How many will be saved? Three “inclusivisms” evaluated

A constrast and critical evaluation of (a) Christian universalism/inclusivism (John T. Robinson), (b) evangelical inclusivism (‘wider hope’ as expressed by John Sanders and Clark Pinnock) and (c) Calvinistic inclusivism (Warfield and W. G. T. Shedd).

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These three “inclusivisms” are each answers to the question, “How many are included in the recipients of salvation?”. Underlying this, there are (as Paul Helm points out1) two logically independent issues. The first is particularism versus universalism: will men have ultimately different destinies? The second is exclusivism versus syncretism: is Christ the only source of salvation? Helm later uncovers a third subservient question: does Christ save any who do not consciously know of Him?2

Answers to these questions can be combined in different ways. We are considering three potential answers which assert that the number of the saved exceeds a believing remnant; either the remnant will eventually become a great majority, or, salvation is possible for some who have not heard the gospel (leaving aside infants3).

Our approach will be to describe and critique each understanding individually, and then to consider them as a whole.

Christian Universalism / Inclusivism (John A. T. Robinson)

Universalism is the doctrine that all of mankind will ultimately be reconciled to God. Evangelical theology has typically regarded universalism as not only clearly unscriptural, but also undermining “the seriousness of sin… the righteousness of God… the doctrine of the atonement and … final judgment”4. In his 1992 paper5, Trevor Hart argues that these charges do not apply to Robinson’s universalism.

Hart argues that this is because there are two distinct types of universalism. The first is “Pluralistic Universalism”, (associated with Ernst Troeltsch and John Hick6), and here the charges apply – salvation is not Christocentric; each religion has its value independently of any other, and God works savingly through many religions7.

The second is the “Christian Universalism” of Robinson. This, says Hart, deserves the epithet “Christian”, because it builds upon key Biblical doctrines: Christ’s uniqueness, the atonement, the reality of hell8, and the need for faith9. It affirms that all will be saved, because all will consciously accept Christ.

The basis of this is the character of God. God is love; God is all-powerful; hence, He both desires to save all, and will. The question is of God’s nature. “We are here in the presence of two doctrines of God, and between them there can be no peace”10. Robinson emphasizes love as God’s essential attribute: “… justice is in no sense a substitute for love… [God] has no purpose but the purpose of love…”11

Hart accepts Robinson’s universalistic theses regarding God’s saving intentions12, but believes that the argument is insufficient. Arguing from a libertarian understanding of freedom, he argues that Robinson’s argument confuses “deductive” and “relational” logic. God cannot guarantee the response of a free agent without violating their very personhood13.

I question Hart’s response. Arguably, the Scriptures affirm God’s ability to determine human choices, without suggesting that an undermining of their personhood results14. When asked if an all-sovereign God is unfair to judge men’s actions, Paul’s response is not a “free-will defence”15, but reprobation of such complaints16. We cannot rehearse the sovereignty debate here, but Hart’s rejection clearly presupposes Arminianism17. And, even on these grounds, God could at least present the gospel to all; that He has not, is further evidence that Hart/Robinson have not accurately portrayed God’s saving will.

Robinson himself makes God’s character central, so this is key for any criticism. Dixon highlights two overlapping problems: first, to make love God’s basic attribute neglects the “total witness of Scripture to the nature of God”18. Secondly, the conception of God’s love is too human; Robinson wrongly understands it as “human love raised to the nth degree” instead of “in terms of what God has actually manifested… Biblically.”19 Robinson describes the Scripture’s eschatological statements as “mythical representations”, which “may be entirely imaginary”20. Robinson’s methodology and lack of concern to be Biblical will make his conclusions unpalatable for evangelicals.

There is also a problem of historical reality. Many die without believing the gospel; therefore Robinson’s thesis requires post-mortem evangelism and conversion, and possibly some remedial activity for the impenitent. This conflicts with the Biblical data that destinies are determined at death, and based upon what preceded21.

Evangelical Inclusivism” (Clark Pinnock / John Sanders)22

If we are bound by more evangelical constraints, including this understanding of death, is there scope for a “wider hope”? Sanders and Pinnock argue that there is23.

