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This article addresses the surface of the problem of relativism, but it doesn't address a solution. Vedanta is an entirely different worldview from the Judeo-Christian worldview with somewhat similar terms. How do you dialog with a person who simultaneously believes he should live a humble lifestyle that often looks more pious than yours, but believes that Brahman (or God) is the sustaining entity of existence? There is a real theological discrepancy that needs to be addressed. Does anyone know how to discuss the matter in a loving way?
Patrick Mitchel, Ireland
a very helpful description of the challenges and realities of living in a pluralist world. I would have loved a bit more reflection on the specific Asian context and lessons learnt over generations living with pluralism. The 'shock' of post-Christendom in the West is still being processed by churches here as they begin to get used to being on the margins. I suspect many are longing to 'go back' to 'simpler' times when Christianity was as the centre. Others fear the future. It would have been great to hear more on what they can learn from the long experiences of Asian brothers and sisters.
Carminha Speirs, Brazil
I agree with CD from USA, the same challenge has been throughout Christian history. The difference is in the resources used now a days to face it. In the Old Testament we see Moyses learning from God how he should convince the hebrews who were living amongst people who worshiped so many different gods and also Pharaoh about this Only God who was all powerfull and wanted His people out of Egypt. He didn't teach Moyses about intelectual arguments nor Paul used other then the Power of God (the Gospel) to convince his audiences. The Holy Spirit is the One to convince the pluralist and any other sinner about the Truth. God only needs men and women commited to Him and to His Kingdom who are ready to lose (when necessary) and take risks for Him, the rest of it is all with Him, as it has been throughout History.
Challenges to the claims, "Jesus is the truth", "no other name" is not something new. Throughout history of Christian movement/mission, these challenges were there. The issue is that Christians like to be respectable and accepted in the pluralistic society/world. We want to tone down a bit about these claims concerning Jesus Christ and Gospel/Evangel.
Alex Araujo, USA
Excellent help from Chan And McAllister (I have not yet read the others).
McAllister in particular addresses Western trends, and I think we need to look at this a little more deeply. How much of the current reality is Western-initiated and superimposed on the rest of the world? Is it possible that we are projecting on non-Western Christians our own struggles over this issue? If they had initiated the dialogue, would they address it the same way? I understand Chan is Asian, but as an evangelical theologian, he seems to be part of that noble circle of internationals who grapple with issues considered priority to that group of people. Nothing wrong with that, but it may miss some realities that are outside that rather small and specialized circle.
I am not saying that pluralism and relativism is only a Western concern. I am asking whether the degree of concern and the approach to the issue are not overly Western, responding to a Western awakening to the issue?
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