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Salvation, in religion, is the saving of the soul from sin and its consequences. It may also be called "deliverance" or "redemption" from sin and its effects. Depending on the religious tradition, salvation is considered to be caused either by the free will and grace of a deity (in theistic religions) or by personal responsibility and self-effort (e.g. in the sramanicand yogic traditions of India). Religions often emphasize the necessity of both personal effort— for example, repentance and asceticism —and divine action (e.g. grace).
Within soteriology, salvation has two related meanings. On the one hand it refers to the phenomenon of being saved by divine agency —such as is the case in Christianity,Judaism and Islam. On the other it refers to the phenomenon of the soul being saved (as in 'safe') from some unfortunate destiny. In the former, divine agency gives rise to the situation of the latter. Within Christianity salvation comes by way of grace through Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9) However, within Islam devotion, petition, supplication and liturgical participation are not enough alone to bring about salvation. Asceticism and repentance are necessary from both a practical and sacramental point of view.
The academic study of salvation is called soteriology. It concerns itself with the comparative study of how different religious traditions conceive salvation and how they believe it is effected or achieved. In Indian religions, for example, the concept of salvation (which is called moksha) involves being free from an endless process of transmigration of the soul, a belief that is absent from Abrahamic soteriology. In Jainism and Buddhism divine agency does not have any role in salvation since both religions regard the matter from a purely causal point of view.
In both Eastern and Western religions salvation is also the phenomenon of being saved from death but here is not meant biological death but the suffering and degradation within life resulting from the consequences of sin. In Christianity one who has attained salvation is said to experience and inherit eternal life in God or what in Buddhism is called nirvana(whose synonym amaravati means "deathlessness").
According to Christian belief, salvation is made possible by the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, which in the context of salvation is referred to as the "atonement". For this reason, the New Testament portrays Jesus as the only redeemer or saviour of mankind,
It had been expressed in Judaism from the days of Abraham onward that the salvation of all mankind is to come from Israel, i.e. the Jews through their relationship with God. This is the primary sense in which the Jews are "the Chosen People". Christians who believe in the accuracy of the New Testament, would accept that "salvation is from the Jews", since "those are the very words that Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well".
"The Bible presents salvation in the form of a story that describes the outworking of God's eternal plan to deal with the problem of human sin. The story is set against the background of the history of God's people and reaches its climax in the person and work of Christ. The Old Testament part of the story shows that people are sinners by nature, and describes a series of covenants by which God sets people free and makes promises to them. His plan includes the promise of blessing for all nations through Abraham and the redemption of Israel from every form of bondage. God showed his saving power throughout Israel's history, but he also spoke about a Messianic figure who would save all people from the power, guilt, and penalty of sin. This role was fulfilled by Jesus, who will ultimately destroy all the devil's work, including suffering, pain, and death."—Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible.
Salvation is believed to be a process that begins when a person first becomes a Christian, continues through that person's life, and is completed when they stand before Christ in judgment. Therefore, according to Catholic apologist James Akin, the faithful Christian can say in faith and hope, "I have been saved; I am being saved; and I will be saved."
Christian salvation concepts are varied and complicated by certain theological concepts, traditional beliefs, and dogmas. Scripture is subject to individual and ecclesiastical interpretations. Therefore, Christian soteriology ranges from exclusive salvation:p.123 touniversal reconciliation concepts. While some of the differences are as widespread as Christianity itself, the overwhelming majority agrees that salvation is made possible by the work of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, dying on the cross.
The purpose of salvation is debated, but in general most Christian theologians agree that God devised and implemented His plan of salvation because he loves them and regards human beings as his children. Since human existence on Earth is said to be "[given] to sin,"
"At the heart of Christian faith is the reality and hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. Christian faith is faith in the God of salvation revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. The Christian tradition has always equated this salvation with the transcendent,eschatological fulfillment of human existence in a life freed from sin, finitude, and mortality and united with the triune God. This is perhaps the non-negotiable item of Christian faith. What has been a matter of debate is the relation between salvation and our activities in the world."—Anselm Kyongsuk Min:p.79
Paradigms of salvation
Different theories of atonement have been proposed for how Christian salvation can be understood. Over the centuries, Christians have held different ideas about how Jesus saved people, and different views still exist within different Christian denominations. The main paradigms of salvation that have been proposed are:
The moral transformation view was the predominant understanding of salvation among Christians during the first three centuries AD, and continues to be held by some denominations such as the Eastern Orthodox today. In this view, Jesus saved people from sinfulness through his life and teachings (see the moral influence theory of atonement), thus transforming their character to become righteous. This salvation is seen as undeserved, since God graciously sent Jesus to save people when they were unrighteous and did not in any way deserve such a favour. In the moral transformation paradigm, a person is saved from sinfulness by faithfully following the teachings of Jesus, and the example he set of how to live. Consequently, a person becomes righteous in God's sight, and can expect a positive final judgment by God. Perfection is not required, and mistakes are forgiven after repentance. In this view, Jesus' crucifixion is understood primarily as a martyrdom.
The moral transformation view has been criticised and rejected by many Protestant Christians, for a variety of reasons. Critics believe that the moral transformation view conflicts with various biblical passages (particularly ones by Paul regarding 'faith' and 'works'), underestimates the seriousness of sin and denies the atoning value of Jesus' death.
In the Christus Victor view, people needed salvation from the powers of evil. Jesus achieved salvation for people by defeating the powers of evil, particularly Satan. This view has been dated in writings of the Church Fathers to the 4th centuries AD, although it remained popular for several centuries. Several perspectives on this idea existed, which can be roughly divided into conquest of Satan and rescue from Satan's power. In the conquest of Satan version, writers such as Eusebius of Caesarea depicted Jesus defeating Satan in a great spiritual battle that occurred between his death and resurrection. By winning this battle, Jesus overthrew Satan and saved people from his dominion. The Christus Victor view is not widely held in the West.