Pinnock uses several lines of argument. To establish the reasonableness of a wider hope, he argues firstly that for God not to give a universal opportunity of salvation would contradict His own loving nature and generosity24. This assertion is like Robinson’s, with the same problems. Secondly, a universal atonement requires universal opportunity for men to register their acceptance or rejection of what has been done for them25. Again this requires Arminian presuppositions; Pinnock makes no attempt to appeal to Augustinians26.

From here, Pinnock seeks to establish how this opportunity will arise. There are two ingredients: First, biblically, “people are saved by faith, not by the content of their theology.”27 Second, as nobody can respond to light which they have not received, therefore each must be judged by their response to the light they did receive28. It would be immoral to condemn men for refusing a gospel they were ignorant of29. Scriptural examples are found in what Pinnock terms “pagan saints” – those outside Israelite and the church who nevertheless were saved; including Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Jethro, Job, Abimelech and Cornelius30. God revealed little to them; but they responded with faith, and were saved31. The Jews were saved without knowing of Christ; why not others today?32 Finally, Jesus directly spoke of the salvation of the unevangelised in Matthew 25v31-46 – deeds of love to needy people are accepted as though done to Christ33. The case of theologians who hold to universal infant salvation is further evidence of the reasonableness of salvation without self-conscious knowledge of Christ34. Finally Pinnock suggests the possibility of conversions at the judgment seat35; but Sanders recognises this as unscriptural, as already noted36.

Evaluation of the Wider Hope

Much of Pinnock’s argument is emotive; for example, classical evangelicals are castigated for malevolent motives in restricting God’s grace37. My feeling is that this rhetoric serves to paper over significant weaknesses in the argument.

Pinnock makes a sharp dichotomy between faith and knowledge. Yet in a different context he rejects “fideism” – faith ungrounded in understanding38. But how can the unevangelised avoid this? Pinnock’s answer is general revelation; but this contains no information facilitating salvation beyond implying its need39. Pinnock is suggesting a significant revision of the evangelical understanding of saving faith, removing all three requirements; knowledge of the gospel story, belief of its facts, and reliance on the Saviour there presented. Pinnock has radically redefined the concept of “faith”40, replacing it with “faithfulness”.

Another area of difficulty is the assertion that men cannot be fairly condemned without hearing the gospel41. Normally, fair condemnation requires only guilt concerning the alleged crimes – not that an offer of mercy must be made and rejected. This proves too much – was Christ compelled to suffer for men’s sins, for fairness’ sake? What of Satan – does he escape condemnation unless Christ died for him also?42 The evangelical grounds for condemnation is not rejection of Christ, but sin43, as Shedd points out44.

Pinnock also overplays the evidence from “pagan saints”. The proposed “saints” each fit into one or more of three classes. First, many received special revelation through their involvement with the line of favour running from godly Seth, through Noah, to the patriarchs. These were no pagans. A post-patriarchal second class are similar, self-consciously worshipping Yahweh, the God of Israel – e.g. Jethro, or Cornelius45. For the others, there is no proof that such were saved people; Pinnock has assumed what he is proving – that response to general revelation, such as the fear of God, results in salvation (e.g. Abimelech).

The interpretation of Matthew 25 also reaches too far. The question of the basis by which Christ’s sheep became His sheep is beyond the passage’s scope.

Pinnock’s case is further weakened by not interacting with the apparently contrary Biblical texts46. Paul argues that nobody can call on the Lord without a preacher, arguing from inability to necessity, whereas the “wider hope” argues from inability to non-necessity. Paul describes the unconverted Ephesians as “having no hope, and without God in the world”47. And what of Christ’s words, “many … will seek to enter in, and shall not be able”48?

Hence, even within a synergistic soteriology, the arguments appear very weak.

Calvinistic Inclusivism (Warfield, Shedd)

“Calvinistic Inclusivism” has a radically different structure. Calvinistic soteriology is monergistic, so we would expect this.

Helm points out that Warfield and Shedd had differing views49. In common was the belief that ultimately a great majority would be saved, within the bounds of a firm Calvinism.

