First in line “On the Square” today is Elizabeth Scalia‘s column, where she parses a particularly poisonous form of idolatry in the media:
Our ideological allegiances to these cults of personality have us slip-sliding into the sin of idolatry and everything that comes with it—a comfort level with truthiness that helps us to maintain our world views, a grim joylessness that permits no laughter and justifies tossing aside friends and family members who do not believe, and a bunker mentality that is ever on-guard for perceived heresies.
Second is Christopher Benson‘s essay on inclusivism, and its contention with exclusivist and universalist accounts of salvation theology. It’s sure to generate discussion in Evangelical circles, most notably given its focus on noted pastor Rob Bell’s controversial recent book on the topic.
Exclusivists and universalists are presumptive demographers: The former claims hell is crowded and the latter that hell is empty. By contrast, inclusivists are agnostic about the population in hell, refusing to name and number the individuals who inhabit the place of torment. God alone keeps the statistics. There’s a family resemblance between exclusivists and inclusivists insofar as they both affirm the existence of hell and believe “there is salvation in no one else [Jesus Christ], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The feud relates to how this salvation gets worked out.