Showing posts from April, 2021

Pagans in Heaven? Zwingli on "Anonymous Christianity"

Prominent theologians in recent decades have entertained some form of soteriological inclusivism. Briefly put, this notion means that God leaves open a path to eternal salvation for individuals who never profess explicit faith in Jesus Christ during their lifetimes. Might there be some sort of "back door" to heavenly bliss? At issue, for many, is fairness: Surely a loving God would make provision for hapless souls who never consciously confront the offer of salvation in Jesus, either through ignorance or just by being born at the wrong place or time. The Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner proposed a form of “anonymous Christianity” that (some have thought) helps address this concern. Within the context of his transcendental Thomist framework, Rahner suggests individuals, somehow, might be able to muster an act of unconscious, existential freedom to accept the offer of divine grace. A more popular slant on this idea occurs in C.S. Lewis’ fantasy novel The Last Battle , wherein th

Part 3 - Scots Confession, History & Theology

This is Part 3 in a series of adult education (Sunday School) classes that I taught at St. Charles Presbyterian Church (USA) in the early months of 2020. It provides a fairly thorough discussion of the Scots Confession's history and theology targeted (hopefully, effectively so) at the generally educated churchgoer.  Part 3 continues exploring the background of the Scots Confession. It deals with John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation, including Calvin's teachings on the knowledge of God, as well as providing a very brief overview of the English Reformation. It also explores chapters 11 - 15 in the confession itself, addressing topics like Christ's intercession at the right hand of the Father, the afterlife, faith, "total depravity," "good" works and merit, and the Christian's ongoing struggle against sin. This is Part 3 in a 5-part series. You can  find the series index here . Here are some quotes from the episode: "Zwingli, trained as