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Total Replacement Partial Replacement Replacement Model.

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

1 Total Replacement Partial Replacement Replacement Model

2 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) C) Knitter: TYPOLOGY

3 Knitter, p. 19 In the final analysis, Christianity is meant to replace all other religions…Its 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 Gods will to make all peoples Christians. Overview

4 Knit ters 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.) Overview

5 Motto: Total Replacement: No Value in Other Religions Protestant Onlys: Grace alone Faith alone Christ alone Scripture alone Main Features of Total Replacement (Knitter, ch.1)

6 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 Main Features of Total Replacement (Knitter, ch.1)

7 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 Representatives of Total Replacement Model

8 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 didnt see any connection between the God of the Bible and God of the Philosophers Universalist? Christ as Electing and the Elected Representatives of Total Replacement Model

9 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 Reflections of Total Replacement Model

10 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) Total and Partial: Same or different models?

11 It appears that it is only Fundamentalism and conservative Evangelicalism that fall neatly under Knitters 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 Evangelical theologies and Replacement Model?

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

13 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 Main Features of Partial Replacement (Knitter, ch.2)

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

15 Partial Replacement Model or Protestant Fulfillment Model

16 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. Important Distinctives

17 Quest for Universal Truth Eschatology as the Final Verdict of Truth Christs 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 Important Distinctives

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

19 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 Interfaith Dialogue

20 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 Christs descent to hell Salvation

21 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 Contributions

22 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 Questions and Challenges

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

24 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 Lesslie Newbigin: Introduction

25 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) Lesslie Newbigin: Main Works

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

27 St. Augustines 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 Faith and Knowledge Relationship

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

29 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) The Fatal Dualism of Enlightenment

30 Newbigins key criticism is that the Church has utterly failed in its relationship with Modernitys Culture

31 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 Marginalization of Faith

32 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 Marginalization of Faith: PIETISM

33 From Accomodation to a Genuinely Missionary Encounter

34 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 Missionary Encounter: Two Tasks

35 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 A Missionary Encounter: DECONSTRUCTION

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

37 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 Personal Knowledge and Universal Intention

38 Importance of Community 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 The Importance of Community and Tradition

39 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 Gods self-revelation as the Gospel NARRATIVE As received by the church/community who seeks to understand and interpret it Importance of Tradition cont.

40 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) The Gospel as Public Truth The Heart of Newbigins program

41 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 This makes the church missionary church

42 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 Logic of Mission

43 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 Church and Mission Belong Together: The Church as Mission

44 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 Reflections on the Partial Replacement Model


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