Jesus: The Only Way to God--Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved?

Is Jesus the Only Way to Be Saved?
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If the church was ever too confrontational in its evangelism, those days are gone. In our shrinking, pluralistic world, the belief that Jesus is the only way of salvation is increasingly called arrogant and even hateful. In the face of this criticism, many shrink back from affirming the global necessity of knowing and believing in Jesus. John Piper offers a timely plea for the evangelical church to consider what is at stake in surrendering the unique, universal place of Jesus in salvation.

His insights will encourage you to proclaim your beliefs to the nations! Paperback Number of Pages: Baker Books Publication Date: Have a question about this product? Ask a Question What would you like to know about this product? Sign In Desktop Site. That simply doesn't line up with what the Bible teaches unless you take verses in isolation or out of cont Not going to lie, this was a challenging book, as are most of Piper's books.

That simply doesn't line up with what the Bible teaches unless you take verses in isolation or out of context and Piper breaks it down strategically and thoroughly. Excellent book explaining biblically why you MUST hear the gospel to be eternally saved. The only problem that I had with the book was the format. Theological audiobooks always leave me wanting to purchase a hard copy! One that I can read, reread and mark up. I did listen to this book two times but would still like a hard copy. That said, the content was excellent!

Baptist preacher and self-proclaimed Christian hedonist John Piper addresses the question of whether it is possible to be saved apart from Jesus. His answer is No. Which, in an increasingly pluralistic society, is a deeply unpopular answer.

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In explaining his conclusion, Piper breaks the issue down into three separate-but-related questions: Will anyone experience eternal, conscious torment under God's wrath? Is the work of Jesus necessary for salvation? Is conscious faith in Jesus Baptist preacher and self-proclaimed Christian hedonist John Piper addresses the question of whether it is possible to be saved apart from Jesus. Is conscious faith in Jesus necessary for salvation?

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The first section, as you might expect, is a defense of the doctrine of hell--a doctrine that's made people uneasy for centuries, but which was recently brought to the forefront of the public consciousness by Rob Bell's recent and controversial book, Love Wins. This was, in my opinion, the strongest section in the book. Piper does an excellent job of identifying the abundance of scriptural support for the orthodox view of hell.

In Piper's view, a clear understanding of this doctrine is a necessary and foundational catalyst for missions. The second section addresses the pluralistic claim that there are many ways to God. Piper emphatically insists that the atoning work of Christ is "the one and only way for anyone to get right with God.

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In Jesus: The Only Way to God; Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved? John Piper offers a timely plea for the evangelical church to consider what is at stake in . It might feel unloving to say that Jesus is the only way, but it would be even more unloving not to. name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts ). And how are they to hear without someone preaching? on the church to spread the gospel to all the peoples of the world.

Again, Piper uses his conclusion as a springboard for passionate commitment to missions and the spread of the gospel. The third and final question is addressed in four chapters, each of which engages with a different nuance of or objection to the idea that conscious faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation: These discussions are not quite as well-supported as the previous sections--which makes sense, since solid theologians have been wrestling with these issues for a really long time, and there is not, as yet, one widely-accepted answer to these admittedly very difficult questions.

Piper concludes that conscious faith in Christ is indeed necessary for salvation--a belief that drives his passion for missions. I don't have a problem with any of Piper's arguments though I think sometimes he's a little too quick to derogate the opposition as being fundamentally incompatible with any serious commitment to missions--I think we've seen throughout history that 'fuzzy' Christians for lack of a better word can be very passionate about missions and have even risked their lives to share the gospel.

The thing is, I'm not really sure how many of Piper's 'opponents' on this issue base their beliefs on a careful and rational study of the Bible. There's a huge emotional cost to holding these beliefs, and plenty of folks just can't handle the idea of Uncle Joe stuck in eternal torment with no hope of escape.