Warfield derives this as an implication of Christ’s coming as Saviour of the world. This requires that salvation is not merely enjoyed by some out of the world, but the world as a whole – not with total extent, but in the significant part50. Helm summarises incisively; Christ saves the world as the fire service saves the building; some minor parts are lost, but the structure is rescued51. This salvation is achieved in the normal way: the gracious, but progressively more extensive, operation of God’s Spirit in regenerating sinners and uniting them through faith to Christ. The world’s sins have been atoned for; the world shall hear the gospel, and the world shall be saved. As Kim Riddlebarger points out, this is bound up with Warfield’s postmillennial eschatology52. This is seen in the exegesis of certain kingdom parables, preserved in the explanations of Warfield’s student, Loraine Boettner53.

Shedd also defends a “larger hope” but not on identical grounds54; his distinctive which concerns us is in providing a justification for how some of the heathen may be saved. The answer is distinctively Calvinistic. As regeneration is a sovereign act of God and the beginning of spiritual life, there is nothing to prevent the Holy Spirit from performing it in anyone, including those who never hear the gospel55. In such extra-normal operations, a habit or disposition of faith is wrought; evidence of a disposition to believe in Christ without having heard of Him is found in John 9v36-3856.

Calvinistic Inclusivism Evaluated

Warfield’s proposal is attractive because it safeguards Calvinistic orthodoxy, and avoids rationalising. There are two issues I would raise for further consideration.

Firstly, has Warfield accurately stated the emphasis of world? In an original Jewish context, the assertion that the Messianic salvation is to come not only to Israel but to every presently pagan, Gentile nation, would be stunning. It is questionable as to whether a further intensive exegesis is required to satisfy the texts, or if exegeting both ways simultaneously is legitimate57. We must also ask if Warfield’s exegesis does not prove too much; for does not the interpretation of “world” as meaning the mainstream of humanity require the mainstream of humanity in every age to be saved? Why is it only the last generation? This leads us to Warfield’s eschatology.

Is Warfield’s eschatological outlook well-grounded? In this essay we have no space to consider the doctrine of postmillennialism, only to demonstrate the dependence upon it. Essentially his whole doctrine focuses here, because he posits no special circumstances or cases to expand the numbers of the saved – only more time, and an ever-intensifying divine activity.

Shedd’s doctrine of pagan salvation is open to further objections. Whilst the agent of the new birth is still the Spirit, the instrument is no longer the Word, breaking a Scriptural link58. Is there evidence that the Spirit works savingly apart from the Word?59 If so, is it warranted to see this as a common and ordinary mode for Him?

The question of whether faith must have content is relevant again. As Helm points out, it is dubious to use examples of those who did meet Christ to argue for a “habit of faith” in those who do not60.

Concluding Observations

These three “inclusivisms” are significantly different entities, yet there are relationships between them; in particular a progression in concern to be biblically grounded.

“Christian universalism” and “evangelical inclusivism” are most closely related, both building on libertarianism, a universal atonement and salvific will, and synergistic soteriology. “Calvinistic inclusivism” builds on a very different monergistic understanding. “Christian universalism” shows least desire to be Scriptural, and depends heavily on playing off God’s attributes and post-mortem evangelism. “Evangelical inclusivism” incorporates these features, but depends less heavily on them. It is supported by an eclectic mix of arguments of dubious validity, but markedly more dependent on theological constructions than Biblical exegesis61.

Excepting Warfield’s62, all the positions are based somewhat in rationalism rather than Scripture. Each author defends the most that can be hoped for within their overall doctrinal position. Warfield stands alone in providing primarily exegetical reasons why his position is required and not merely possible. We can admire his superior achievement, even if we are hesitant to endorse the emphasis upon quantity over quality in his eschatological position.

From this overview, we can identify the significant issues on which the question of inclusivism must turn. Is salvation primarily the outworking of a sovereign plan, or a joint venture? Is God’s saving activity particular, or universal? Is a man’s eternal destiny settled by his actions before death? What is the content of saving faith? Where and how is that content revealed and discerned? The question of inclusivism invokes key soteriological questions, and the answers to these will mostly determine the outcome.

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Boettner, Loraine, The Millennium, Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1957

ed. Cameron, Nigel, Universalism and the Doctrine of Hell, Carlisle: Paternoster, 1992:

Hart, Trevor, Universalism: Two Distinct Types (p1-34)

Helm, Paul, Are They Few That Be Saved? (p257-81)

Davies, Eryl, Heaven is a far better place, Welwyn: Evangelical Press, 1999.

