Archive for the ‘religious pluralism’ Category

I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home

December 18, 2010

I thing God saves everybody whether they want to be saved or not. So when we die, we’re all going home.

Sinead O’Connor

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I can respect the men who argue that religion is true and therefore ought to be believed, but I can feel only reprobation for those who say that religion ought to be believed because it is useful, and that to ask whether it is true is a waste of time

November 14, 2009

I can respect the men who argue that religion is true and therefore ought to be believed, but I can feel only reprobation for those who say that religion ought to be believed because it is useful, and that to ask whether it is true is a waste of time.

Bertrand Russell, Why I am no0t a Christian, London, 1957,. p.172

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order

November 10, 2009

Even the most tolerant pluralist has difficulties with that aspect of Hinduism, which justifies slavery by insistence in a fixed social order. Were the British wrong to stop the forcible burning alive of a widow on her late husband’s funeral pyre?

Michael Green

The inconsistency of Rosemary Radford Ruether

October 8, 2009

Let us hear one of Rosemary Radford Ruether’s Olympian pronouncements on the relation of the religions. She…delivers her verdict that ‘”The idea that Christianity, or even the biblical faiths, have a monopoly on religious truth is an outrageous and absurd religious chauvinism.’ yet the assumption that underlies the thinking of most of the contributors to the Myth of Christian Uniqueness is that a liberal pluralism does, in effect, have a monopoly on religious truth by allowing religions to be seen in their proper context. It alone provides the vantage point from which the true relation of the religions can be seen. Is this not also an ‘outrageous and absurd’ imperialism? ruether effectively treats her own religious position as privileged, detached, objective and correct, whereas that of Christianity…is treated with little more than scorn and sneer.

Alastair McGrath, The Christian Church’s Response to Pluralism, JETS 35 (1992) 494

Anyone who says, ‘I believe in God,’ is formally correct in his statement, but the question is what does he mean by the word God?

October 7, 2009

Anyone who says, ‘I believe in God,’ is formally correct in his statement, but the question is what does he mean by the word God? The traditional view assumes that the natural man has a certain measure of correct thought content when he uses the word God. In reality the natural man’s “God” is always a finite God. It is his most effective tool for suppressing the sense of the true God that he cannot fully efface from the fibers of his heart.

Cornelius Van Til Defense Of the Faith 2o3

If the god of pluralism is unknowable why should we live morally?

September 24, 2009

…if the Real (John Hick’s unknown pluralistic god)  has no positive properties of which we have a conception, then we have no reason at all to think that it is in religion that human beings get in experiential contact with this being, rather than in any other human activity: war or oppression, for example. This being has none of the properties ascribed by the practitioners of most of the great religions to the beings they worship: it is not good, or loving, or concerned with human beings, or wise, or powerful; it has not created the universe, does not uphold it, and does not pay attention to the universe or the creatures it contains. It is an unknown and unknowable X. But then why associate this unknowable X with religion, as opposed to warfare, violence, bigotry, and the horrifying things human beings often do to each other?

Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief, pp.57-58

I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Buddha

September 19, 2009

I’m not a Christian, I’m not a Buddha (sic.), I just believe in God. I think there’s more to life than what we can see.

Ruud Gullit, October 1996 after death of Chelsea Vice-Chairman, Matthew Harding in a helicopter crash.

Many people admit to there being a God but without special revelation this God remains unknown.

The Trouble with John Hick’s Pluralism

September 19, 2009

John Hick wants us to more from a ‘Ptolemaic’ view of religions (with Christianity at the centre) to a ‘Copernican’ model (‘God’ at the centre) with all the religions revolving around ‘God’. But there are a number of criticisms that can be made of his, and other pluralists’, models.

First, Christian exclusivists don’t want ‘God to revolve around Christianity’ to use Hick’s metaphor. God judges Christians and Christianity. Christianity is not at the centre, and most certainly neither should Christians be – though Christ is. Second, the scientific metaphor is problematic: science is inductive and, therefore, very much open to revision and improvement. Christianity is based on revelation for an understanding of God, Christ and other religions. Since this revelation in the Scripture is from an omniscient source, Hick’s proposal is not as humble as it at first appears. To tell the Creator God that you know better than him can be described with several words, but humble is not one of them.

What drives religious pluralism?

September 17, 2009

Can we accept the conclusion that the God of love who seeks to save all mankind has nevertheless ordained that men must be saved in such a way that only a small minority can receive this salvation? It is the weight of this moral contradiction which has driven Christian thinkers in modern times to explore other ways of understanding the human religious situation.

John Hick, God and the Universe of Faiths, 1977

So it is unacceptable to John Hick – as if that determines truth – that the God of love (this is a hangover from his distinctly Christian upbringing, how does he know God is love?) save only a minority (as if God is obliged to save anyone or is unjust in his wrath against rebel sinners)?

But where is the moral contradiction? There is none, unless God is obliged to save all men (due to his ‘love’).

I myself feel that Buddhism is best for me

September 17, 2009

Each religion has its own philosophy and there are similarities as well as differences among the various traditions. What is important is what is suitable for a particular person. We should look at the underlying purpose of religion and not merely at the abstract details of theology or metaphysics. All religions make the betterment of humanity their primary concern. When we view the different religions as essentially instruments to develop a good heart—love and respect for others, a true sense of community—we can appreciate what they have in common….Everyone feels that his or her form of religious practice is best. I myself feel that Buddhism is best for me. But this does not mean that Buddhism is best for everyone else.

Dalai Lama,  addressing the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions

1. ‘All religions make the betterment of humanity their primary concern’. False. Christianity does not.

2. Like other religious pluralists, he has to reinterpret all other religions to fit his predetermined grid about what religion is or does.

3. Feelings are not a sure guide to truth. He is sincere and mistaken.

4. The consequences for his mistaken presumptions are more serious than he can imagine.

5. He is not, nor should be addressed as, ‘His holiness’ (like that bloke in the Vatican too). All our righteousness are filthy rags (Isaiah 64.6). He should be addressed as ‘sir’ like any other man.