Ransom from Satan
The ransom from Satan view entails the idea that Satan had power over people's souls in the afterlife, but that Christ rescued people from his power. Often, the death of Christ plays an important role in this rescue. The view appears to have arisen during the 3rd century, in the writings of Origen and other theologians. In one version of the idea, Satan attempted to take Jesus' soul after he had died, but in doing so over-extended his authority, since Jesus had not sinned. As a consequence, Satan lost his authority completely, and all humanity gained freedom. In another version, God entered into a deal with Satan, offering to trade Jesus' soul in exchange for the souls of all people, but after the trade, God raised Jesus from the dead and left Satan with nothing. Other versions held that Jesus' divinity was masked by his human form, so Satan tried to take Jesus’ soul without realizing that his divinity would destroy Satan's power. Another idea is that Jesus came to teach how not to sin and Satan, in anger with this tried to take his soul. The Ransom from Satan view is also not widely held in the West.
In the 11th century, Anselm of Canterbury rejected the ransom view, and proposed instead the satisfaction view. He depicted God as a feudal lord, whose honour had been offended by the sins of humankind. In this view, people needed salvation from the divine punishmentthat these offences would bring, since nothing they could do could repay the honour debt. Anselm held that Christ had infinitely honoured God through his life and death that Christ could repay what humanity owed God, thus resolving the offence to God's honour (satisfying it) and doing away with the need for punishment. When Anselm proposed the satisfaction view, it was immediately criticised by Peter Abelard.
Penal substitution and faith
In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformers reinterpreted Anselm's satisfaction theory of salvation within a legal paradigm. In the legal system, offences required punishment, and no satisfaction could be given to avert this need. They proposed a theory known as penal substitution, in which Christ takes the penalty of people's sin as their substitute, thus saving people from God's wrath against sin. Penal substitution thus presents Jesus saving people from the divine punishment of their past wrongdoings. However, this salvation is not presented as automatic. Rather, a person must have faith in order to receive this free gift of salvation. In the penal substitution view, salvation is not dependent upon human effort or deeds.
The penal substitution paradigm of salvation is widely held among Protestant Christians, who often consider it central to Christianity. However, it has also be widely critiqued.Advocates of the New Perspective on Paul also argue that many New Testament books byPaul the Apostle used to support the theory of penal substitution should be interpreted differently.
A crucial difference between the Catholic and Protestant understanding of salvation is that, unlike Protestantism, Catholicism believes that, after the Fall humanity did not become totally corrupt but was “wounded by sin” (rather than destroyed) and “stands in need of salvation from God. Divine help comes in Christ through the law that guides and the grace that sustains”  That divine help, that grace, is a favour, a free and undeserved gift from God which helps us to respond to His invitation to enter relationship.
Catholics profess belief that Christ alone is the Saviour of the human race. Christ is God incarnate, bringing about redemption from sin, for “…all salvation comes through Christ.” Indeed
”…she (the Church) proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ 'the way, the truth, and the life' (John 14:6), in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself."
In the Catholic Church justification is granted by God from baptism firstly, instead of plainly by faith, and from the sacrament of reconciliation after if a mortal sin is committed. A mortal sin makes justification lost even if faith is still present.
Salvation of non-Catholics
For Catholicism, Christ provides the Church with "'the fullness of the means of salvation' which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession." To Catholic thinking, this does not mean that only Christians can enter heaven, for "Jesus, the Son of God, freely suffered death for us in complete and free submission to the will of God, his Father. By his death he has conquered death, and so opened the possibility of salvation to all men." As Pope John Paul IIstated in his encyclical Redemptoris Missio,
"The universality of salvation means that it is granted not only to those who explicitly believe in Christ and have entered the Church. Since salvation is offered to all, it must be made concretely available to all. But it is clear that today, as in the past, many people do not have an opportunity to come to know or accept the Gospel revelation or to enter the Church. The social and cultural conditions in which they live do not permit this, and frequently they have been brought up in other religious traditions. For such people salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ; it is the result of his Sacrifice and is communicated by the Holy Spirit. It enables each person to attain salvation through his or her free cooperation."
This encyclical echoes what the Church solemnly declared in the documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and is thus binding on all Catholics. Concerning Jews and Muslims, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, states:
"In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh; the Jews On account of their fathers this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts He makes nor of the calls He issues. But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge humanity" 
Paragraph 16 of Lumen Gentium takes a step further and declares:
"Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is He who gives to all men life and breath and all things, and as Saviour wills that all men be saved. Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or His Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do His will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with His grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel"
Thus, the Catholic Church teaches that, although Christ is the Saviour of humanity, it is not necessary to know of Him, or have a relationship with Him, to be saved. This is because The Church teaches that the salvation of humanity takes place because of Christ's death and resurrection, and that this salvation applies to all people whether or not they are aware of this act. This does not mean that The Church teaches that all religions are equal, but rather that everyone does not have the same access to Christ and His teachings, or may have had the Gospel presented in such a manner as to have turned them away (e.g. by missionaries who were poor examples of the Christian life).
In its' Declaration on Religious Freedom, Dignitatis humanae, the Second Vatican Council also stated:
"This Vatican Council declares that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits. The council further declares that the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the very dignity of the human person as this dignity is known through the revealed word of God and by reason itself. This right of the human person to religious freedom is to be recognized in the constitutional law whereby society is governed and thus it is to become a civil right"
Shortly after 1100, Anselm, appointed as archbishop of Canterbury, wrote a classic treatise about atonement. In it he puts forward the "satisfaction theory" of the Atonement in salvation. Man's offense of rebellion against God is one that demands a payment or satisfaction. Fallen man is incapable of making adequate satisfaction. Nevertheless, such is God's love that God will not simply abandon us (at least not all of us) to the consequences of our sins. Anselm wrote,
"This debt was so great that, while none but man must solve the debt, none but God was able to do it; so that he who does it must be both God and man."
