“Could you clarify how ancient races outside the Middle East had the
opportunity to learn about God? E.g., what about the 40,000+ year-old
aboriginal culture of Australia, Pacific islanders, or the Aztecs?”

? Several inquirers

Without the scriptures or the Hebrew prophets (who addressed a number of
Middle Eastern nations), the gentiles had the opportunity to learn about
God only through nature (Romans 1:18-20, Acts 14:16-17), conscience
(Romans 2), and experience following or violating God’s universal moral
law (Romans 1:32). Yet this should not be taken to mean that ancient races
could be saved by works, by being decent persons or by reaching some
minimal standard of God-consciousness. The scriptures are clear that all
have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). As Romans 2:12 puts
it, “All who sin apart from the law will also perish apart from the law,
and all who sin under the law will be judged by the law.”

Naturally God is the judge, and he will make the final decisions, but the
biblical pattern indicates the Lord brings people into relationship with
him through a covenant. I am not aware of any covenant that extended to
the aborigines of Australia, the Aztecs, or anyone else. What I do know
from my study of ancient cultures and civilizations is that they were
characterized by sin as much as we are today, including ritual
prostitution and human sacrifice. Though they are often glorified by
liberal sociologists, anthropologists, and artists, I do not buy the
argument that primitive peoples were especially closer to ‘nature and
goodness’ than we are.

Rather, as Paul stated, “All have sinned and fallen short.”

Douglas Jacoby, Ph.D. (www.douglasjacoby.com)

Comments are closed.