Friday, April 20, 2012

Presuppositions of the Desert Island Scenario

Glenn, of the Wisdom and Knowledge blog has posted an article about the presuppositions of the Grace Evangelical Society's "Desert Island Scenario" which is used to explain their view of what a sinner must do to receive Eternal Life. Glenn's article is unique because of two things. First he looks at the presuppositions that one may or may not be aware of which are the foundation of the doctrine. Secondly, and of particular interest to me, is how Glenn puts the burden squarely on the evangelist, not the one receiving the message.

Here is the scenario as detailed by the late Zane Hodges.

Let me begin with a strange scenario. Try to imagine an unsaved person marooned on a tiny, uninhabited island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He has never heard about Christianity in his life. One day a wave washes a fragment of paper up onto the beach. It is wet but still partly readable. 
 On that paper are the words of John 6:43-47. But the only readable portions are: “Jesus therefore answered and said to them” (v 43) and “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life” (v 47). 
Now suppose that our unsaved man somehow becomes convinced that this person called Jesus can guarantee his eternal future, since He promises everlasting life. In other words, he believes Jesus’ words in John 6:47. Is he saved?
So how would you answer Zane's question, and why would you answer that way? This is a subject I've discussed at great length in the past. I'm greatly concerned at the strange sudden revival of this discussion. Glenn's article is interesting and thought provoking.  I'm struggling with what to offer as a quote. There is one important point made which I consider to be brilliant. I'm not going to quote it though, I want you to benefit from it in context. So here's a different short quote:
That is the Deserted Island Scenario and it seems deceptively simple but it isn’t. That first paragraph, short as it is, is actually packed full of presuppositions which perhaps even the author was not aware of. It is my goal to help the reader find and understand them.
I hope this is just the beginning of a series of articles discussing the presuppositions of the scenario. You can read the article at the Wisdom and Knowledge blog.

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