Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


God’s Rivals 1

posted by xscot mcknight

Our day needs its best theologians, historians, biblical scholars, missiologists and pastors to sit down at table to discuss world religions. The issues pressing for answers are enormous in significance, and that is why I’d like to open a series on why God has allowed different religions? And, of course, the very question assumes the truth of Christianity. A fine book introducing us to this question is by Gerald McDermott, professor at Roanoke College in Virginia, and author of God’s Rivals. Here is his question:
If the true God is the Father of Jesus Christ, why did this God permit the rise and flourishing of other religions? The two options that have shaped much of the conversation are not nuanced enough: the fundamentalist view that equates the religions with the demonic and the religious relativist view that sees religions are equally true and false, each only approximating the divine.
What we are in need of is competent studies and clear studies. Some want to address these topics but don’t realize how complex the issues are and how important it is to write with utter clarity. Gerry McDermott does just this.
Today we look at chp 1, “The Scandal of Particularity”: Why has the true God come to only some people at some times?
Good stories to introduce the chp. The “scandal” simply put: “the Christian God did not reveal himself fully in all times and places, but has restricted that revelation to certain particular times and peoples and places” (21). For 1000 years the Church basically argued that those who were outside the church were not saved (extra ecclesiam nulla salus). But a string of important theologians thought differently: Abelard, Pope Gregory VII, St. Francis, Thomas Aquinas, Dante, some Anabaptists, Richard Baxter and then Pius IX said that “no salvation outside the church” referred only to those “culpably” outside of the church.
McDermott dismantles the typical taxonomy: exclusivism (Jesus is the only Savior), pluralists (many saviors), and inclusivism (Christ is sole means but knowledge of him may/is not required). McDermott shows that many scholars today believe inclusivism captures other religions by (1) one religion — say Christians contending that righteous non-Christians will find union with the Christian God — or (2) annihilates the fabric of other religions — many don’t want to be united with God since they don’t think there is such a God (say a classic Buddhist) or the view advocates a kind of religious dynamic that advocates of one particular faith don’t believe. Furthermore, religions each are inherently exclusivist.
Some today are arguing, not for a pluralist capturing of other religions but for different salvations. Some Buddhists find nirvana, some Muslims Paradise, and some Christians find union with the Triune God.
McDermott argues that the theologians who advocate for different salvations, which strikes me ultimately as a modified pluralism, don’t cite Scripture to support their view and, in fact, find too much in Scripture against such a view.
McDermott shows that the Bible itself began to struggle with the scandal of particularity and that some major early theologians had diverse and profound answers for the scandal. Next post … Surprising knowledge of God among Bible people outside Israel and the church.
Because we are visiting with family this week and early next, I will be here sporadically so some comments could take a little longer to approve.



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Brad Cooper

posted December 27, 2007 at 1:26 am


Scot,
You have me salivating and scared at the same time. ;)
As you say, this is such an important topic…yet so difficult and complex (as you also say) that I have often resigned myself to believing that these issues are simply to be left in God’s hands–that we just need to be faithful to spread the gospel and trust in God’s widom and mercy. Yet I am hopeful that someone with the wisdom of McDermott may help us to have a better understanding.



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JACK

posted December 27, 2007 at 1:48 am


Is this really that important of a topic? I’m sorry to play devil’s advocate, but is this not the same as so many other questions of the “Why does God permit …” form? All of which seem to deemphasize human freedom and, in a certain way, beg for domination and imposition as the solution for our failures. It is as if God takes more seriously the value of being human than we humans do.



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Zach Tanksley

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:04 am


Time to play the free will card I guess. I have a bunch more. Assuming God created us in his image, and with the ability to have free thought in order that he could revel in the joy of us choosing to worship him, then we were not created to by automatons. We are not placed on a stage with eyes that light up and do poor dancing. If he wanted us to have a free will, than that would be the ground floor of the rest of this in my humblest of opinions.
God creates man, bestows blessings abundant and man worships God.
Man Sins, God punishes, free thought + selfishness enters.
Selfish desires = gods who reward and are imitations of sinful behavior to help man feel better about their own iniquities and short comings.
Man creates new religions. God is disappointed, but in order to maintain his promise of a creation that has free will he must let it go on and try and encourage the worship of him.
just thoughts from some guy who is trying to shake free the shackles of poor sunday school lessons…



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Danny

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:28 am


I went back after you plugged the book and read the first chapter on amazon.com. I really enjoyed the view that McDermott takes in his first chapter. He seems like he is going to be fair but critical of all sides. I hate it when an author tries to only take one view and then bash down all the other views. A good author will make good points for all sides, and then criticize them as well. Anyone who thinks they have God figured out probably needs to think again. I will be reading this will interest. Thanks for doing this and plugging the booK!



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Jonathan Brink

posted December 27, 2007 at 3:29 am


Scot, both Cain and Abel offered sacrifices to God even thought there is no expressed mandate or command to do so. Could the answer to your question, “If the true God is the Father of Jesus Christ, why did this God permit the rise and flourishing of other religions?” be that man simply is designed to worship? And in the present absence of Yahweh he will create a god to worship? Could this be man simply doing what he would do regardless because it is inherent to his nature? And could this also be the very nature of His kingdom, which is not to control?



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Ben Wheaton

posted December 27, 2007 at 6:04 am


Scot, are you sure that the fundamentalist view is all unhelpful? Does Satan have nothing to do with the rise and operation of other religions? To be sure, he can only work with what humans give him from our own twisted natures, but is there no role for Satan in the development of other faiths?



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 7:28 am


This certainly is an important topic indeed. This is especially important to continue to discuss with Christians since Christianity was established in a very pluralist culture, perhaps even more so than we see in the US today.
It will be interesting to see how and if McDermott discusses the relationship of Israel with the nations and the henotheism of the Hebrews where other gods are recognized, but Yahweh is held to be supreme over all of them. I think this is an aspect of the Torah that many Christians perhaps miss in their reading of the Ten Commandments for instance.



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Bob Brague

posted December 27, 2007 at 8:07 am


Two words: free will. Plus, of course, the smoke and mirrors of the adversary.



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 8:12 am


#6 Ben- I think it is worth looking at how satan has something to do with the rise and operation of religions. In that context, it is appropriate to also look at what Adolph Hitler did with Christianity.



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 8:34 am


Isn’t is slightly more important to observe the social phenomenon of other religions before we start inferring some kind of satanic force operating to explain them? Jumping immediately onto the Satan train seems a bit counter-productive, no?



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:10 am


This question strikes me as the ecumenical version of a familiar problem- the problem of identity.
In Tim Conder’s chapter from An Emergent Manifesto Of Hope, he addresses the question of how community is built. Or, who is out and who is in. We have typically done this in the church with doctrine, and culture. It is a solid line on the floor, and the price of crossing it is to be on the outside. Many parishioners would probably not reveal the path of their own line of truth on the floor next to the doctrinal/cultural line. The variation would be bad.
Is this what it means to really follow Jesus with love? Are doctrine and culture really the most important things? What if it means passionately pursuing your relationship with God in the way of (what has become known as) the Jesus Creed? Being an active agent for the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in Heaven? The thing that keeps us together would then be praise and common purpose. What if we could all lay down our belief lines on the floor, look at them, and not have that be the deciding factor for in vs. out? Why does our faith identity have to be Jesus+Calvin or Jesus+thePope or Jesus+Joseph Smith?
A missional identity is not only less divisive, but gets a lot more constructive “Kingdom” things done.
I believe that with a missional identity, and not a doctrinal one, we can constructively approach the question of “why God allows other faiths”?



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:31 am


So Sage, how can we get a consistent understanding of what mission means without forming doctrinal boundaries? I don’t think the issue is the construction of doctrinal boundaries but the assertion that those boundaries are both necessary and constitutive of faith. This is how the boundaries for what is right and wrong in terms of our doctrine force ideas of God into specific containers of our understanding.
The issue is that we have to learn how to negotiate and transform those boundaries since they are of our own construction. God supercedes all boundaries of our understanding and so, all of our doctrinal statements must be ultimately quite tentative. When our doctrines become permanent and immutable, it comes close to idolatry.



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John W Frye

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:33 am


Isn’t the Judeo-Christian story purposefully paradoxical? The paradox is that the more particular the faith, the more inclusive its scope. When we try to make religion universal, it becomes a nebulous mysticism or a bland moralism. People live particulars, not universals.



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Bob Postiff

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:41 am


There seems to be a movement today that looks down upon any creeds,ancient writings and liturgies. A stance that says at the bottom of all religious impulse and practice is a common mysticism that all religions have. all humans want is bliss,spiritual marriage,divine union. The way to get there is love,peace and good deeds. Tolerance seems to be the overarching belief. I can’t articulate why but this view seems arrogant, patronizing and empty. I think this book may shed some light on this.



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:52 am


#12 Drew- you are so very right, and I appreciate your mature thoughts on this. I am not a universalist at all, and am not anti-doctrine when it is approached as you have done in your second paragraph.
It is when we get stuck on winning and loosing with doctrine that possible error comes in for me. I want God to be the ultimate winner, and I will humble my own opinions to further his Kingdom coming (into my heart and the world), and in what it takes to Love my neighbor as myself.



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:52 am


Drew #13-
You wrote, “When our doctrines become permanent and immutable, it comes close to idolatry.”
However, Paul did not seem to feel that way in when he wrote 1 Timothy and Titus.



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:07 am


#14 Bob- I engage with creeds, read ancient writings, and love liturgy- as well as the fire of the evangelical church. I am not willing to throw all of these aside for the sake of tolerance as an overarching belief. There is a lot of tension inherent in bringing one’s coherent faith into contrast with another. Learning to suspend judgement, moment by moment sometimes, in order to “see what God has done, or may be doing” can be a teaching moment in the living truth that is God’s love.



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scott

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:16 am


sage h.
please comment on john frye’s(#13)post.



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:26 am


My bad- #16 should read “Drew #12″, not “#13″. Sorry John.



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:26 am


Rick,
You need to explain what you mean in #16. Paul elsewhere makes a very important distinction between law and spirit and the texts I think to which you are referring need to be understood in terms of Paul’s understanding of the function of the Law.



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Anonymous

posted December 27, 2007 at 10:49 am


Pseudo-Polymath » Blog Archive » Thursday Highlights

[...] Why did God allow multiple religions? a book study begins at Jesus Creed. [...]



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:00 am


Drew #20-
Although I understand your point, I see those passages as at least built upon and encompassing an understanding of Paul’s “core” teachings. However, even without those pastoral passages, Paul clearly emphasizes the importance of clear, concrete “core” doctrine (Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Cor 15, etc…). Now, what we consider “core” elements may be a different discussion.



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:07 am


Drew- just an additional comment. I do like you reference to the practice of idolatry. I do think that it will be a key element in this overall topic.



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:16 am


I understand Paul’s core teachings, but the question is the degree to which we read this contextually and so, mutable to a certain degree in terms of the spirit of the law rather than rigid adherence to the letter of the law. That seems to be the key there even as it is clearly the key hermeneutic that Paul employs for his application of the law. Keep in mind that I am just raising the question as pertinent to Scot’s post here rather than offering a construction of what this might mean in its wider application. Make sense?



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:28 am


Thanks. I understand where you are coming from. This should be an interesting series.



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Scott M

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:50 am


As one who actually has pursued other paths and worshiped other gods, I find my reaction similar to JACK’s. I’m not sure I grasp the importance of the question. The Christian confession is that there is one true triune God. But there are many powers. And man has long chosen to worship and reshape themselves in the image of other gods. Is that not the key point in the latter half of Romans 1?



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 12:52 pm


#18 scott
Regarding the comment by John Frye in #13- I think it is lovely and true, and agree with it completely. I am not an advocate for making religion universal. I am an advocate for making God’s love universal in every part of my life. As a finite creature, it requires my constant attention and devotion to move toward that.
I believe that God’s love and desire for us is eternal and unchanging, revealed through the Holy Spirit. While God is eternal and unchanging, we are not. God’s truth shows up to invite us finite beings in different ways at different times- whether this is in the scope of eras or within the same day (I’m staying in the context of my Christian faith here). This difference can be percieved as God being inconsistent, but it is we who are inconsistent. It is about relationship. Doctrines too rigidly held run the risk of denying the dynamic, living nature of the Holy Spirit and God’s truth. It dwells best in paradox.



