Few questions have troubled Christians more than the destiny of those who do not hear the gospel. For reasons described in this work, Irenaeus (second century Bishop of Lyons) did not directly address the issue of the salvation of the unevangelized. A careful analysis is therefore made of the saving effects of the various modes of revelation about which Irenaeus wrote, in the context of his conflict with the Gnostics. Particular attention is given to his understanding of the respective roles of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in divine revelation, the role of the Church, and the human response to divine revelation which is necessary for salvation.
Tiessen concludes that Irenaeus should not be cited as an early proponent of Karl Rahner's "anonymous Christianity" without careful qualification. Some aspects of his thought, however, indicate that he might have granted the possibility of salvation for individuals outside of the institutional Church, if he had known a situation such as we know today.
The work will be of particular interest to patrologists, missiologists, and theologians interested in the issues of revelation and salvation.
Terrance L. Tiessen, Hardcover, ISBN 10: 0810826828, ISBN 13: 9780810826823