If you declare with your mouth … and believe in your heart
If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
This passage is often appealed to in support of the claim that one must assent to two propositions in order to be saved by Jesus:
(1) Jesus is Lord
(2) God raised Jesus from the dead
Let’s call this the “two proposition view of salvation” (henceforth TPVS).
There are many problems with the TPVS. The first is that it is not taught in the passage in question. That passage declares at most that mental assent to two propositions is sufficient for salvation, not that it is necessary. And it’s a good thing too, since a rigid adherence to TPVS would exclude infants and the severely mentally handicapped.
This brings us to another problem. One could believe these two propositions but also believe other propositions such as the following:
(3) Allah created God and God created Jesus
(4) Jesus will cease to be Lord when Obama is elected to a second term
This creates a dilemma. According to TPVS belief in (1) and (2) is supposed to be sufficient for salvation, but (3) and (4) appear to be so off-base that they would negate the soterological benefit of (1) and (2). This would suggest that salvation depends critically on the total set of relevant propositions one believes such that (1) and (2) are not sufficient for salvation. Of course this problem only arises if you believe that it is necessary to believe (1) and (2) to be saved.