The fourth view, that of R. If that is true, then in order for us to have a real choice, it would seem that God would have set up the system in such a way that two possible, logical choices are available. Gary Phillips, contends for a Particularist view that is more exclusive than that of Alister McGrath. They provide an exegesis of Acts 4:12 and some other passages. As a result, the term pluralism conceals its own normative truth-claims regarding religion.
Hick and McGrath obviously dislike each other, and there are a lot of digressions and soap-boxing about other issues in the various articles. The texts they use include Acts 4:12; John 3:16, 18; Romans 10:9-15; and John 14:6; 17:20. That, of course, is an intolerant position, put mildly! Since God desires the salvation of all humankind, the church is mandated to carry this message of salvation throughout the whole world until Christ reestablishes his kingdom. He does believe, though, that the Holy Spirit is operative in human religion in a way that prepares people for the gospel of Christ 96. This book does more than address the question of salvation in our pluralistic world. Others have their own independent insight into God.
This position is promoted by two authors, R. Since Pluralism must amputate what makes Christianity distinctive, e. Though I am in agreement with their conclusions about general revelation, this discussion appeared out of place. He believes that the Bible presents pre-scientific beliefs and cultural assumptions that are no longer acceptable today 33. Would have liked to see a better selection of authors, and a more genuine dialogue and wrestling through the issues that just axe grinding.
The Counterpoints series provides a forum for comparison and critique of different views—both Christian and non-Christian—on important theological issues. I have written on inclusivism on blog, so I won't repeat my thoughts on the position. However as I have worked with Muslims and Hindus, I have observed a difference in the area of honesty and integrity in their lives. Furthermore, he concludes that the weight of refuting such a claim rests upon Christianity. The picture we have in the gospels of a supernatural Jesus is simply a creation of the early church; this argument is similar to the proposal put forth by the Jesus Seminar. McGrath says that their concepts are too different to sustain any conversation that aims toward the same thing.
The format of the book is straightforward. If the pluralists are correct there is little danger in preaching inclusivism or particularism. Watch videos featuring the textbook authors, test your knowledge with quizzes and flashcards, and more. Hick says that there is no demonstrable evidence that would lead one to say that any religion produces a higher degree of morality than any other religion. Hearing a pluralist explain his view, I am grateful to the other authors for not allowing the gutting of Christianity that Hicks presented. Being unable to make normative religious judgments, Troeltsch espoused pluralism 8-9.
Leading biblical scholars Walter Kaiser, Darrel Bock and Peter Enns each present their answers to questions surrounding the use of the Old Testament in the New Testament. Hick reinforces his view by pointing out that Jesus could not have been divine. They were the only ones to give careful exegesis of John 3:16, 18; 14:6; 17:20, Acts 4:12, and Rom 10:9-15. What about those who never hear the gospel? Essentially they are explaining how Christianity relates with other religions in today's global and politically correct milieu. Again, the tired argument for pluralism based upon a loving God that would send unbelievers to hell is a gross misunderstanding of the doctrine of hell. Proper discussion can enhance understanding of other religions and cause Christians to reexamine long-held views that rest on inadequate scriptural foundations, but it should never be at the expense of downplaying key beliefs 159. In fact, this vision has propelled Christian missions in a variety of forms from St.
Everyone is to have an equal voice, especially the marginalized and disenfranchised. The result is a distortion of Christianity to be something it was never intended to be. This position, as the others, includes a range of options within the general scheme. Ernst Troeltsch argued that all people at all times are purely historical creatures, therefore, all religious claims are culturally conditioned perspectives of the divine. Now while I find myself in agreement with points from each of the contributors I realize that I have to have an understanding of what the Bible teaches first. Okholm PhD, Princeton is professor of theology at Azusa Pacific University.
Long known for its evangelistic zeal, the number of missionaries supported by North American agencies in the 1990s has begun declining for the first time since the 1940s. This duo offers the most detailed Biblical examination of any view in the book and they argue that the Bible is clear that salvation cannot be found in anyone else other than Christ. In this work, John Hick argues the view of normative pluralism and its assertion that all ethical religions lead to God. If the particularists are wrong, then no one really has to worry since all will likely be saved anyway by pluralist and inclusivist standards. It's worth a look though, even if only for the excellent opening chapter that surveys the book at large.
McGrath, on the other hand, represents a particularist viewpoint. From the Back CoverReligious pluralism is the greatest challenge facing Christianity in Western culture today. In order for free will to be a reality, there must be two paths or choices available. Pinnock does mention that the fruits of the Christian Gospel—human rights, democracy, care of the sick and poor, and self giving service—are much better than that of Islam which tends to produce intolerant governments and that of Eastern religions which produce stagnant societies. A list of all the titles I am aware of from this series is: Are Miraculous Gifts for Today? Even though God makes himself generally known through creation, after the Fall humankind is corrupted, guilty, and fearful of a holy God; consequently, humans misuse this revelation to keep God within their control. The curious and the hungry can sample the feast without guilt or commitment. If we cannot know anything about God then neither can John Hick! Yet this definition contradicts a more traditional Christian or Muslim understanding of salvation.
Summary Religious pluralism is the greatest challenge facing Christianity in today's Western culture. Those of us from the Evangelical community would be well served to broaden our understanding of these difficult issues. McGrath critiques Universalism by saying it denies humanity the right to say no to God, but as Pinnock points out, McGrath is a Reformed theologian. He gave the Gifford Lectures in 1986-87 and received the Grawemeyer Award for significant new thinking in religion in 1991. Gary Phillips present a particularist view from an evidentialist perspective.