Can you guess what her answer is yet?
I do think, though, that this video is very important for showing what is clearly the Presiding Bishop of the United States's 'best answer' to the question.
The problem is, it is not at all clear what she thinks is the way to God. At one level, her answer could be taken as meaning 'it is all by grace' - that God has made promises to Jews and to Muslims (and to Christians), which he is bound to keep, not because of any goodness on their part, but out of faithfulness to his promises. But she does not touch on the human side of this - what a person in each of the three 'Abrahamic faiths' must do to respond to God in Covenant faithfulness, or where Jesus might fit into that. We can only conjecture.
On another level, though, her answer might be taken to mean it is 'through a life which displays the fruits of the Spirit', whatever one's religion and irregardless of whether we know of any promises God has made. That must, inevitably, suggest works - though again, it could be all grace.
Perhaps what this shows is that the question is not the best one to ask! Perhaps a better question might be a negative, something like: "Is a person who rejects Jesus as God's answer to the human problem of our relationship with him lost to God?"
That would seem to tie in with St Paul's verdict on Israel - not that the promises of God had failed, but that Israel had stumbled over the 'stumbling stone', which is Jesus (Rom 9:26-10:4).
Sometimes what we say 'no' to is more important than that to which we say 'yes'.
2 August 2009
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