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Total Replacement Partial Replacement

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Presentation on theme: "Total Replacement Partial Replacement"— Presentation transcript:

1 Total Replacement Partial Replacement
“Replacement Model” Total Replacement Partial Replacement

2 C) Knitter: TYPOLOGY Fulfillment Model: Christianity is the “true” religion but it does not reject, but rather “confirms” good elements in others Mutuality Model: a “rough parity” between all religions; all ways lead to the same end goal Three bridges: 1) PHILOSOPHICAL (Hick) 2) MYSTICAL (Panikkar) 3) ETHICAL (Knitter) Acceptance Model: there are real differences among religions and they are legitimate (different ends in different religions!) Replacement Model: Christianity, the “only way,” replaces other faiths (either totally or partially)

3 Overview Knitter, p. 19 “In the final analysis, Christianity is meant to replace all other religions…It’s the dominant attitude, the one that generally has held sway throughout most of Christian history. Although views differed about the way this replacement was to be carried out and why it was necessary, Christian missionaries throughout the centuries have cast forth into the world with the conviction that it is God’s will to make all peoples Christians.”

4 Overview Knitter’s typology: two forms of replacement model: total and partial replacement a)  Total= older Protestantism with Barth as key figure and Evangelicalism/ Fundamentalism; b) Partial: mainline Protestantism (Pannenberg, Tillich; WCC, etc.)

5 Main Features of Total Replacement (Knitter, ch.1)
Motto: “Total Replacement: No Value in Other Religions” Protestant ‘Only’s: Grace alone Faith alone Christ alone Scripture alone

6 Main Features of Total Replacement (Knitter, ch.1)
Christianity as the True Religion Taking the New Testament and Jesus Seriously Acts 4:12; 1 Cor 3:11; 1 Tim 2:5; John 14:6; 1 John 5:12 Jesus only Savior Rom 1:21; 3:9 All are lost John 3:36; Rom 10:14,17 Faith needed “One Way” Makes Sense

7 Representatives of Total Replacement Model
Majority of Christians prior to the Enlightenment – and a large number even afterwards – has held this view in one way or another In contemporary scene, Fundamentalists and more conservative Christians subscribe to this view

8 Representatives of Total Replacement Model
Karl Barth represented many key convictions of this view He did not call “revelation” any knowledge of God outside of self-revelation of God in Christ He did not see any contact point between religions (religiosity) and faith in God He didn’t see any connection between the God of the Bible and God of the Philosophers Universalist? Christ as Electing and the Elected

9 Reflections of Total Replacement Model
This model helps defend the uncompromising monotheism of the Bible and uniqueness of self-revelation of God Its weaknesses include A dismissal of general revelation and the innate (partial) knowledge of God – in a person having been created in the image of God A radical discontinuity between nature and grace Lack of emphasis on the saving Love of God with regard to all people(s) The tendency to be pejorative of other religions and people in other faiths, even though they have been created in the image of God

10 Total and Partial: Same or different models?
A difference between total and partial models Partial replacement closer to “Fulfillment” model Most of the views in ch. 2 (WCC and theologians such as Pannenberg, Newbigin, Tillich, Samartha, etc.) are not supportive of replacement model but rather either inclusivist or Fulfillment model or “soft” pluralism (Samartha)

11 Evangelical theologies and Replacement Model?
It appears that it is only Fundamentalism and conservative Evangelicalism that fall neatly under Knitter’s Replacement Model (mostly total replacement) Evangelical theologies of religions fall in to two camps Evangelicals can be found both in (exclusivistic) total replacement and (inclusivistic) partial replacement

12 Main Features of Partial Replacement (KNITTER)
God Present in Other Religions? Yes And No! Revelation: Yes! Salvation: No! Value of Dialogue Limits of Dialogue!

