Sunday, April 03, 2005

Pluralism and Christ

I have had a hard time articulating to those who hold to pluralism what it is that they are missing. Often I felt that while they are ready to say they are agreeable with the teachings of Christianity along with other religions, I have had a hard time seeing that they actually take Christianity or other religions seriously. While they may claim to accept Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, etc...they in reality change each one so that they are not in conflict with yet another religious system, that is humanism of the Enlightenment. I recently came across this quote on the subject in Donald Macleod's book The Person of Christ: Contours of Christian Theology.

"In the last analysis, there is a blatant hypocrisy in Hick's position: under the language of pluralism there lurks a most dogmatic exclusivesm. Far from gazing admiringly on all the world's religions, Hick is standing on the vantage-point of modern western humanism, giving a nod of approval to the few elements in each religion which agree with his own philosophy and dismissing the rest with unconcealed contempt. 'All the great faiths lead to God' becomes at last, 'A plague on all your houses!' Hick does not believe, with the Jew, that Yahweh is God and that Israel is his people; or with the Muslim that Allah is God, Muhammad his prophet and the Q'ran his infallible revelation; or with the Christian that Jesus is Lord and his cross the one place of atonement. He believes all of theses claims to be, equally, nonsense. The real prophets are Hume, Kant and Lessing; the real truth is Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and the real kingdom came with the Enlightenment. To have Christianity sit in judgment on such a religion is, to Hick, unthinkable; and to entertain even the possibility that the incarnation might be a fact and the resurrection a real event is to put one's mentors to an open shame. How could one ever again look Goethe in the face if one came to believe that a dead man had risen?
Hick's argument is entirely circular: if the resurrection were fact, it would confirm the entire Christian worldview. But it cannot be a fact precisely because it would confirm that worldview. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a worshipper of the Enlightenment ot enter the kingdom of God."

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