Dixon, Larry, The Other Side of the Good News: Confronting the Contemporary Challenges to Jesus’ Teaching on Hell, Fearn: Christian Focus, 2003

Pinnock, Clark H., Towards a More Inclusive Eschatology, in ed. Baker, David W., Looking Into the Future: Evangelical Studies in Eschatology, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001.

Pinnock, Clark H., A Wideness in God’s Mercy, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992

Riddlebarger, Kim, A case for amillennialism: understanding the end times, Grand Rapids; Baker, 2003

Riddlebarger, Kim, Princeton and the Millennium: A Study in American Post-millennialism – available from as at 26th April 2004

Sanders, J. Oswald, What of the Unevangelized?, Fearn: Christian Focus, 1998

Schreiner, Thomas, Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament), Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998

Shedd, W. G. T., Calvinism: Pure & Mixed, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1986

Shedd, W. G. T., Dogmatic Theology, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980, vol 1

Stott, John, The Message of Acts, Leicester: IVP, 1991

Warfield, Benjamin B. The Saviour of the World, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1991

Westminster Longer Catechism – as at 26th April 2004, questions 60 and 72.

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1Helm, Paul, Are They Few That Be Saved? in ed. Cameron, Nigel, Universalism and the Doctrine of Hell, Carlisle: Paternoster, 1992, p259-60.

2Helm in ed. Cameron, op. cit., p275. Put into categories which are less precise but the ones usually considered most relevant – what of the salvation of infants, the mentally incapacitated, and the unevangelised?

3Infants may, according to different understandings, be all infants as a class, the infants of believers as a class, baptised infants, some infants and not others according to God’s secret election, or no infants at all. All of the positions which we are examining go beyond the question of infant salvation (which has been accepted by many who are both particular and exclusive and require self-conscious confession of Christ from adults), so we shall not have reason to examine it in particular.

4J. Oswald Sanders, quoted in Hart, Trevor, Universalism: Two Distinct Types, in ed. Cameron, op. cit., p1.

5See previous footnote.

6ed. Cameron, op. cit., p3-15.

7It is not part of the scope of this essay to describe or evaluate this form of universalism. Hart rightly notes that pluralism need not necessarily lead to universalism; after all, there are many who are atheists and not seeking any kind of god at all. Hart, op. cit., p12.

8On this point Hart is somewhat generous to Robinson; he grants that hell is empty, or only existentially real, but rather than proceeding to question whether this is a sufficient similarity to Scriptural teaching, he instead questions the motives of those who feel uncomfortable with this conclusion – ed. Cameron, op. cit., p23. The same point applies to judgment.

9ed. Cameron, op. cit., p15.

10Robinson, John A. T., In the End, God, London: James Clarke, 1950, p102 cited in Dixon, Larry, The Other Side of the Good News: Confronting the Contemporary Challenges to Jesus’ Teaching on Hell, Fearn: Christian Focus, 2003, p55.

11Robinson, John A. T., Universalism: Is It Heretical?, Scottish Journal of Theology, 2 (June 1949), p143-4, cited in Dixon, op. cit., p54.

12e.g. ed. Cameron, op. cit., p30 – “There can be no human person who is created unloved by this God, or for whom this same God has not sent his Son to die.”

13ed. Cameron, op. cit., p30-1.

14e.g. Proverbs 21v1, Acts 16v14, Psalm 110v3, Daniel 4v1-37, Isaiah 46v8-11.

15ed. Cameron, op. cit., p30.

16Romans 9v18-23.

17See the statement of a universal redemption in a previous footnote.

18Dixon, op. cit., p54. If we must prioritise one attribute above all others and if it can be done so without any of the attributes compromising any of the others, then arguably that attribute would be holiness.

19Dixon, op. cit., p55. God’s love is wrongly described “abstractly in terms of … human analogy…”

20Robinson, In the End, God., p34-5, cited in Dixon, op. cit., p54.

21e.g. Hebrews 9v27, Luke 16v22-25, 23v43, Matthew 25v31-46, Revelation 20v12-13, 22v12.