13 Main Features of Partial Replacement (Knitter, ch.2)
While there are some revelatory elements in other religions, religions are not salvific There are some contact points between the God of the Bible and the deities of religions Some good features in other religions can be affirmed The value of interfaith dialogue is affirmed

14 Examples of Partial Replacement Model
World Council of Churches “Religious plurality and Christian self-understanding” (Inter-religious dialogue and cooperation) Mainline Protestant Churches Presbyterian Principles for Interfaith Dialogue (www.pcusa.org/interfaith/study/principles.htm) Wolfhart Pannenberg Lesslie Newbigin

15 Partial Replacement Model or Protestant Fulfillment Model
Wolfhart Pannenberg Partial Replacement Model or Protestant Fulfillment Model

16 Important Distinctives
Pursuit of Truth as the Main Goal of Doing Theology Theology as Public Discipline Rational Truth and Coherence with Universal Orientation “For a ‘truth’ that would be simply my truth and would not at least claim to be universal and valid for every human being could not remain true even for me. This consideration explains why Christians cannot but try to defend the claim of their faith to be true.”

17 Important Distinctives
Quest for Universal Truth Eschatology as the Final Verdict of Truth Christ’s Resurrection as the “Prolepsis” The Trinitarian God as the All-determining Reality Trinitarian pneumatology The History of Religions is the Arena for competition between gods Only at eschaton the God of the Bible shows himself to the only True God

18 Important Distinctives
History as the Means and Arena of Revelation Appeal to “universal” or “secular” history rather than Salvation History

19 Interfaith Dialogue Criticism of Pluralistic Approaches
Dismissal of history, pursuit of truth, centrality of Christ/Triune God, etc. Dialogue entails honoring of convictions and differences Participants come to the dialogue table to argue for the supremacy of their own view with an intention to convince the other party Dialogue can become a “testing” place of various claims in the common search for the truth

20 Salvation Similarly to Roman Catholic Fulfillment Model, strong Christocentrism and Trinitarian faith Salvation to Christians is available only through faith in Christ Those who have never heard of Christ will be judged according to their relation – orientation – to Christ and his teaching Christ’s descent to hell

21 Contributions Seeking to Claim Religious Truth as Rational and Public Truth Value of Religions and History of Religions Trying to Take the Claims of the Religions at Face Value Openness to Mutual Modification and Enrichment in Dialogue: Uniqueness of Christian Faith, yet openness to the value of religions and possibility of salvation Ecumenism and theology of religions

22 Questions and Challenges
Biblical Considerations Universalist Tendencies? [Since] the Christian claim aims at the finality of revelation as well as of salvation, it also includes a tendency towards “universal salvation.” Naïve about the nature of dialogue? Excessive focus on quest for truth as the theme of interfaith dialogue could prove an obstacle Faith not just about intellectual conviction Overemphasis on rationality? What about the mystical? Are all religions committed to the same kind of concept of truth? For example, not all religions value historicity as a criterion of truth Quest for unified truth called into question by many today, including postmoderns

23 Missional Response to Religious Pluralism in the West and Beyond
Lesslie Newbigin Missional Response to Religious Pluralism in the West and Beyond

24 Lesslie Newbigin: Introduction
years in India as Bishop of the Church of South India Secretary of International Missionary Council of WCC ( ) A Leading Critique of Modernity and theologian of missionary church

25 Lesslie Newbigin: Main Works
Gospel in a Pluralist Society (1989) The Open Secret (1978; rev. ed.1995) Foolishness to the Greeks (1986) Proper Confidence (1995) Truth to Tell (1996)

26 I Critique of the Culture of Modernity
Newbigin believes that the main problem of Christian Church and its lack of missional response is the overwhelming effects of the Enlightenment

27 Faith and Knowledge Relationship
St. Augustine’s Heritage: Faith and Knowledge were joined together After Augustine: Faith and Knowledge got separated At the Enlightenment: Faith and Knowledge became exclusive of each other Knowledge became independent of faith

28 Enlightenment’s Skepticism
Enlightenment’s basic ideas, detrimental to theology are: Doubt as the beginning of “knowledge” and certainty (Descartes) The Idea of “neutral,” non-committed knowledge

