Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No Excuse (not that it matters)

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Rom 1:20)
I am in a minority (there's a surprise) with my evangelical compadres when I declare that some people will be saved (at least it can't be ruled out) without ever hearing about the gospel or about Jesus.1

There are multiple reasons I believe this (God will have mercy upon whom God will have mercy) but today I just want to use Rom. 1:20. And I want to use it in the form of a play. A play set at the Pearly Gates.

Without Excuse?

A Play in One (tiny) Act 

The play opens at the pearly gates. St. Peter, as always, is on guard duty. Two men (Hieronymus and Ed), recently deceased, both from the same unspoiled, remote, unevangelized tribe have arrived at the gates. They seek entrance.

St. Peter (to Hieronymus): You lived in a beautiful pristine environment. Tell me what you know of God?
Hieronymus: Um, um, he is... nice?
St. Peter (to Hieronymus): You learned nothing of his attributes. You are without excuse. You go to hell. (Hieronymus vanishes.)
St. Peter (to Ed): You lived in a beautiful pristine environment. Tell me what you know of God?
Ed (gulping nervously): Well, I know that He is glorious and powerful, just by the expanse of the night sky. And I know that he is eternal, for out of nothing comes nothing.
St. Peter: You are wise my child. You have perceived the attributes of God from His creation. Now tell me about Jesus and the gospel.
Ed: Jesus? Gospel?
St. Peter: You go hell. (Ed vanishes.)

La Fin 

You see my point. It makes no sense that failure to grasp something about the attributes of God through creation leaves you "without excuse" if successfully grasping those attributes nets you the same fate.

1 It goes without saying that we are to live as if it is the duty of the church to see that every single person hears the gospel.

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