A Wideness in God’s Mercy: The Finality of Jesus Christ in a World of Religions,by Clark H. Pinnock (Zondervan, 217 pp.; $14.99, paper). Reviewed by Harold O. J. Brown, professor of theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.
Clark Pinnock has made an interesting spiritual pilgrimage from the strict inerrancy and rather Princetonian Calvinism of his early days to an increasingly “flexible” position on Scripture and free-will Arminianism with respect to the doctrine of salvation. Now, in A Wideness in God’s Mercy, the Canadian theologian attempts to come to terms with the plurality of religions in the world and to do so without sacrificing the orthodox Christian claims for the uniqueness, sovereignty, and finality of Jesus Christ.
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Pinnock is apparently reacting to two different impulses: first, a growing awareness of the pressure of conflicting religions as they displace Christianity from places where it has always enjoyed prominence. The second impulse is a dissatisfaction with, and a consequent rejection of, the Augustinian concept that, because salvation is through Christ alone, only a relatively few people will be saved while the majority will be lost.
Pinnock thinks that the doctrine of “fewness” or religious exclusivism is untenable today, for a variety of reasons. He is evidently moved by a humanitarian concern not to consign the mass of humanity to perdition. He presents a number of exegetical and theological arguments ...1
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