Is Jesus the Only Savior? – Inclusivism (Pt. 3)

JesusChapter Eleven

The title of the chapter gives a summation of its content, in that, Nash formulates his final refutation of inclusivism as to explain ‘Why [He Is] Not an Inclusivist.’ He first returns to his previous observance of inclusivism’s tendency to illustrate strong emotional appeal in the subheading of ‘The Inclusivist as Romantic.’ Ultimately, Nash notes that this appeal has no propositional truth to support its lure; and truth is the issue, not feeling. This feeling leads to an eisegetical approach to Scripture: “Once they convince themselves emotionally that a certain belief must be true, they conclude that it is true and must therefore be in the Bible.”[1]

The next issue deals with inclusivism’s natural connotation of a lack of missional evangelism. Interestingly, Nash provides the reader with a different kind of affirmative research to refute inclusivism. He appeals to a survey and research done by a secular social scientist, Thomas Guterbock, who notes that inclusivist theology logically reduces the motivation to evangelize. This exemplifies the credibility of Nash’s view beyond the scope of biblical and theological academia, further affirming his position.

The final pages address some final issues, major ones like ‘Do Inclusivists Teach Salvation by Human Works?’ and ‘Inclusivism and the Book of Acts.’ Both of these issues are presented by Nash because of their serious implications for Christian thought and practice. The author is illustrating the significance of the study’s clarity, thus encouraging the student to remain engaged in the examination. Further, Nash provides some unification to pluralism and inclusivism by addressing their parallels concerning biblical authority. This allows the student to acquire some connection points in future discussion and analysis pertaining to the subject.

In conclusion, Nash provides a biblical example to further refute inclusivist thought. Saul of Tarsus provides a convenient equation to biblically countering inclusivism. “If inclusivism is true, then Saul of Tarsus was saved. But it is false that Saul was saved. Therefore, inclusivism is not true.”[2] This simple logical proposition leaves the student with an easy and brief starting point for addressing inclusivists’ biblical inconsistency.


Ronald H. Nash’s work has given me a great confidence in  the exclusivist view. Not only is the logic of it overwhelmingly weighted, but also the biblical support for such a view is irresistibly attested. My lacking was not in biblical knowledge of the subject, but rather the proper application and structure of that knowledge. The organization and progression presented in Nash’s work has afforded me the ability to concisely and deeply analyze inclusivist claims.

Secondly, Nash has presented an alluring analysis by his method of correction and rebuke. The author was exceedingly kind and respectful of his opposition, and this is a mode of discussion that every Christian should obtain (cf. 1 Pet. 3:15). Additionally, the model of biblical exegesis has been edifying. The method of proof-texting verses apart from their context can render dangerous theological implications. The Bible was written in a progression of thought within a historical context; this is one of the key identifications necessary for a proper hermeneutic. That being the case, realizing this lacking in other theological views is imperative to determining their biblical validity and truth.

Thirdly, scholastic attestation is important to theological and biblical study. There are many prominent men and women better suited and read in biblical academia that can offer vital information for such examinations as the one concerned. It is no crippling thing to allude to those people that have devoted more time and effort into researching and accumulating data relevant to one’s study. If anything, such allusions only fortify one’s humility and concern for the truth of the matter. As a beginner in biblical studies, this affirmation was a glorious ringing in my ears.

 [1] Ronald H. Nash, Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), 164.

[2] Ibid., 175.


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