Modern journalism has allowed us a glimpse of just how many people die every day--every hour--in faraway lands. It's hard enough to stomach temporal tragedy; never-ending suffering is just too much to accept. For these individuals, I don't think Piper's arguments, however biblically supported, will be sufficient to overcome their deeply ingrained hostility to and horror of the reality Piper describes.

But perhaps this book will at least show them the true basis of their opposition to the doctrines of hell and the exclusivity of Christ. A note about the edition: The audiobook is narrated by. The guy's only done a few books, but even if he was freaking Scott Brick, it still wouldn't change the fact that he's not John Piper. I'm sure John Piper is far too busy to record his own audiobooks. But the guy is prolific. And there's a really good chance that people who read his books have also listened to his sermons. They know what he sounds like. And hearing John Piper's words come out of someone else's mouth is just weird.

The whole time I was listening to the book, I kept hearing John Piper in my head in my imagination, though, not in an 'I'm hearing voices' kind of way.

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And hearing two people read the same thing at the same time is not conducive to maximum content absorption. Jun 26, Kevin Bensema rated it liked it Shelves: John Piper presents an argument that all people need to hear the Gospel to be saved. It follows from these propositions: Piper presents a mostly convincing argument for the first six points, but fails to ever prove point 7, and indeed assumes its validity. At one point, he provides five verses from John to show that salvation only comes from Christ by the preaching of his apostles. Five for five verses point to Christ as the only means of salvation.

Five for five verses fail to make any mention of the apostles' preaching, much less the necessity of it. John Piper's argument fails because he mistakes the ordinary means of learning about salvation for the exclusive means of learning about salvation, and he ignores the possibility of private revelation - an oversight made all the more amazing by the fact that he often quotes Romans. The author of Romans, St. Paul, did not come to Christ through the preaching of the apostles. Named Saul at the time, the young Pharisee impassively watched the execution of St. Stephen, and promptly set out to kill Christians outside the Jerusalem area when Jesus Christ Himself relates to him the Gospel.

It was not the preaching of men that converted Paul, but the direct revelation of God. This is an example of a larger fallacy in Piper's work: If Scripture talks about or emphasizes that X is a property of A, then Y cannot sometimes be a property of A. The argument is set in the curious context of "motivation for missions" - as if the motivational consequences of a theological doctrine could have any bearing on the truth of that doctrine, one way or another.

Further, I don't find Piper's claim that the theoretical possibility of salvation by faith through grace apart from preaching - the barest hint of which is emphatically denied by this work - would have a significant and detrimental effect on the motivation of missionaries. The difference is akin to the difference in motivation between two rescue workers: That said, Piper's work does do a reasonable job of establishing that there is no salvation outside the Church something we knew since Unam Sanctum, but that theological liberals love to forget or ignore and rejecting various errors about the nature of Hell.

I removed the two stars for the author's repeated and staunch claims to have refuted things that he never really addressed. I don't think the possibility of salvation without preaching is likely, and may not even occur, but there is no proof that convincingly states that it does not.

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Piper's argument doesn't touch the theoretical possibility entertained by Vatican II, but I'm not sure he meant to address it. He certainly didn't succeed if he did mean to. Jun 22, Pastoralmusings rated it it was amazing. Through the years there have been those who have decided that perhaps people can come to God without Jesus. Some have declared that those who reject Jesus are annihilated. Others claim that the condemned eventually are brought to repentance after a period of punishment.

Then others tell us that those who have never heard of Jesus can actually come to God by following the knowledge that they have from nature. A Hindu who is a good Hindu can come to God without consciously believing Jesus. The ques Through the years there have been those who have decided that perhaps people can come to God without Jesus. Though the book is short and the chapters concise, the Biblical exegesis is sound.

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The answers are true to the historic faith of Christianity, and they are certainly Biblical. Piper explains the statement that God passed over the times of man's ignorance and shows that it does not mean that God forgave those who did not trust in Jesus. He also shows that Cornelius, though a God-fearer, had to hear and believe the Gospel to be saved. He did not receive salvation simply by being a good person who did his best.