The suffering of Christ, the God-man who is God's only son, pays off what human beings owe to God's honor, and we are thereby reconciled to God. So God took human nature upon Himself so that a perfect man might make perfect satisfaction and so restore the human race. Anselm is called the founder of scholasticism, and he is noted as the originator of the ontological argument for theexistence of God. His foundational work is seen later in Calvinism and Arminianism.
Eastern Christianity was much less influenced by Augustine. It asks different questions, and it generally views salvation less in legalistic terms (e.g. grace and punishment), more in medical terms (sickness, healing etc.). It views salvation more along the lines of theosis, a seeking to become holy or draw closer to God, a traditional concept of Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern CatholicChristians. It also stresses teaching about forgiveness.
The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church, known also as The Catechism of St. Philaret  includes the questions and answers: "155. To save men from what did (the Son of God) come upon earth? From sin, the curse, and death." "208. How does the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross deliver us from sin, the curse, and death? That we may the more readily believe this mystery, the Word of God teaches us of it, so much as we may be able to receive, by the comparison of Jesus Christ with Adam. Adam is by nature the head of all humanity, which is one with him by natural descent from him. Jesus Christ, in whom the Godhead is united with manhood, graciously made himself the new almighty Head of men, whom he unites to himself through faith. Therefore as in Adam we had fallen under sin, the curse, and death, so we are delivered from sin, the curse, and death in Jesus Christ. His voluntary suffering and death on the cross for us, being of infinite value and merit, as the death of one sinless, God and man in one person, is both a perfect satisfaction to the justice of God, which had condemned us for sin to death, and a fund of infinite merit, which has obtained him the right, without prejudice to justice, to give us sinners pardon of our sins, and grace to have victory over sin and death.
Orthodox theology teaches prevenient grace, meaning that God makes the first movement toward man, and that salvation is impossible from our own will alone. However, man is endowed with free will, and an individual can either accept or reject the grace of God. Thus an individual must cooperate with God's grace to be saved, though he can claim no credit of his own, as any progress he makes is possible only by the grace of God.
Besides, the Orthodox Church supposes that the person has salvation not only by his good deeds, but also by his patient suffering of various griefs, illnesses, misfortunes, failures (-31, -38, -11, -3, ).
The Protestant Christian perspective on salvation is that no one can merit the grace of God by performing rituals, good works,asceticism or meditation, because grace is the result of one's initiative without any regard whatsoever to any merit in the one towards whom the good is being initiated. To be forgiven and brought back into a personal relationship with God, it is not enough that the grace of God exists as potential solution. It must be claimed personally by the sinful person by their own initiative. The recognition of one’s sinful state, followed by a complete turning away from that sinful lifestyle and attitude, is called repentance. Repentance in the New Testamenthas a wider meaning than simply regretting the mistakes of the past. "When the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost, repentance meant to be sorry for rejecting Jesus Christ as Savior,
According to Christian theologian Frank Stagg, salvation is rooted in the grace of God. "For bankrupt sinners with no ground of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own upon which to stand, with nothing of their own to hold up to God for [one's] reward, it is their only hope, but it is their sufficient hope.":80
According to the New Testament, this salvation is a gift from God that anyone may receive by exercising faith in Christ and repenting for their sin.
Some of the benefits of this salvation are that people become "new creations in Christ,"
In Christianity, the human problem is sin that causes suffering in this life but may lead to eternal suffering in the next life. According to Christian teachings, God is good, perfect, and just, and so sin by its nature prevents a right relationship with God and provokes God to anger at all humanity who consistently rebel against His law and commandments. Therefore, people who have not accepted salvation cannot enjoy the full benefits of knowing God in this life, such as peace and comfort in times of trouble. They also cannot spend eternity in God's presence, and will consequently suffer the eternal wrath of God's righteous punishment and judgement in a place called Hell.
Christianity claims to offer "good news," and this good news is that it is possible to be saved (attain salvation) from sin and the wrath of God's holy and righteous judgement. The solution, then, is salvation from sin, temporal suffering, and suffering under the eternal wrath of God.
According to Christianity, eternal life is not the annihilation of soul and personhood, but an embodied existence of perfect and eternal communion with God.[not in citation given]
In the Protestant view, Jesus took God's justice and wrath upon himself and was crushed in order to conquer death and bring into right standing with God, those who believe and repent.
Broadly speaking, Protestants hold to the five solas of the Reformation which declare that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone through grace alone to the Glory of God alone as told in "Scripture" alone.
- Some Protestants understand this to mean that God saves solely by grace and that works follow as a necessary consequence of saving grace (see Lordship salvation).
- Others rigidly believe that salvation is accomplished by faith alone without any reference to works whatsoever, including the works that may follow salvation (see Free Grace theology).
- Still others believe that salvation is by faith alone but that salvation can be forfeited if it is not accompanied by continued faith and the works that naturally follow from it.
- Karl Barth notes a range of alternative themes: forensic (we are guilty of a crime, and Christ takes the punishment), financial (we are indebted to God, and Christ pays our debt) and cultic (Christ makes a sacrifice on our behalf). For various cultural reasons, the oldest themes (honor and sacrifice) prove to have more depth than the more modern ones (payment of a debt, punishment for a crime). But in all these alternatives, the understanding of atonement has the same structure. Human beings owe something to God that we cannot pay. Christ pays it on our behalf. Thus God remains both perfectly just (insisting on a penalty) and perfectly loving (paying the penalty himself). A great many Christians would define such a substitutionary view of the atonement as simply part of what orthodox Christians believe.