29 “The Fatal Dualism of Enlightenment”
When Faith and Reason were Separated, human reason was made the foundation of sure knowledge The ideal of an “objective” knowledge without any “subjective” element is the key feature of modernist epistemology Separation between public knowledge (science) personal opinion (religion, ethics)

30 II The Failure of Christian Church and Theology to Encounter Modern Culture
Newbigin’s key criticism is that the Church has utterly failed in its relationship with Modernity’s Culture

31 Marginalization of Faith
Christian Church has retreated to a private sphere and left public sphere to secular science, politics, philosophy, etc. Church tries to influence choices in private area Gospel is not presented as a claim to public area Values are private choices, not facts

32 Marginalization of Faith: PIETISM
Ironically, Pietism reflects the same kind of privatization of religion The value of pietism as a call to personal commitment is affirmed by Newbigin Yet, it reflects a “Hindu-type a-historicism”

33 III Newbigin’s Missional Theology
From Accomodation to a Genuinely Missionary Encounter

34 Missionary Encounter: Two Tasks
DE-CONSTRUCTIVE TASK To question the beliefs of modern culture and call for the repentance of MIND CONSTRUCTIVE TASK To offer a new fiduciary framework, a new “Christian” worldview

35 A Missionary Encounter: DECONSTRUCTION
The Gospel is presented as a challenger not only to spiritual needs but to the worldview as a whole The “conversion of the mind” relates to the Gospel as THE PUBLIC TRUTH

36 “Personal Knowledge” and “Universal Intention”
From philosopher-scientist: M. Polanyi Knowing means COMMITMENT, “personal” involvement There is no “neutral”, non-committed knowledge even in science

37 “Personal Knowledge” and “Universal Intention”
While personal, all true knowledge is to be published and thus subjected to dialogue and critique It is not only my opinion but claims to point to the truth that is “universal”

38 The Importance of Community and Tradition
community passes on the tradition cf. Islam and Asian religions: communal faiths whereas Western modernism is individualistic Newbigin compares theology to scientific work: even science works within and from a tradition “apprenticeship” into the tradition Indwelling the tradition, in this case Christian biblical narrative and worldview cf. Islam and Asian religions

39 Importance of Tradition cont.
Acknowledging the authority appropriate to the tradition yet in a critical way cf. Islam and Asian religions: uncritical way What makes Christian tradition unique is the authority of Revelation God’s self-revelation as the Gospel NARRATIVE As received by the church/community who seeks to understand and interpret it r

40 “The Gospel as Public Truth” The Heart of Newbigin’s program
The Church is called to present the Gospel as Public Truth In humble, yet confident spirit Church is not the “possessor” but rather carrier of the Truth of the Gospel constantly testifying to and seeking for a fuller understanding of truth in confidence and humility (Proper Confidence) cf. Crusade-mentality (either Christian or Muslim)

41 This makes the church missionary church
The Church expresses the universal intention of the Gospel by proclaiming the Gospel with claim to all people and all reality By doing so, the Church publishes its “personal knowledge” and commitment to the truth in Christ

42 “Logic of Mission” An implication from the idea of the Gospel as Public Truth The universal intention of the truth claim in Jesus by its own power makes Christian faith a missionary faith Commitment to mission is the test of the commitment of Christian Church to its own truth claims

43 Church and Mission Belong Together: The Church as Mission
The Church that does not engage in mission – publishing the truth claims of the Gospel – does not indeed believe in the Gospel And this is, of course, the basic dilemma of so much of Western Christianity, as well as theology in general and ecclesiology in particular Church and mission have been divorced from each other

44 Reflections on the Partial Replacement Model
In my understanding, this model may come closest to negotiating the most foundational biblical dynamic between, on the one hand, the uniqueness of Christ (Acts 4:12) and the universal saving love of God (1 Tim 4:2) It helps preserve the uniqueness of Christian faith while trying to find ways of appreciating other religions and their search for the truth


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