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 1:05 pm


Sage H #26-
Would the doctrine of the Trinity be included?



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Drew

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:15 pm


To #25 I think that that is part of what Paul is doing in Romans 1, but what he is really doing is setting up a context in order to distinguish the Jewish Christian community from the surrounding Roman culture. In a sense Romans is a letter to say, this is why you are different and this is why that is important. The list beginning in v. 29 gives specific descriptors that have to do with Roman practices. But what he then does in 2:1 is to say, lest you think you are totally acquitted of these things, you do them as well. This then matches well with his final instructions at the end of the letter.
So I read it not as just an injunction against idolatry, but a set of instructions and descriptions to differentiate one social structure from another.



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Dru Dodson

posted December 27, 2007 at 2:47 pm


Don’t ALL the religions – even atheistic/secular belief systems – suffer from the scandal of the particular? Off the cuff, I can’t think of one that doesn’t have a particular founder(s), in a particular time, embedded in a particular culture. Whether Buddha, Mohammed, Darwin, Krishna, Abraham, Marx, Moses or Jesus. What does this tell us about the nature of worship, religion, and belief?



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 3:18 pm


#27 Rick-
If I understand your question, I think that Yes, the doctrine of the Trinity is inherently paradoxical. We think of three in order to worship The One more completely.
#29 Dru-
Facing historical particulars is part of laying the groundwork for a conversation about our beliefs- even in an evangelical conversation, in my opinion. Also, considering the nature of worship, religion, and belief is fine so long as it serves to draw us deeper into conversation, and not pitch us out of it in a reductionist sort of way.



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scott

posted December 27, 2007 at 3:38 pm


sage in #11 and john in #13 so resonate with me…..living rurally and in a parochial community makes one so thankful for blogs like this.



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Rick

posted December 27, 2007 at 3:54 pm


Sage-
Is a denial (rejection) of the doctrine of the Trinity a problem, or is it acceptable (in a positive way) if it causes deeper conversation?



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Sage H.

posted December 27, 2007 at 4:06 pm


Rick-
Denial of the doctrine of the holy Trinity would be a problem for me. I am happy to talk about God’s love, and what I believe that means, with people who do not believe in the Trinity- or in God at all, for that matter.
If I came across someone who insisted that I give up my beliefs in deference to theirs in order to even begin to have a conversation with them, I would not bother with that conversation.



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Mike Clawson

posted December 27, 2007 at 8:18 pm


Sounds like an interesting book Scot. Just a question though – the way you’ve set it up in your post it seems like there are actually two different questions: 1) whether there is truth in other religions, and 2) whether people from other religions can be “saved”. The former is more a question of revelation, while the latter is a question of soteriology. Does McDermott conflate the two, or does he address each issue separately within the book?



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CA Dan

posted December 27, 2007 at 8:25 pm


Bravo, Scot! Terrific topic. I’m looking forward to the series.



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KDN

posted December 27, 2007 at 9:15 pm


I wonder if the book’s question is misguided. Instead of considering religion something God directly created, what if religion is a human institution that God choose to speak through? Especially when considering Israel: the systems of sacrifices and temples and what-not looked a lot like those of neighboring countries.



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MatthewS

posted December 27, 2007 at 11:12 pm


The first option of inclusivism given here reminds me of “The Last Battle” where some who thought they were adherents of a different religion actually discover they have been followers of the true God. If this is a bad connection, I welcome being corrected.
It seems that the inverse would be those who think they are followers of God yet discover they aren’t really. For example, Jesus told those who were rejecting him that they didn’t really love God because if they did, they would recognize Jesus.



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Mike Clawson

posted December 28, 2007 at 1:45 am


I agree Matt. I think Lewis has several important things to say on this subject – not least of which is his observation in Mere Christianity that Christians are not required to say that every other religion is 100% wrong, but only that they are wrong on the points where they specifically contradict Christian belief.
Indeed, if he couldn’t accept that other religions could contain truth, I doubt Lewis would have ever become a Christian in the first place. As he tells it, the point that led him to accept Christianity was the realization that so many previous pagan mythologies echoed and paralleled it. He talks about the Christian gospel as “myth become fact”. For him the truth found in other religions was a support to Christian belief, not a challenge.
I tend to agree. As they say at my alma mater “All truth is God’s truth”. I don’t care if it was said by Jesus or Mohammed or the Buddha or Joseph Smith or Richard Dawkins for that matter. If it’s true, it’s true, and it therefore ultimately comes from and belongs to God.