Debates about how Christ saves us have tended to divide Protestants into conservatives who defended some form of substitutionary atonement theory and liberals who were more apt to accept a kind of moral influence theory. Both those approaches were about 900 years old. Recently, new accounts of Christ's salvific work have been introduced or reintroduced, and the debates have generally grown angrier, at least from the liberal side. Those who defended substitutionary atonement were always ready to dismiss their opponents as heretics; now some of their opponents complain that a focus on substitutionary atonement leads to violence against women and to child abuse.— William C. Placher
Calvinists are theologically conservative Protestant Christians whose foundational approach to Christian life and thought somewhat parallel those articulated by John Calvin, a French Protestant Reformer of the 16th century. They adhere to Lordship salvation. They believe in Predestination of the "elect" before the foundation of the world. All of the elect necessarily persevere in faith because God keeps them from falling away. Thus, the Calvinist system is called monergism because God alone acts to bring about salvation. Calvinists further understand the doctrines of salvation to include the five points of Calvinism, typically arranged to form the acrostic "TULIP." All five contrast sharply with Arminianism:
- Total Inability (Radical and Pervasive Depravity). Because of the fall, man is unable of himself to savingly believe the gospel. The sinner is dead, blind, and deaf to the things of God; his heart is deceitful and desperately corrupt. His will is not free, it is in bondage to his evil nature, therefore, he will not—indeed he cannot—choose good over evil in the spiritual realm. Consequently, it takes much more than the Spirit's assistance to bring a sinner to Christ—it takes regeneration by which the Spirit makes the sinner alive and gives him a new nature. Faith is not something man contributes to salvation but is itself a part of God's gift of salvation—it is God's gift to the sinner, not the sinner's gift to God.
- Unconditional (Sovereign, Divine) Election. God's choice of certain individuals unto salvation before the foundation of the world rested solely in His own sovereign will. His choice of particular sinners was not based on any foreseen response of obedience on their part, such as faith, repentance, etc. On the contrary, God gives faith and repentance to each individual whom He selected. These acts are the result, not the cause of God's choice. Election therefore was not determined by or conditioned upon any virtuous quality or act foreseen in man. Those whom God sovereignly elected He brings through the power of the Spirit to a willing acceptance of Christ. Thus God's choice of the sinner, not the sinner's choice of Christ, is the ultimate cause of salvation.
- Limited (Definite) Atonement (Particular Redemption). Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them. His death was substitutionary endurance of the penalty of sin in the place of certain specified sinners. In addition to putting away the sins of His people, Christ's redemption secured everything necessary for their salvation, including faith which unites them to Him. The gift of faith is infallibly applied by the Spirit to all for whom Christ died, therefore guaranteeing their salvation.
- Irresistible (Effectual, Saving) Grace. In addition to the outward general call to salvation which is made to everyone who hears the gospel, the Holy Spirit extends to the elect a special inward call that inevitably brings them to salvation. The internal call (which is made only to the elect) cannot be rejected; it always results in conversion. By means of this special call the Spirit irresistibly draws sinners to Christ. He is not limited in His work of applying salvation by man's will, nor is He dependent upon man's cooperation for success. The Spirit graciously causes the elect sinner to cooperate, to believe, to repent, to come freely and willingly to Christ. God's grace, therefore, is invincible; it never fails to result in the salvation of those to whom it is extended.
- Perseverance (of God) with the Saints. All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.
Arminianism is a school of soteriological thought within Protestant Christianity. It is based on the theological ideas of the Dutch Reformed theologian Jacobus Arminius (1560–1609). Like Calvinists, Arminians agree that all people are born sinful and are in need of salvation. Classical Arminians emphasize that God's free grace (or "prevenient grace") enables humans to freely respond to or to reject the salvation offered through Christ. Classical Arminians believe that a person's saving relationship with Christ is conditional upon faith, and thus, a person can sever their saving relationship with Christ through persistent unbelief. Arminians hold the following beliefs:
- Depravity is total: Arminius states "In this [fallen] state, the free will of man towards the true good is not only wounded, infirm, bent, and weakened; but it is also imprisoned, destroyed, and lost. And its powers are not only debilitated and useless unless they be assisted by grace, but it has no powers whatever except such as are excited by Divine grace."
- Atonement is intended for all: Jesus's death was for all people, Jesus draws all people to himself, and all people have opportunity for salvation through faith.
- Jesus's death satisfies God's justice: The penalty for the sins of the elect is paid in full through Jesus's work on the cross. Thus Christ's atonement is intended for all, but requires faith to be effected. Arminius states that "Justification, when used for the act of a Judge, is either purely the imputation of righteousness through mercy… or that man is justified before God… according to the rigor of justice without any forgiveness." Stephen Ashby clarifies: "Arminius allowed for only two possible ways in which the sinner might be justified: (1) by our absolute and perfect adherence to the law, or (2) purely by God's imputation of Christ's righteousness."
- Grace is resistible: God takes initiative in the salvation process and His grace comes to all people. This grace (often calledprevenient or pre-regenerating grace) acts on all people to convince them of the Gospel, draw them strongly towards salvation, and enable the possibility of sincere faith. Picirilli states that "indeed this grace is so close to regeneration that it inevitably leads to regeneration unless finally resisted."  The offer of salvation through grace does not act irresistibly in a purely cause-effect, deterministic method but rather in an influence-and-response fashion that can be both freely accepted and freely denied.
