Monday, January 07, 2008

Is God Unfair in Sending People to Hell if They Have Never Been Exposed to Jesus?

I'm in New York City speaking and teaching at Faith Bible Seminary and Faith Bible Church. This church and seminary is Chinese and led by dynamic and visionary Jesus-follower John Hao.

On Saturday I made some presentations at their annual conference. One of them was called "The Uniqueness of Jesus Among the World Religions." I ended this presentation by raising the objection that it seems unfair that God would send some people to an eternity out of his preence if they have never had a chance to hear about Jesus. But is this really unfair? The answer is: no.

See William Lane Craig's essay "Politically Incorrect Salvation." Briefly, the reasoning is this: It is possible that God has counterfactual knowledge. God has given persons free will, for the sake of love. But this free will has a risk; viz., some created agents might choose to reject God's offer of salvation in Christ. But because God has counterfactual knowledge God is not unfair if he does not expose someone to Jesus if he knows they will freely choose to reject him. This means God cannot create world where such a person would be exposed to Jesus and embrace him, since that would violate their free will.