Summary: Defending the Christian faith against religious pluralism and tolerance.
1. Answering Religious Pluralism
Also called tolerance.
2. Defining Pluralism
· “Traditional tolerance (Social Pluralism) is now referred to as negative tolerance. This is defined as ‘respecting others beliefs and practices without sharing them,’ or ‘to bear or put up with something not especially liked.’ “The new tolerance (Religious Pluralism) is called positive tolerance, which says this: every single individual’s beliefs, values, lifestyle, and truth claims are equal.” —Josh McDowell
Many take a “politically correct” view of religion.
It is “intolerant” to speak of exclusive truth. Or knowing truth. Or claiming that your beliefs are true while others beliefs and not true. It is “intolerant” to say that Hinduism is a false religion, or that Islam does not serve the true God- Allah is not the god.
What is truth to a pluralist?
“Pluralists say the truth is a “social construction.” It is created through social consensus and tradition, not discovered in reality that exists independently of our beliefs. Truth is subjective interpretation, not correspondence between our beliefs and reality.”
Learning how to share the exclusive claims of Christ in a Pluralistic society.
After 9/11 Bush called for a National Day of Prayer and encouraged people of all faiths to pray. And two interfaith memorial services were held.
3. Do All Religions Lead to God?
· Sept. 14, 2001 National Cathedral
A prayer was offered to…
“the God of Abraham, the God of Muhammad, and the Father of Jesus Christ.”
· Oprah Winfrey led the service in New York and boldly declared, “all people pray to the same God.”
4. Democracy and Truth
· The Bill of Rights
It guarantees American citizens the right to free exercise of religion.
· The Problem
Some people take the notion of equal toleration of religious expression to mean that all religions are equally true.
-What is truth?
· Truth by definition is exclusive.
Christ made a most reasonable claim when he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV).
All world religions make exclusive claims!
5. Are All Religions True?
· Three Important Considerations:
A). All Religions are superficially the same and fundamentally different.
1. Each religion has its form of the “Golden Rule.”
2. What is the nature of God?
a. One God- monotheism (Christianity) (Islam)
b. Many gods- polytheism (many religions, also Hinduism)
c. All is God- pantheism (Hinduism also polytheistic) (Buddhism)
d. Some no God- atheism (Naturalism)
-In Judaism and Islam, God is personal (and singular).
-In Christianity, God is more than personal and singular (he is
super-personal and triune).
-In Hinduism and Buddhism, God is less than personal and singular (he is
a-personal and diffuse). Hinduism also teaches a personal/non-personal
3. What is mankind’s ultimate problem? Why are we inclined to do
Is it Sin, Ignorance, Un-enlightenment.
For a pantheist, we do wrong because we suffer from cosmic amnesia, we forget that we are really god.