The question of whether and how people who have not had the chance to hear the gospel can be saved goes back to the beginnings of Christian reflection. It has also become a much-debated topic in current theology. In Will Many Be Saved? Ralph Martin focuses primarily on the history of debate and the development of responses to this question within the Roman Catholic Church, but much of Martins discussion is also relevant to the wider debate happening in many churches around the world.
In particular, Martin analyzes the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, the document from the Second Vatican Council that directly relates to this question. Contrary to popular opinion, Martin argues that according to this text, the conditions under which people who have not heard the gospel can be saved are very often, in fact, not fulfilled, with strong implications for evangelization.
||Ralph Martin, S.T.D., is the Director of Graduate Theology Programs in the New Evangelization at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, President of Renewal Ministries, and a Consultor to the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.
For many years we have all appreciated Dr. Martins considerable contributions to the mission of the Church. Now he gives us a profound doctrinal foundation for understanding and implementing the new evangelization. This is a shot in the arm for bishops, priests, and laity as we respond to the Holy Fathers call.
- Timothy Cardinal Dolan, Archbishop of New York
Dr. Ralph Martins Will Many Be Saved? contributes significantly to a richer understanding of our faith, helps restore confidence in the gospel message, and engenders a desire to share the truth of Christs message. An important contribution to the pastoral strategy of the new evangelization.
- Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, D.C.
Martin clarifies a doctrinal point that has been often obscured but must be recovered as a necessary foundation for the new evangelization. This is a uniquely important book.
- Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago
Provides a refreshing reminder of the undiminished urgency and validity of the missionary mandate of Jesus to his followers to evangelize.
- Peter Cardinal Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for Peace and Justice
These penetrating reflections will compel us to reassess our pastoral approach to the preaching of the gospel in our present circumstances. An important book.
- Archbishop J. Augustine Di Noia, O.P., Vatican City
Our response to the new evangelization will lack enthusiasm and conviction if we dont realize whats truly at stake here -- our eternal salvation in Christ. Ralph Martins book provides much-needed clarity on these very important issues.
- Archbishop Robert Carlson, Archbishop of St. Louis
I highly recommend that all Catholics and other Christians concerned with salvation give this important book the attention it deserves.
- Bishop David L. Ricken, Green Bay, Wisconsin; Chairman, Bishops Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis