I will be doing over these next 3 weeks.

There are, apparently, a significant number of 18-29 year olds raised IN the church who feel disconnected thetefrom because of claims of exclusivity made by Christians and Churches.

Jonah floating around in my mind, I am not altogether ready to give up Christian claims that “Jesus is the only way.” I am on the other hand more and more aware of this:

If access to God is exclusively through and in Jesus. God sees this very.differently than we do!

God called Jonah, a prophet from among God’s people to go to Nineveh and preach. Whether Jonah was afraid of the Ninevites or that God would save them we don’t know. What we do kkow is that God saved both Jonah and Nineveh, and that God’s intent was that Jonah (God’s people) would be.instrumental in the salvation of Nineveh (not God’s people).

If Christianity IS exclusive then Christians must be exclusively focused on hearing God’s voice calling us to be a part of God’s redemption of “the rest of them.”  Christian exclusivity cannot be arrogance or haughty “We are in, you are out.”

If you believe Christianity is the exclusive path to God, be ready to share the Good News of God’s mercy and desire to bring all creation back into a right relationship with God’s self.

Because you believe it is all on your shoulders.

4 thoughts on “Just another way we get it wrong.

  1. My favorite thing about the story of Jonah is the end: God asks Jonah a question, and we don’t find out how Jonah responds. I like to imagine that the response is left for us to make.

  2. One of the two most comforting things about soteriological universalism is that it lets us off the hook for having to witness/share with our neighbors/enemies.

  3. The exclusivity of Xianity is one of the most misunderstood doctines by the modern American Church. The only one I think that really touches it is the doctrine of inerrancy (which has to do with inspiration, NOT interpretation). Exclusivity means that all people who are saved are saved through Jesus. They are saved through His Person (fully God and fully man), and through His work (as Prophet, Priest, and King). How does all this necessarily work? I for one cannot say I know all about all of the ways in which that is worked out. What about the man or woman in outer Mongolia who has never heard of Jesus? Never heard His name, much less His story? Romans, seems to give us the clearest picture of that man or woman’s fate. It doesn’t mean that we as fellow humans can ‘judge’ the eternal destination of his or her soul, but it does mean that we can say that the mechanism by which they can receive salvation is exclusive. It is only in Jesus.
    This doctrine should compel us out to the world. Whether that be to the farthest reaches of the earth, or to our neighbour next door makes no differs. If the love of Christ does anything, may it compel us!

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