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Ted M. Gossard

posted December 28, 2007 at 2:37 am


I’m very interested, as well.
I am puzzled by what I hear from some Christians whose idea of religious pluralism seems to me to change what Scripture says. Though at the same time I wish to be open to the belief that God is at work among those who never hear the good news, or whose hearing of it is distorted. My reading or understanding of this is troubling to me, but so is the idea that somehow everyone can get in, within religions that I believe have some big issues about them- not good-like the pagan religions surrounding Israel of old.
I resonate with what I understand of Bob’s comment- #14.



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Andrew Butler

posted December 28, 2007 at 3:56 am


Thanks for the link to the book.



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Mariam

posted December 28, 2007 at 4:27 am


This is a very timely discussion for me. In a rare and long discussion of religion and philosophy today, when my son actually let me speak, he admitted the possibility of God (we are making progress). And he said “But if there is a god, some sort of supreme intelligence who designed the universe and its laws and watches over us then there can’t be a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Muslim God. There must be only one God and He can’t be just for one group of people – otherwise it isn’t God. So what are they all fighting about? Are they all insane?”
So I am keeping quiet in this discussion (everyone knows what I think anyway) but looking forward to it with perhaps some answers for my son.



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Mel Lawrenz

posted December 28, 2007 at 9:07 am


Often when people are troubled by particularity, they begin with a false premise. Historic Christians believe that Jesus is the way to God. And when we say that, yes?we are saying something exclusive . . . but not excluding. There is a huge difference. Christians do not say that Jesus is the way to God for the purpose of being exclusive and certainly not excluding. Any time a Christian has an attitude that wants to exclude, he or she is violating the very spirit of the message of Christ. It?s no wonder the rhetoric of Christian believers sometimes sounds strange to non-Christian ears. It sounds like someone saying, ?I am in a privileged position. I take pride in drawing a boundary between you and me. My belief is dependent upon the your exclusion. I am against you.?



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JACK

posted December 28, 2007 at 11:19 am


Scott M, you and I seem to be alone in this. At least I know I am in good company.



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Mike Clawson

posted December 28, 2007 at 5:54 pm


?But if there is a god, some sort of supreme intelligence who designed the universe and its laws and watches over us then there can?t be a Christian God or a Jewish God or a Muslim God. There must be only one God and He can?t be just for one group of people – otherwise it isn?t God. So what are they all fighting about? Are they all insane??

Sounds like something the Apostle Paul might say, Mariam. :)



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Peggy

posted December 29, 2007 at 1:55 am


Mel, #43,
I like this thought about being exclusive without excluding–so important yet done poorly…like speaking the truth in love.
Mariam,
Praying with you for this thread of discussion with your son to be strengthened. Be blessed, now and in the New Year!



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samlcarr

posted December 29, 2007 at 9:06 am


Scott, #26. I think we take Romans 1 a little bit for granted. Notice that Paul has gone from the first to the second person quite silently and then in 2:1 he is in the 2nd person. I think it makes a difference to how we understand what Paul is setting up in the latter half of the 1st chapter.
As some have perhaps already pointed out, “man has long chosen to worship and reshape themselves in the image of other gods” is an ubiquitous human cultural tendency that was true of the Judaism of Jesus’s time and certainly also applies to our own individual practice within Christianity (however doctrinally sound) over the last couple thousand years.



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samlcarr

posted December 29, 2007 at 9:08 am


Sorry for causing confusion that should read “Paul has gone from the first to the THIRD person…”
My bad.



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AndrewR

posted December 29, 2007 at 3:44 pm


Two ideas that I like to hold in tension are
- the exclusivity of Jesus Christ. There is only one door that leads to eternal life.
- the broadness of the Holy Spirit. The breath of God, blowing widely and in unexpected places.
This leads to me a degree of being exclusive, while still acknowledging that God is at work outside of the established Church.



