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Letter to the Editor

62 The Review of Religions – January 2006 Dear Sir, I am a practising Catholic with a degree in Religious Studies. I enjoy reading The Review of Religions and recently enjoyed the excellent article on Origen in the August 2005 issue. However, the author states that current Christian thinking believes that failing to accept Christ in this world leads to eternal damnation. The Catholic Church, which consists of the majority of the world’s Christians, does not believe that. The Va t i c a n ’s ‘Decree on the Church’ having praised Muslims for their faith in the God of Abraham states that those who do not know Christ, yet aspire to do good deeds will, by God’s Grace, gain salvation. Indeed, all those who through no fault of their own are not Christians or believers in God will gain salvation if they do good deeds. The late Karl Rahner believes that all who show love have responded to Christ even when they are not aware of it, thus they are ‘Anonymous’ Christians. The late Edward Arnold quoting the Parable of the Sheep and Goats in Matthew Chapter 25, argues that to put others before oneself is to accept Christ even when this is not recognised. Relating to others is relating to Christ thus these are Implicit Christians. The late Pope John Paul II believed that Christ’s sacrifice enables all who co-operate with him by doing good to gain salvation. In his First Encyclical ‘Redemptor Hominis’, the Pope says that all men without exception have been redeemed by Christ. As a Catholic, I believe that it is morally obnoxious to believe only Christians enter heaven. Peace and kind regards, A n d rew Harvey, Carlisle, UK. Reply: The proclamation of exclusive salvation for Christians comes Letter to the Editor 63 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR The Review of Religions – January 2006 from adherents of diff e r e n t denominations that believe that salvation lies in a belief in the divinity of Jesus(as), and without it there can be no heaven. However, it is wrong to assume that this is the view of all (or even the majority of) Christians. Often, as evidence, they do not cite the words of Jesus(as) himself who was a most humble Prophet (according to Muslim belief), but rely on the analysis of St. Paul as recorded in his many letters as preserved in the New Testament. J e s u s( a s ) was born a Jew in Palestine. We may debate whether he came to bring a new religion or to reform Judaism, but we all agree on the Divine wisdom that he brought to his community. We are pleased to learn that the Roman Catholics do not believe that one must exclusively be a practising Christian to gain access to God’s promised reward in the hereafter. Advertise your business in The Review of Religions and see sales scale to new heights. Existing adverts can be placed and sponsorship on regular features is available in this longest running worldwide Muslim monthly magazine in the English language. 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