- Man has grace enabled free will to respond or resist: Free will is limited by God's sovereignty, but God's sovereignty allows all men the choice to accept the Gospel of Jesus through faith, simultaneously allowing all men to resist.
- Election is conditional: Arminius defined election as "the decree of God by which, of Himself, from eternity, He decreed to justify in Christ, believers, and to accept them unto eternal life." God alone determines who will be saved and his determination is that all who believe Jesus through faith will be justified. According to Arminius, "God regards no one in Christ unless they are engrafted in him by faith."
- God predestines the elect to a glorious future: Predestination is not the predetermination of who will believe, but rather the predetermination of the believer's future inheritance. The elect are therefore predestined to sonship through adoption, glorification, and eternal life.
- Christ's righteousness is imputed to the believer: Justification is sola fide. When individuals repent and believe in Christ (saving faith), they are regenerated and brought into union with Christ, whereby the death and righteousness of Christ are imputed to them for their justification before God.
- Eternal security is also conditional: All believers have full assurance of salvation with the condition that they remain in Christ. Salvation is conditioned on faith, therefore perseverance is also conditioned. Apostasy (turning from Christ) is only committed through a deliberate, willful rejection of Jesus and renunciation of saving faith. Such apostasy is irremediable.
Universalists agree with both Calvinists and Arminians that everyone is born in sin and in need of salvation. They also believe that one is saved by Jesus Christ. However, they emphasize that judgment in hell upon sinners is of limited duration, and that God uses judgment to bring sinners to repentance.
Churches of Christ
Western Churches of Christ are strongly anti-Calvinist in their understanding of salvation, and generally present conversion as "obedience to the proclaimed facts of the gospel rather than as the result of an emotional, Spirit-initiated conversion."
Churches of Christ hold the view that humans of accountable age are lost because of their sins. These lost souls can be redeemed because Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offered Himself as the atoning sacrifice. Children too young to understand right from wrong, and make a conscious choice between the two, are believed to be innocent of sin. The age when this occurs is generally believed to be around 13.
Churches of Christ generally teach that the process of salvation involves the following steps:
- One must be properly taught, and hear ( , )
- One must believe or have faith ( , )
- One must repent, which means turning from one's former lifestyle and choosing God's ways ( , , )
- One must confess belief that Jesus is the son of God ( ; )
- One must be baptized for the remission of sins ( ; ; ; ; )
- One must remain faithful unto death ( ).
Beginning in the 1960s, many preachers began placing more emphasis on the role of grace in salvation, instead of focusing exclusively implementing all of the New Testament commands and examples. This was not an entirely new approach, as others had actively "affirmed a theology of free and unmerited grace," but it did represent a change of emphasis with grace becoming "a theme that would increasingly define this tradition."
Because of the belief that baptism is a necessary part of salvation, some Baptists hold that the Churches of Christ endorse the doctrine of baptismal regeneration. However, members of the Churches of Christ reject this, arguing that since faith and repentance are necessary, and that the cleansing of sins is by the blood of Christ through the grace of God, baptism is not an inherently redeeming ritual. One author describes the relationship between faith and baptism this way, "Faith is the reason why a person is a child of God; baptism is the time at which one is incorporated into Christ and so becomes a child of God" (italics are in the source). Baptism is understood as a confessional expression of faith and repentance, rather than a "work" that earns salvation.
Baptist denominations believe water baptism must include full immersion of the person being baptized. The requirement for baptism is affirmation of faith in Jesus Christ.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) defines the term salvation based on the teachings of their modern-day prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants and summarized in the Articles of Faith (Latter Day Saints) number four.
"4. We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."
The general Christian belief that salvation means returning to the presence of God and Jesus Christ is similar to the way the word is used in the Book of Mormon, wherein the prophet Amulek teaches that through the "great and last sacrifice" of the Son of God, "he shall bring salvation to all those who shall believe on his name; ... to bring about the bowels of mercy, which overpowereth justice, and bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance. And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice;" (Alma 34:14-16)
There are two kinds of salvation, conditional and unconditional. Unconditional salvation is similar to what is believed by other Christians in that the Atonement of Jesus Christ redeems all mankind from the chains of death and are resurrected to their perfect frames. They will also be redeemed from the powers of Satan, except those sons of perdition of vile wickedness and those who have been enemies to God, in which they will be returned to their master. All others will receive a degree of glory set apart for their just metes. Conditional salvation of the righteous comes by grace coupled with strict obedience to Gospel principles in which those who have upheld the highest standards and committed to the laws and ordinances of God will inherit the highest heaven. Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and following true principles.
In the Indian religions, salvation is called mukti or moksha which may be translated respectively as release or liberation. This is obtained through either of four paths or methods (yoga): karma yoga (acting rightly through selfless service), bhakti yoga (devoting one's self and love to a deity), raja yoga (cultivating the mind through meditation) and jnana yoga (obtaining knowledge of the absolute). That which one is released or liberated from is suffering, sensory desires and a process of eternal transmigration through a round of successive lives. At liberation the illusions and delusions (based on a false identification with matter) which have driven the process of successive reincarnations are seen for what they are, as maya. Beings which are subject to eternal transmutation (the endless process of birth, aging and death) cannot be said to truly exist - their apparent reality is only an illusion based on a relative (Pali: sammuti sacca) understanding of the bigger picture. Only that which is not subject to eternal transmutation can be said to have true identity (Skt: sat). Since only God (as the unmanifested originator of phenomena) possesses this quality it is necessary for a human being to disentangle themself from identification with matter to restore their primordial identity with their creator. Indian religion asserts that mind and consciousness are higher order realities to which matter is subject (in contrast to modern western science which asserts that mind and consciousness are by-products of physical processes, see epiphenomenalism) Therefore, mind and consciousness are the engine of continued physical manifestation. The contents of the mind and consciousness which are causing future manifestation and obscuring clear vision are called samskaras (Sanskrit) or sankharas (Pali). The saint (a person who has attained liberation) has completely purified the mind of its conditioning and experiences pure consciousness (Skt: cit or turiya). This ultimate release from matter gives rise to a feeling of infinite freedom and bliss (Skt: ananda). Immutable existence (sat), pure consciousness (cit) and bliss (ananda) are considered characteristics of ultimate reality (Brahman) as experienced by the saint. Buddhism and Jainism place no emphasis on a creator-God but share the general philosophy of purification as a necessary prerequisite for liberation and the identification of the samskaras as the cause of incarnation.