22I am mainly relying on Pinnock, because my access to Sanders is only at second hand.

23As we shall see, Pinnock actually does argue for post-mortem evangelism, but it is only a small part of his presentation, the remainder of which could stand without it.

24Pinnock, Clark H., A Wideness in God’s Mercy, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992, p149-50, p153-5.

25 “God’s universal salvific will implies the equally universal accessibility of salvation.” – Pinnock, Wideness, p157.

26See for example Pinnock, Clark H., Towards a More Inclusive Eschatology, in ed. Baker, David W., Looking Into the Future: Evangelical Studies in Eschatology, Grand Rapids: Baker, 2001, p250-1; here, Pinnock distinguishes between “soteriological monergists” (i.e., Augustinians) and “synergists”, and explains that within these two understandings, approaches to the relevant questions will vary widely.

27Pinnock, Wideness, p157.

28Pinnock, Wideness, p158.

29Pinnock approvingly refers John Wesley: “Wesley … held that the unevangelised cannot be blamed for failing to accept Christ if they had never heard of him.” – Wideness, p158. Vatican II is also approvingly referenced in this context, p159.

30Pinnock, Wideness, p158-61, 165.

31“Their theological knowledge was deficient, measured by New Testament standards, and their understanding of God was limited because they had not encountered Jesus, in whom alone one sees the Father. Nonetheless, they knew God and belonged to that great cloud of witnesses who encourage us (Heb. 12:1). Without actually confessing Jesus Christ, they were saved by his work of redemption.” – Pinnock, Wideness, p163.

32Pinnock, Wideness, p163.

33Pinnock, Wideness, p163-4.

34Pinnock, Wideness, p166-7.

35Pinnock, Wideness, p168-75.

36Sanders, John, No Other Name, Grand Rapids: W B Eerdmans, 1991, p164-

37“Evangelicals often try to prevent this biblical truth from being taken seriously… What does ‘evangelical’ mean when applied to those who seem to want to ensure that there is as little Good News as possible? The Bible offers them a strong basis for optimism, yet they decline.” – Pinnock, Wideness, p162-3. Another example: Pinnock approvingly quotes, “So why should we be excited about going to heaven, if everyone we love is going to hell? What kind of good news is this?” – Inclusive, p249.

38Pinnock, Wideness, p136-8.

39e.g. Psalm 19v1-6, Romans 1v18-32, 2v13-15; the latter is particularly significant as the context of the references to “general revelation” is that of establishing God’s righteousness in condemning Gentiles who have lived and died far away from the sphere or knowledge of God’s saving activity in Israel. See Schreiner, Thomas, Romans (Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament), Grand Rapids: Baker, 1998, p81-110, 116-125, or any of a number of representative evangelical commentaries.

40A representative statement of the historic tradition embodying these three requirements is found in question 72 of the Westminster Longer Catechism: “Q. 72. What is justifying faith? A. Justifying faith is a saving grace, wrought in the heart of a sinner, by the Spirit and Word of God, whereby he, being convinced of his sin and misery, and if the disability in himself and all other creatures to recover him out of his lost condition, not only assenteth to the truth of the promise of the gospel, but receiveth and resteth upon Christ and his righteousness therein held forth, for pardon of sin, and for the accepting and accounting of his person righteous in the sight of God for salvation.” – as at 26th April 2004. Question 60 is also of direct interest.

41e.g. Pinnock, Wideness, p158.

42Hebrews 2v14-17 teaches the necessity of Christ taking on human nature as opposed to angelic nature to atone for human sin; presumably the argument works both ways and an atonement for the fallen angels would need to be wrought separately.

43e.g. the third affirmation of the Evangelical Alliance: “The universal sinfulness and guilt of fallen man, making him subject to God’s wrath and condemnation.” Such a statement can be found in nearly any evangelical statement of faith. In the context of the discussion of those who have never heard the gospel, the necessary modifications provided by Luke 12:47-8 similar verses would need to be added; those who have not heard the gospel are not guilty for rejecting it, and though they may be liable to wrath and condemnation for their sins, rejecting the gospel is not one of those sins. See J. Oswald Sanders, What of the Unevangelized?, Fearn: Christian Focus, 1998, p210: “If the heathen are lost, it is for the same reason as all other men are lost: Because they are sinful men.”

