RESPONSE OF CHRISTIAN THOUGHT TO PLURALISM
By Venerable Dr Ifechukwu Ibeme
Comment on The Chapel of Grace Blog:
The purpose of Gospel mission is to bring all humanity to know and do God’s will, to worship God
in spirit and truth and to be saved from depravity, demonism, and damnation into
eternal Kingdom through Christ (Act 26:15-18).
Christians today adopt various views to non-
hope of eternal salvation offered in the Gospel. EXCLUSIVISM:
this view holds that there is salvation only for Christians.
this view holds that, although salvation is by definition Christian salvation, brought about by the atoning work of Christ, it is nevertheless in principle available to all human beings, whether Christian or non-Christian; that good and devout people of other faiths may, even without knowing it, be regarded as "anonymous Christians" or that non-Christians also are included within the universal scope of Christ's salvific work and their religions are fulfilled in Christianity.
this view holds that, the great world faiths, including Christianity, are valid spheres of a salvation that takes characteristically different forms within each
though consisting in each case in the transformation of human existence from self-centredness to a new orientation toward the Divine Reality. The other religions are thus not secondary contexts of Christian redemption but independently authentic paths of salvation.
: this view which derives from apostolic Gospel proclamation (
) and apostolic Gospel teaching (
), holds that all religions and cultures of all humanity are at best proto-Christian or sub-Christian stages of either FAULTY HUMAN GROPE WITH INSTINCT FOR GOD (Rom 1; Act 17) or FRAIL HUMAN GRAPPLE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD (Heb 1; Gal 3-4). Therefore, in order to obtain eternal salvation for kingdom heritage, humans would necessarily have to repent of their failure and progress to receive the grace of
through faith in the
work (by His passion and power), and through the acceptance of Christ’s
in the Scriptural apostolic witness (Eph 2-3).
The word RELIGION
which refers to human response in relation to any superstition supposition speculation or human reverence in relation to redemptive revelation
) is derived from Latin
attitudes, beliefs, experiences, powers and practices or
attitudes beliefs experiences powers and practices. Today’s
liberalism with its antireligious, irreverent, rebellious, and self-willed philosophies have given religion a bad name as faiths and forms that are antisocial, intolerant and deceptive because of religious rules and regulations
often designating RELIGION to mean religious organisations or regulations; but prefer SPIRITUALITY which is designated to mean unregulated spontaneous
spiritual worship and lifestyle or personal “salvation” experience. Hence many in the Church and other religions are averse to the word “religion” or “religious” and claim they are not religious:
they would prefer to describe themselves as spirituals, spiritualists, using spiritual powers or living in spiritual relationship. Religions and Spiritualities in the world today offer or seek different concepts of SALVATION e.g. Christian redemption-ransom, rescue-release, regeneration-restoration, Non-Christian self-realisation) from bondage e.g. Christian
sinful nature, divine wrath, demonic deceit, damnable death, error-ignorance
karma, reincarnation and matter
) which may not satisfy the salvation concepts of the others. RELIGION can be defined as the human spiritual relationship or human ritual response or human rational response of faith in, fear of, fervour for, experience of and reverence for God, gods and numinous powers. Religions have belief systems about the divine, the spiritual and the sacred, expressed in behaviour systems of ritual forms, religious community, numinous experiences, ethical values and mystical practices.
Note that both the religious and the irreligious have their kinds of “God” and “gods” which
regulate their worldviews and behaviours such as:
the Monotheists’ ALMIGHTY CREATOR God, (Author of order)
the Mystics’ UNIVERSAL MIND/FORCE god,
the Evolutionists' RANDOM SELECTOR goddess, (author of confusion)