Jainism and Buddhism are emphatic that liberation can only be achieved by personal efforts and invariably involves a significant degree of self-discipline and asceticism. The Buddha taught that in this quest one can rely on no one and on nothing but oneself: neither gods nor priests, neither church nor sacraments, nor faith nor works are of any avail. Other disciplines are not so desolate, and "each Buddha and Bodhisattwa is a redeemer", assisting the Buddhist in seeking to achieve the redemptive state. The assistance rendered is a form of self-sacrifice on the part of the teachers, who would presumably be able to achieve total detachment from worldly concerns, but have instead chosen to remain engaged in the material world to the degree that this is necessary to assist others in achieving such detachment.
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|This section may contain original research. (November 2010)|
"Salvation" in Islam refers to the eventual entrance to heaven. The word does not cover the possible entry to hellfire, or the different levels of hellfire and heaven. Islam teaches that people who die disbelieving in the God do not receive salvation. It also teaches that non-Muslims who die believing in the God but disbelieving in his message (Islam), are left to His will. Those who die believing in the “One God” and his message “Islam” receive salvation. Narrated Anas that Muhammad said,
Whoever said "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a barley grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of a wheat grain will be taken out of Hell. And whoever said, "None has the right to be worshipped but Allah" and has in his heart good (faith) equal to the weight of an atom will be taken out of Hell.
Islam teaches that all righteous Christians, Jews, Sabaeans before the coming of Muhammad will enter Heaven but those who appeared after Muhammad must accept Islam.
"If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (all spiritual good)."
Belief in the "One God"
Belief in the “One God”, also known as the Tawhidd (التَوْحيدْ) in Arabic, consists of two parts (or principles):
- Tawheedo Al Ruboobeeya ( تَوْحيدُ الرُبوبِيَّة): Believing in the attributes of God and attributing them to no other but God. Such attributes include Creation, having no beginning, and having no end. These attributes are what make a God. Islam also teaches 99 names for God, and each of these names defines one attribute. One breaks this principle, for example, by believing in an Idol as an intercessor to God. The idol, in this case, is thought of having powers that only God should have, thereby breaking this part of Tawheed. No intercession is required to communicate with, or worship, God.
- Tawheedo Al Ilooheeya (تَوْحيدُ الإِلوهيَّة): Directing worship, prayer, or deed to God, and God only. For example, worshiping an idol or any saint or prophet is also considered Shirk, though prophets and saints may be asked for guidance or to pray for them.
Some Muslim scholars break the Tawhid into further parts by breaking Tawheedo Al Ruboobeeya into multiple parts putting emphases on some of the attributes of God that they see being vastly ignored, or forgotten, in their respective times. Many scholars, for example, state a third principle, Tawheedo Al Asma'a (تَوْحيدُ الأَسْماءْ) which explicitly states the belief in the names of God. Other scholars state another principal, Tawheedo Al Hukmee (تَوْحيدُ الحُكْم), which explicitly states the belief in the Governance Attribute of God, emphasizing this attribute which is a part of Tawheed seen to be vastly broken by modern governments of Muslim nations which do not follow the Islamic law.
Islam also stresses that in order to gain salvation, one must also avoid sinning along with performing good deeds. Islam acknowledges the inclination of man towards sin. Therefore, Muslims are constantly commanded to seek God's forgiveness and repent. Islam teaches that no one can gain salvation simply by virtue of their belief or deeds, instead it is the Mercy of God, which merits them salvation. However, this repentance must not be used to sin any further. Islam teaches that God is Merciful, but it also teaches that He is Omnipresent. The Quran states:
Allah accepts the repentance of those who do evil in ignorance and repent soon afterwards; to them will Allah turn in mercy: For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom. Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, "Now have I repented indeed;" nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.
Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.
Islam describes a true believer to have Love of God and Fear of God. Islam also teaches that every person is responsible for their own sins. The Quran states;
If ye reject (Allah), Truly Allah hath no need of you; but He liketh not ingratitude from His servants: if ye are grateful, He is pleased with you. No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another. In the end, to your Lord is your Return, when He will tell you the truth of all that ye did (in this life). for He knoweth well all that is in (men's) hearts.
Al-Agharr al-Muzani, a companion of Mohammad, reported that Ibn 'Umar stated to him that Mohammad said,
O people, seek repentance from Allah. Verily, I seek repentance from Him a hundred times a day.
Sin in Islam is not a state, but an action (a bad deed); Islam teaches that a child is born sinless, regardless of the belief of his parents, dies a Muslim; he enters heaven, and does not enter hell. Sahih al-Bukhari, 2:23:467
Narrated Aisha, that Mohammad said, "Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately, and receive good news because one's good deeds will not make him enter Paradise." They asked, "Even you, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "Even I, unless and until Allah bestows His pardon and Mercy on me." Sahih al-Bukhari, 8:76:474
Mandatory acts of worship
There are acts of worship that Islam teaches to be mandatory. Islam is built on five principles. Narrated Ibn 'Umar that Muhammad said,
Islam is based on (the following) five (principles):
- To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah's Apostle.
