Is it necessary for a person to have actual, conscious faith in Jesus Christ in order for them to be reconciled to God? Do those who either refuse Jesus or who simply never hear of Jesus spend an actual eternity in hell under the wrath of Almighty God? In Jesus, the Only Way to God, John Piper addresses these questions in his inspiring, helpful, and typically thorough style.
Simply put, Piper nails this issue with the word of God. He is not arrogant, belittling of others, or sensationalistic in this work. Piper simply goes to the Scripture to explain what Christians have believed from the word of God for centuries.
In chapter 5, Piper addresses the question of whether or not Cornelius was already saved before Peter came to tell him the gospel. Piper eventually argues that Cornelius represents a special kind of person in the world, one who seeks after God in an extraordinary way. Piper then illustrates this idea by quoting a story of missionaries in Ethiopia. It is strange, then, that Piper does not explain this conclusion about lost God-seekers in the light of Romans 3:11 which declares that no one seeks after God.
People in our churches are actually asking whether or not one must have conscious faith in Jesus in order to be reconciled to God; thus, we need a work like this one from Piper to answer them. While the brevity of the work leaves a question or two unanswered, Piper does an outstanding job of answering what needs to be answered with biblical soundness, thoroughness, and readability. If you have any struggles with the question of the exclusivity of Christ and the necessity of conscious faith for salvation (or if you know someone who has these struggles), this book is an excellent resource for you.
I received an excellent copy of the audio recording of this work from ChristianAudio.com. The narration was very well-done and quite easy-to-listen-to.