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Piper also shows that we must indeed consciously trust Jesus if we are to be saved. He does so by reminding us that there is no other name under Heaven by which we must be saved. Finally, Piper demonstrates that the apostle's missionary purpose was not to help people learn that they had already been forgiven, but that their purpose was to preach Jesus so that people would believe and receive forgiveness.

In a pluralistic world it is easy for us to bend and yield to the pressures against the exclusive claims of Christ. I'm glad that Piper has chosen to take his stand as one who holds fast to this truth. This book freely provided for review by Baker Publishing and there was no expectation of a positive review. May 21, Ben Zajdel added it. For starters, this is a good book.

Jesus: The Only Way to God--Must You Hear the Gospel to Be Saved?

Piper does a great job of stating his case, which is three fold: Hell is a place of eternal, concious torment. Humanity is saved by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross and through his resurrection. A person must hear the gospel in order to be saved. Piper presents his views clearly and succintly, and even includes some correspondence with John Stott, with whom he disagrees about issue number one. I do, however, disagree with some of his conclusions, in For starters, this is a good book.

I do, however, disagree with some of his conclusions, including one that was so egregious that I had to knock two stars off of the review. I'll take each issue separately: While I tend to lean toward Piper's view of hell, I can't discount annihilationism as quickly as he does. I believe that the Bible seems to establish eternal torment as hell, but there are some verses that cast some doubt on the subject. But overall, a pretty good treatment by Piper. I completely agree that Jesus' death and resurrection are the salvation of humanity, establishing his lordship on the Earth.

In this, I think Piper and I are in full agreement. This is where Piper and I diverge. I'm not sure that the gospel must be presented to a person for that individual to be saved. If that is so, God created billions of people for no purpose other than hell, as the majority of the earth in history had no chance to hear the gospel. This isn't necessarily a problem for Piper, who believes in predestination, but for me, it seems out of character for God, as he is presented in the Bible.

Where Piper's argument really falls apart, in my opinion, is when he suggests that infants and mentally incapacitated people do not go to hell, as they cannot understand the gospel. Piper, in this regard, would like to have his cake and eat it, too. If one believes that unevangelized peoples go to hell, then so do babies and the mentally incapacitated. There is no difference between not hearing the gospel and not being able to understand it. Either way, the gospel message was not communicated. With that in mind, Piper's whole line of reasoning is derailed. For me to accept that hell is the fate of the unevangelized, I would need a stronger argument than what Piper presented in this book.

Oct 23, Travis rated it really liked it. Is it necessary for a person to have actual, conscious faith in Jesus Christ in order for them to be reconciled to God? Do those who either refuse Jesus or who simply never hear of Jesus spend an actual eternity in hell under the wrath of Almighty God? In Jesus, the Only Way to God, John Piper addresses these questions in his inspiring, helpful, and typically thorough style. Positive Simply put, Piper nails this issue with the word of God. He is not arrogant, belittling of others, or sensational Is it necessary for a person to have actual, conscious faith in Jesus Christ in order for them to be reconciled to God?

He is not arrogant, belittling of others, or sensationalistic in this work. Piper simply goes to the Scripture to explain what Christians have believed from the word of God for centuries. Negative In chapter 5, Piper addresses the question of whether or not Cornelius was already saved before Peter came to tell him the gospel. Piper eventually argues that Cornelius represents a special kind of person in the world, one who seeks after God in an extraordinary way. Piper then illustrates this idea by quoting a story of missionaries in Ethiopia.

It is strange, then, that Piper does not explain this conclusion about lost God-seekers in the light of Romans 3: Recommendation People in our churches are actually asking whether or not one must have conscious faith in Jesus in order to be reconciled to God; thus, we need a work like this one from Piper to answer them.

While the brevity of the work leaves a question or two unanswered, Piper does an outstanding job of answering what needs to be answered with biblical soundness, thoroughness, and readability. If you have any struggles with the question of the exclusivity of Christ and the necessity of conscious faith for salvation or if you know someone who has these struggles , this book is an excellent resource for you.