44In describing the divine decrees, Shedd writes, “The sentence of the last day will not be founded upon God’s negative act of not saving,. but upon the sinner’s positive act of sinning. Christ will not say to the impenitent, ‘Depart, because I did no save thee,’ but, ‘Depart, because thou hast sinned, and hast no sorrow for it.’” – Shedd, W. G. T., Dogmatic Theology, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1980, vol. 1, p445.

45Cornelius is also adduced by many as evidence against the existence of pagan saints – because if he was, as a God-fearer, a saved man, why did he need Peter to visit him to preach Christ to him? e.g. See Stott, John, The Message of Acts, Leicester: IVP, 1991, p109-10, the section “The status of non-Christian religions.” See also Davies, Eryl, Heaven is a far better place, Welwyn: Evangelical Press, 1999, p100-1.

46That is, in the book and article in my bibliography. He may well have done so in other writings.

47Ephesians 2v12.

48Luke 13v24. My points is not that Pinnock couldn’t provide explanations for these texts, but that he has weakened his case by not including them in his actual presentations. See also the texts listed in Oswald Sanders, op. cit., p204-8.

49e.g. Warfield considered Shedd’s understanding of the salvation of the heathen to be an “erroneous opinion” – cited in ed. Cameron, op. cit., p270.

50e.g. in p89-100 of the sermon “The Lamb of God”, in Warfield, Benjamin B., The Saviour of the World, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1991 – on page 95 he argues, “The vision [John the Baptist] brings before us …. is the vision of the ultimate salvation of the world, its complete conquest to Christ when at last Jesus’ last enemy shall have been conquered and the whole world shall bow before Him as its Lord and its Redeemer.” The context shows that what Warfield means by this is an ever-increasing proportion of saved to lost as history progresses. In the sermon “God’s Immeasurable Love”, (p103-30) he argues similarly – “Through all the years one increasing purpose runs, one increasing purpose: the kingdoms of the earth become ever more and more the kingdom of our God and His Christ.” – p125.

51Helm in ed. Cameron, op. cit., p269.

52See Riddlebarger’s article “Princeton and the Millennium: A Study in American Post-millennialism” – available from (authored 7th August 2002; available from that location still at 26th April 2004). See also the comments in Riddlebarger, Kim, A case for amillennialism: understanding the end times, Grand Rapids; Baker, 2003, p30 and the footnote on p249.

53Boettner, Loraine, The Millennium, Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1957. See, for example, p128-32. Boettner deals with the exegesis of different texts at different points in the book and unfortunately there is no Scripture index, but the contents page is of help.

54See The Westminster Standards and the ‘Larger Hope’ in Shedd, W. G. T., Calvinism: Pure & Mixed, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1986, p116-31. The grounds for this larger hope are firstly the salvation of infants as a class, which is over half of the entire human race (p127); the Scriptural teaching that a vast multitude will be saved in the normal way (p128), the possibilities for salvation among the heathen which is discussed in the body of the essay (p128-9), and a future millennium (p129-30).

55Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1, p437-40 and Shedd, Calvinism, p116-30, esp. p116-8.

56Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1, p437. John 9:36-8 reads, “He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, You have both seen him, and it is he that talks with you. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.”

57Warfield fully recognises the intended statement against Jewish nationalism, e.g. op. cit., p89-90 and p111-3, but argues that this does not exhaust the full meaning of the term “world.”

58e.g. 1 Peter 1v23, 1 Corinthians 2v4, John 16v13.

59Shedd adduces Cornelius, Dogmatic Theology, vol. 1, p439-40, but we have already seen that there are serious objections against his use to establish what happens to those who live and die without special revelation.

60Helm in ed. Cameron, op. cit., p275.

61An example is the statement of Pinnock in justifying saving post-mortem encounters: “Although the scriptural evidence for postmortem encounter is not abundant,” (in fact Pinnock adduces only 1 Peter 3v19-20 and 4v6 as possibilities) “its scantiness is relativized by the strength of the theological argument for it.”

62i.e. But not Shedd’s.

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