Dan Strange lectures at Oak Hill on Culture, Religion and Public Theology. He has recently completed an SCM book (with Gavin D'Costa and Paul Knitter) called Only One Way? Three Christian Responses to the Uniqueness of Christ in a pluralistic world. This morning at LTS he shared with us his thesis, which is in summary
Non-Christian religions are sovereignly directed, variegated and dynamic human idolatrous distortions of divine revelation behind which evidence demonic deception. Being antithetically against yet practically dependent upon the truth of the Christian worldview, non-Christian religions are 'subversively fulfilled' in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He defended this thesis with a very carefully worked out biblical and theological argument. He used the following headings (before the break):
1. YHWH's transcendent uniqueness: God and Trinity
Implications - 1. Yahweh's transcendent uniqueness 2. God's name and glory 3. Derivative uniqueness of Israel and the church
2. The perilous exchange: creation and fall
The relationship between Christianity and other religions is one of both principial discontinuity and practical continuity.
1. Principial discontinuity
Antithesis between true and false faith
Lies about God which lead to divine judgement and human disintegration
Deception which only brings disappointment, disillusionment and destruction
Religions are worldviews
Here he took the example of Islam. Its unity without diversity idea works it out in all sorts of ways.
2. Practical continuity
Like Christians, unbelievers are full of inconsistencies with their own views. Elements here include
Historical or phenomenological complexity
Other religions are made of imaginal, remnantal, influential and demonical revelation.
(To be continued)
(To be continued)