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Drew

posted December 30, 2007 at 11:10 am


Andrew R – The question about the first item is how we interpret the metaphor of the narrow door. Do we interpret it as 1) a metaphor that he intended to use only in the context in which he was speaking?, 2) an eschatological metaphor that points to the cosmic Christ, 3) the resurrection after the Crucifixion in which the forgiveness of sins is rendered?
I think the emphasis on the narrow door metaphor relies to heavily on Great Awakening evangelicalism in which it was meant to refer to a personal decision. If it points to the more general and eschatological resurrection of the dead made possible through Christ’s resurrection it means something very different than a personal decision on our part. If it points to a more universal justification of sin rendered through the resurrection, then it also points far beyond the notion of the narrow door as a decision that we have to make.



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Rob O

posted December 30, 2007 at 6:18 pm


Dru #30, all religions of course do emerge out of particularity. For most, however, that particularity is unimportant. Enlightenment may have come to Gautama in India 2500 years ago, but the time and place and circumstances are unimportant. If what Buddhists claim about the Buddha were to be disproved somehow, that would not at all threaten the truth of their teachings which are what is really important. Christianity cannot be distilled down to a set of timeless teachings that are true independent of the particular story of Jesus. If Jesus was not crucified under Pontius Pilate, raised from the dead and ascended, if he did not call together a particular people and give them his Spirit, then his teachings of themselves do not and cannot save. For many philosophers and world religions, truth must in principle be equally accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time, independent of any particular past history.
Faiths that say that particular persons and events matter to the utmost for everyone are those that face the “scandal of particularity.” That would include Christianity, Judaism, and probably Islam? Perhaps others? It’s been a major complaint against these faiths. To some it appears utterly ridiculous that God would have the salvation of everyone depend on happenings in one small culture in a tiny corner of the globe.
In response, Christians can 1) plug their ears and yell louder, 2) give up on what makes them so particular (Jesus and the Trinity) and emphasize universal abstract truths, or 3) calmly explain how it could be a good thing that God has chosen to work this way, showing that it’s not necessarily “unreasonable” of God to have everything depend on particular people and events. Newbigin seems a good example of the latter to me.



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JACK

posted December 31, 2007 at 11:04 am


Rob O, I guess it is just me but I am not particularly troubled by those who complain about the particularity of Christianity. I suppose I am, but not in the sense that I feel it necessary to indulge their line of thinking. I mean, when you tell a person that “God became man” and their reaction is to complain that his name was Jesus and why couldn’t he have come a different way or many ways, it strikes me that you are talking to someone who isn’t used to actually looking at things as they are versus how they wish them to me. God became man should produce awe and wonder and surprise.



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don bryant

posted January 2, 2008 at 5:38 am


You can look at the multiplicitly of different religions from two angles – people struggling in their way to get to God or the degeneration of true religion after the Fall. In the first case, the study of religions is seen as an attempt to grapple with God and in the second religions are seen as a way to obscure the true knowledge of God. In Comparative Religion courses the usual assumption is that the development of different religions is evolutionary and progressive as people search for God. Of course, the other option is that the diversity is evidence of entropy and devolution. Which one you choose depends on which pair of glasses you put on. I am reminded of Chesterton’s statement that the study of comparative religions makes one comparatively religion. And in another quip he writes that Christianity and Buddhism are somewhat alike, especially Buddhism. The point is not that Christianity is the highest point of the evolution of religion but that it alone is true.



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Dru Dodson

posted January 2, 2008 at 5:14 pm


Rob O, #51, (if this thread is still alive!). Thanks, agree with your emphasis on the historicity/storied-ness of our faith and it’s integral part of our faith, as opposed to more “philosophical” or timeless truth systems. For me this speaks to the necessity of another way of thinking about apologetics. I heard Kevin Vanhoozer describe this as “fallibilism”. The idea being that we could be wrong! Our system/religion could be proved false by “God’s rivals”. And the way we “prove” the truth is not in logical argumentation whether loud or calm. But by out-living the other rivals. By producing more whole human beings, by producing more love, peace, truth and beauty than the other systems. The reason God chooses “particular” people is that He’s creating a demonstration project, not skywriting an airtight argument – Ephesians 3:10. Thanks for the thoughtful response, Dru



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Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




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