Methodist bishop promotes universalism on Larry King roundtable on Christianity and war
Bishop Melvin Talbert, ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church, said on Larry King Live (transcript) that Muslims will be saved and should not be evangelized. "They are on their way just as certain as I'm on my way. And what we need to do is to be tolerant with each other and not assume that our way is the only way," he said last night. "That dispute belongs to God. We are here to practice what we preach. … I believe my God is large enough to be inclusive of all human beings who were created in God's image, and that includes those religions that are not Christians."

The view was strongly opposed by King's other guests, including Bob Jones, Max Lucado, and John MacArthur.

"Why did Paul say, "If any man preaches any other Christ than the true Jesus Christ, let him be accursed? Let him be anathema?" asked MacArthur. "Why does the Bible say, "Neither is their salvation in any other name than Jesus Christ?" Why does the Scripture condemn anyone who rejects Jesus Christ and the gospel of Christ? Why is the message so exclusive?"

"For me, salvation in Jesus Christ is the way, and what I try to do as a Christian is to live that example," Talbert responded. "My responsibility is not to convert all other religions, but to live the Christian faith in the face of those religions."

Talbert was supported by Michael Manning, a Roman Catholic priest who hosts the TV show The Word in the World. "Jesus rejoices when his Father is glorified," Manning said. "And when a Muslim or Jew glorifies the Father I can't imagine Jesus coming and saying, Oh, well. When are you going to look at me? The joy of Jesus is the glorification of God."

It's somewhat inevitable ...

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