An Examination of the Use of Scripture by Representative American Evangelical Christians to Understand the Eternal Destiny of Non-Christians
"Who goes to heaven?" For centuries, this question has been answered from the pulpit by evangelical Christian pastors. For evangelicals, the principle authority for seeking answers to this question, and for all questions in matters of faith, is the Bible. The Reverend Billy Graham's use of scripture is representative of many, perhaps most, evangelicals today. Yet new evangelical voices have emerged that use scripture to come to different conclusions. Two of these voices, the Reverends Rob Bell and Brian McLaren, have found a receptive evangelical audience. This thesis compares Graham’s use of scripture, which leads him to an exclusivist eschatology with that of Bell and McLaren, which lead them to a universalistic eschatology. Historically rendered incompatible, this thesis demonstrates that while exclusivism and universalism are different in their eschatological conclusion; that each camp can learn something from the other.