Salvation through Christ
Drawing on L Newbigin’s book, The Finality of Christ, Michael Green writes, “It is one thing to claim that all salvation is through Christ … It is quite another to claim that nobody finds life with God unless they pass through the doorway of explicit Christian faith … The Christian Church has never maintained that overt knowledge of the person and work of Jesus was essential for salvation … So to maintain … that “there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) does not mean that no man can be saved unless he has heard of Jesus: it does mean that Jesus is the only saviour of men” (The Truth of God Incarnate, pp. 118-119, emphasis mine).
Also of interest are the comments made by S H Travis in his book, I Believe in the Second Coming of Jesus. Commenting on those who have no real opportunity to hear the message of Christ, Travis writes, “it is possible to affirm the possibility of salvation for such people, without surrendering the belief that Jesus is God’s unique means of salvation. People who lived before Christ of after him in non-Christian cultures may find salvation through Christ, even though they do not know his name, by casting themselves on the mercy of God. If a Hindu finds salvation, it is not by virtue of being a good Hindu any more than a Christian is saved by being a good Christian. Whatever a person’s religious background, ‘saving faith’ involves coming to an end of one’s own ‘religion’ and abandoning oneself to the grace of God” (p. 204, emphasis original).