Jesus: the Only Way to God

Jesus, the Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved?Jesus, the Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved? by John Piper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Piper wrote this book to demonstrate to the reader the necessity of missions to yet-unreached lands. If people believe that the “innocent” natives who have never heard the Gospel will not be condemned, they will not have a compelling motive for evangelizing them. Piper writes to convince us that conscious faith in the name of Jesus is required for salvation.

Overall this was a good book. Piper makes a convincing case that unreached people are condemned and without excuse. They need to hear about Jesus. Simply seeking the truth is not sufficient, because the name of Jesus must be claimed. This is a powerful impetus to evangelize and seek out the seekers in any tribe or nation.

I think Piper makes an error in his assessment of Cornelius, though. He judges Cornelius to be lost before Peter preaches Christ to him, seeing his situation as identical to an unreached heathen. But Cornelius was a god-fearer with much knowledge of God. He lived during the unique transition from Old to New Covenant, when I believe fearers of the God of Israel were saved if they hadn’t yet heard of the Messiah, Jesus. I don’t think this disagreement changes my basic appreciation for his argument above, though.

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