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Christian Attitudes Toward Other Religions When a Christian sits down at a dialogue table with adherents of other religions, and says “Jesus is Lord, and.

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Presentation on theme: "Christian Attitudes Toward Other Religions When a Christian sits down at a dialogue table with adherents of other religions, and says “Jesus is Lord, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Christian Attitudes Toward Other Religions When a Christian sits down at a dialogue table with adherents of other religions, and says “Jesus is Lord, and you must accept him as your personal Lord and Savior, it is the end of dialogue When a Unificationist sits down at a dialogue table with adherents of other religions, and speaks of “the True Parents of humanity,” it is the beginning of dialogue

2 Christian attitudes toward other religions: –Exclusivism –Inclusivism –Pluralism –Theocentrism

3 Exclusivism The first religion Christianity encountered was Judaism Later, the heresies were encountered –Gnosticism –Etc. Christian doctrine was formed largely in response to attack, and not as positive formulations of the faith –Niceno-Chalcedonian creed, for example –Careful wording, with nearly every expression responding to some heresy Later, the religion of Islam was encountered –New heresy? –The anti-Christ? –Etc. “Extra ecclesiam nulla sallus” (outside the church there is no salvation) Jesuit missionaries in the centuries, encountered Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. –At first, the West was shocked: no God, so soul, etc. –In time, more information was received, and their faith understood more deeply –They show every indication of being “saved”!

4 Today, the Christian finds him/herself in a dilemma: –To retain the Lordship of Jesus Christ as their Savior –To acknowledge the very evident fact of other religions, and other savior figures –To hold to their Christian beliefs –To be open to other savior figures, and be open to dialogue What is the status of Jesus Christ? –Norm –Paradigm –Key –Catalyst –Superlative –Proleptic –Determinative –Etc.

5 John Hick’s “Copernican Revolution in Theology” The Copernican Revolution in astronomy –Ptolemaic view of the universe (earth is the center; sun revolves around earth) –Mathematical “epicycles” became very complex –Copernican view of the universe (sun is the center; earth revolves around sun) –The mathematics became very clear and accurate The Copernican Revolution in theology –Traditional Christian view of the field (Jesus is the center; all faiths revolve around him) –Theological “epicycles” became very burdensome “anonymous Christian,” “Invisible church and visible church” “Special revelation” vs “general revelation” “invincible ignorance” Etc. –John Hick’s view of theological field (God is the center; Jesus and others revolve) –Clears the theological confusion; but, what about the status of Jesus Christ, especially the Incarnation?

6 The Myth of the Incarnation (John Hick, and others) The Truth of the Incarnation (Michael Goulder, and others) Incarnation and Myth: The Debate Continued The Metaphor of God Incarnate (Hick) Intense theological debate concerning fundamental Christian themes and doctrines John Hick: –The early Christians experienced God in Jesus, a profound experience –How to express it? –The only philosophical means available to them: Greek philosophy –The Christological creeds are filled with Greek philosophical categories –Out-dated language; a pre-scientific worldview –The Christological creeds were never meant to be taken literally –If a literal interpretation: they result in heresy (Schleiermacher) –Not homo ousios (of one substance with the Father), but homo agape (of one love with the Father)

7 The attitudes revisited –Exclusivism –God  Jesus in a bottle // rest of humanity; all religions –There is grace solely in Jesus Christ (all others going to hell) –Inclusivism –God  Jesus  rest of humanity; all religions –There is grace in the world because of Jesus Christ (grace available to others) –But eventually, they have to accept Jesus, who is the “Norm above all norms” –Even if only in another lifetime –Pluralism –God  Jesus  savior for Christians –God  Buddha  savior for Buddhists –God  Mohammed  savior for Muslims –Etc.All faiths are valid, and valuable –Theocentrism –God is the center of all (God has many names) –Interreligious dialogue is important

8 What is the Appropriate Unification Attitude Toward Other Religions? Familialism as an attitude All people are brothers and sisters All religions are brother and sister religions; God inspired all religions True Parents are the center –The Maitreya Buddha (Buddhism) –The True Man (Confucianism) –The LSA (Christianity) –The Kalki Avatar (Hinduism) –Etc. Unification encourages dialogue, but dialogue is only a beginning, and must be transcended, ultimately Beyond dialogue is a unity of heart and spirit Cain and Abel typology Abel must win the heart of Cain


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