Extra ecclesiam nulla salus, sort of

Question: Who said that “the visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the gospel (not confined to one nation as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion, together with their children; and is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ; the house and family of God, through which men are ordinarily saved and union with which is essential to their best growth and service”? (emphasis mine)

Answer: Westminster Confession of Faith (25.2). What does the “ordinarily saved” mean? Does it mean that there are other ways through which men are extra-ordinarily saved (pun intended)? Interestingly, the 1647 edition reads as follow (I have no idea which edition the earlier quote was from): “the visible Church . . . is the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, the house and family of God, out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation.” The phrase at the end is stronger in this case, but still it allows the room for the question on whether there is actually an extraordinary possibility of salvation outside the church. I think we could call this position as soft exclusivism.

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