Author(s)

Mark CarltonFollow

Date

4-2017

Department

School of Divinity

Degree

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Chair

Keith Eitel

Keywords

Apologetics, Dispensationalism, Mission, Natural Revelation, Un-evangelized, Wider Hope

Disciplines

Christianity | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Other Religion | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion

Abstract

A Fresh Inquiry into the Fate of the Un-evangelized: A Traditional Dispensational Approach This inquiry revisits the question of the fate of those have died never having heard the gospel. It explores the question from the Traditional Dispensational perspective. It argues that salvific grace has always been available to the un-evangelized through the Eternal Gospel which is and always has been universally communicated through natural revelation. The inquiry begins with a lengthy examination and critique of the answers which have been proposed for the question under consideration – and related topics -- from the apostolic age until modern times. Included in this analysis is the traditional Jewish answer to the question under consideration, specifically the idea that Gentiles could be rightly related to God under the terms of the Noahaic Covenant. The thesis then moves into a discussion of the areas of agreement between the position being advocated in this inquiry and other paradigms. This is followed by the presentation of a “progressing dispensation.” Simply stated, this paper takes the position that “the day of salvation” among a particular people until the day gospel is proclaimed among them. Until then the un-evangelized are responsible for the “eternal gospel” (Rev. 14:6), which is communicated through the voice of Christ in Natural Revelation, which the Holy Spirit can then use to bring the un-evangelized into a right standing with God under the terms of the Eternal Covenant (Genesis 9:16). The conclusion is that there are those who have been justified but who are not yet a part of the Body of Christ. The inquiry ends with a discussion of the implications of this theory for Reformed, Arminian, and Intermediate theologies, and its implications and applications for apologetics and missions.