- To offer the compulsory prayers dutifully and perfectly.
- To pay Zakat to poor and needy (i.e. obligatory charity of 2.5% annually of surplus wealth) .
- To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Mecca)
- To observe fast during the month of Ramadhan. Sahih al-Bukhari, 1:2:7
Not performing the mandatory acts of worship may deprive Muslims of the chance of salvation. See also Shirk. Islam also states that it is the final message of God to mankind. The Quran states.
... This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. ...
Redemption is a religious concept referring to forgiveness or absolution for past sins or errors and protection from damnation and disgrace, eternal or temporary, generally through sacrifice. Redemption is common in many world religions, including Indic religions and all Abrahamic Religions, especially in Christianity and Islam (المغفرة).
In Judaism, (Hebrew ge'ulah), redemption refers to God redeeming the people of Israel from their various exiles. This includes the final redemption from the present exile.
In Christianity, redemption is synonymous with salvation. The Christian religion, though not the exclusive possessor of the idea of redemption, has given to it a special definiteness and a dominant position. Taken in its widest sense, as deliverance from dangers and ills in general, most religions teach some form of it. It assumes an important position, however, only when the ills in question form part of a great system against which human power is helpless.
- "The saving of the soul; the deliverance from sin and its consequences" OED 2nd ed. 1989.
- Wilfred Graves, Jr., In Pursuit of Wholeness: Experiencing God's Salvation for the Total Person (Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image, 2011), 9, 22, 74-5.
- Charles Goodman, Consequences of Compassion: An interpretation and Defense of Buddhist Ethics, Oxford University Press, 2009. ISBN 978-0-19-537519-0
- "Christian Doctrines of Salvation." Religion facts. June 20, 2009.http://www.religionfacts.com/christianity/beliefs/salvation.htm
- "Salvation." Macmillan Dictionary of the Bible. London: Collins, 2002. Credo Reference. 19 July 2009. ISBN 0-333-64805-6
- Schoeman, Roy H., Salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22): the role of Judaism in salvation, Ignatius Press, 2003, p.9
- Akin, James. "The Salvation Controversy." Catholic Answers,October 2001
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- Salvation, Catholic Encyclopedia
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- A. J. Wallace and R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), pp. 249-295.
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011), pp 249-271.
- Hastings Rashdall, The Idea of Atonement in Christian Theology (London: Macmillian, 1919), pp 190-292.
- Robert S. Franks, A history of the doctrine of the work of Christ in its ecclesiastical development vol. 1 (London: Hodder and Stoughton), p. 14: 'The above point of view of the Apostolic Fathers may be generally described as a Christian moralism.'.
- Michael Green, The Empty Cross of Jesus (Eastbourne: Kingsway, 2004; first published 1984), pp. 64-5: 'The simplest and most obvious understanding of the cross is to see it as the supreme example. ... This is a favourite theme in the early Fathers, as H.E.W. Turner showed in The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption. ... It can scarcely be denied that much of the second century understanding of the cross was frankly exemplarist.'
- J. F. Bethune-Baker, An introduction to the early history of Christian doctrine to the time of the Council of Chalcedon(London: Methuen & Co, 1903), pp. 351-2 : 'From this review of the teaching of the Church it will be seen that... in the earliest centuries... the main thought is that man is reconciled to God by the Atonement, not God to man. The change, that is, which it effects is a change in man rather than a change in God. It is God's unchangeable love for mankind that prompts the Atonement itself, is the cause of it, and ultimately determines the method by which it is effected.'
- For a recent defence of the moral transformation view, see A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk, Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011).
- Eusebius, Proof of the Gospel, 9.7.
- H. E. W. Turner, The Patristic Doctrine of Redemption: A Study of the Development of Doctrine During the First Five Centuries (Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock Publish-ers, 2004), p. 54.
- A. J. Wallace, R. D. Rusk Moral Transformation: The Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation, (New Zealand: Bridgehead, 2011) ISBN 978-1-4563-8980-2
- David. A. Brondos, Paul on the Cross: Reconstructing the Apostle's Story of Redemption (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2006) ISBN 978-0-8006-3788-0
- Stephen Finlan, Problems With Atonement: The Origins Of, And Controversy About, The Atonement Doctrine (Liturgical Press, 2005) ISBN 978-0-8146-5220-6
- Joel B. Green, Mark D. Baker, Recovering the Scandal of the Cross: Atonement in New Testament & Contemporary Contexts(IVP Academic, 2000) ISBN 978-0-8308-1571-5
- Catechism 1949
- Catechism 1996
- Pope John Paul II. General Audience 31 May 1995
- Nostra aetate para 2
- Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1992. Vatican City-State. "Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith."
- Catechism of the Catholic Church No. 1446. The Vatican. "Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of his Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace and wounded ecclesial communion. It is to them that the sacrament of Penance offers a new possibility to convert and to recover the grace of justification. The Fathers of the Church present this sacrament as "the second plank [of salvation] after the shipwreck which is the loss of grace.""
- Catechism 830
- CCC 1019
- Redemptoris mission paragraph 10
- Lumen Gentium 16
- Dignitatis human paragraph 2
- Placher, William C. "How does Jesus save? Christian Century, 00095281, 6/2/2009, Vol. 126, Issue 11
- "The Longer Catechism of the Orthodox, Catholic, Eastern Church". Retrieved 14 FEB 2009.
- Valea, Ernest. "Salvation and eternal life in world religions". Comparative Religion. Retrieved 17 June 2010.
- Stagg, Frank. New Testament Theology. Broadman Press, 1962. ISBN 0-8054-1613-7
- David N. Steele, C. C. Thomas, S.L. Quinn. The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined, Defended, Documented (2nd ed.) P & R Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0-87552-827-4 pp.5-7
- The TULIP acrostic first appeared in Loraine Boettner's The Reformed Doctrine of Predestination. The names appearing in parentheses, while not forming an acrostic, are offered by Theologian Roger Nicole in Steele's book cited herein, The Five Points of Calvinism: Defined.
- Arminius, James The Writings of James Arminius (three vols.), tr. James Nichols and William R. Bagnall (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1956), I:252
- Arminius I:316
- Arminius III:454
- Ashby Four Views, 140
- Picirilli, Robert Grace, Faith, Free Will: Contrasting Views of Salvation: Calvinism and Arminianism (Nashville: Randall House Publications, 2002), 154ff
- Forlines, Leroy F., Pinson, Matthew J. and Ashby, Stephen M.The Quest for Truth: Answering Life's Inescapable Questions(Nashville: Randall House Publications, 2001), 313–321
- Arminius Writings, III:311
- Pawson, David Once Saved, Always Saved? A Study in Perseverance and Inheritance (London: Hodder & Staughton, 1996), 109ff
- Forlines, F. Leroy, Classical Arminianism: A Theology of Salvation, ch. 6
- Picirilli Grace, Faith, Free Will 203
- Picirilli Grace, Faith, Free Will 204ff
- "Merciful Truth". Retrieved 14 FEB 2009.
- Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004,ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Churches of Christ
- Ron Rhodes, The Complete Guide to Christian Denominations, Harvest House Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-7369-1289-4
- Stuart M. Matlins, Arthur J. Magida, J. Magida, How to Be a Perfect Stranger: A Guide to Etiquette in Other People's Religious Ceremonies, Wood Lake Publishing Inc., 1999, ISBN 1-896836-28-3, ISBN 978-1-896836-28-7, 426 pages, Chapter 6 - Churches of Christ
- Batsell Barrett Baxter, Who are the churches of Christ and what do they believe in? Available on-line in an Archived January 31, 2008 at the Wayback Machine, and here , here  and here 
- Richard Thomas Hughes and R. L. Roberts, The Churches of Christ, 2nd Edition, Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001, ISBN 0-313-23312-8, ISBN 978-0-313-23312-8, 345 pages
- Douglas A. Foster, "Churches of Christ and Baptism: An Historical and Theological Overview," Restoration Quarterly, Volume 43/Number 2 (2001)
- Tom J. Nettles, Richard L. Pratt, Jr., John H. Armstrong, Robert Kolb, Understanding Four Views on Baptism, Zondervan, 2007,ISBN 0-310-26267-4, ISBN 978-0-310-26267-1, 222 pages
- Douglas Allen Foster and Anthony L. Dunnavant, The Encyclopedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement: Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Churches/Churches of Christ, Churches of Christ, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2004,ISBN 0-8028-3898-7, ISBN 978-0-8028-3898-8, 854 pages, entry on Regeneration
- Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ: A Biblical Ecclesiology for Today, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1996,ISBN 0-8028-4189-9, ISBN 978-0-8028-4189-6, 443 pages
- LDS Church (2006), "The Articles of Faith of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", The Pearl of Great Price(online ed.)
- Melford E. Spiro, Buddhism and Society: A Great Tradition and Its Burmese Vicissitudes (1982), p. xiv.
- Joseph Edkins, Chinese Buddhism (1893), p. 364.
- The Facts On Islam, By John Ankerberg, John Weldon, Dillon Burroughs, p.37 
- Fast Facts on Islam, by John Ankerberg, John Weldon, p.28
- Quran 3:85
- Quran 2:186
- Quran 12:51–53
- Answering Islam: The Crescent in Light of the Cross, by By Norman L. Geisler, Abdul Saleeb, p.128 
- Quran 4:17
- Quran 4:48
- Quran 39:7
- Fast Facts on IslamBy John Ankerberg, John Weldon, p.29
- Quran 5:3
- "Reb on the Web". Kolel: The Adult Centre for Liberal Jewish Learning. Retrieved November 1, 2010.
- "Redemption." Christian Classics Ethereal Library at Calvin College. July 2, 2009.http://www.ccel.org/s/schaff/encyc/encyc09/htm/iv.vii.lxxxv.htm
- Braden, Charles Samuel (1941). Man's Quest for Salvation: An Historical and Comparative Study of the Idea of Salvation in the World's Great Living Religions. Chicago & New York: Willett, Clark & Company.
- Brandon, S. G. F., ed. (1963). The Saviour God: Comparative studies in the concept of salvation presented to Edwin Oliver James by colleagues and friends. New York: Barnes & Noble.
- Brueggemann, Walter (30 September 2002). "Salvation". Reverberations of Faith: A Theological Handbook of Old Testament Themes. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press. pp. 184–6. (Presentation)
- Sharpe, Eric J.; Hinnells, John R., eds. (1973). Man and his salvation: Studies in memory of S. G. F. Brandon. Manchester:Manchester University Press. ISBN 0-7190-0537-X.
- A. J. Wallace and R. D. Rusk, "Moral Transformation: the Original Christian Paradigm of Salvation" A recent defence of the moral transformation perspective.
- "The Scripture Way to Salvation", a sermon by John Wesley (Protestant Christian - Methodist/Wesleyan perspective)
- "God's Plan of Salvation" (conservative Evangelical perspective)
- Salvation in Islam
- Immortality Or Resurrection? Chapter VI Hell: Eternal Torment or Annihilation? by Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D., Andrews University
- Redemption after Death by Charles Augustus Briggs: An article in the December 1889 Issue of The Magazine of Christian Literature Vol 1. No. 3.