Approaching Emmaus

Location: Santa Barbara

Friday, February 22, 2008

Religious Pluralism

I recently found a bunch of theological lectures freely available for download in mp3 format from The Christian Institute. I listened to a lecture on Nihilism by Lesslie Newbigin which was fantastic, and today I listened to a lecture by Jock Magregor about Pluralism, which was very interesting. I am interested in Religious Pluralism a lot. I see it as the greatest challenge to Christianity today. It is heresy, and it seems like church after church is following our culture and falling into it. Anyway, here is a little excerpt of the lecture that I found particularly interesting:


"The principle of egalitarianism cannot reasonably be extended into the area of beliefs--because to say that all ideas can be equally true is to deny the principle of non-contradiction and to end up into absolute insanity... To say every idea that just floats in the door is equally true.

"Similarly with the idea of freedom. People somehow think that to consider another person's religious beliefs wrong is somehow to limit that persons freedom. They make this jump, you see.

"'Well if you don't think that person's view is right, somehow this has got an implicit coerciveness in it.' Now, this is not logical at all, but people try to press this point.

"You see this in the homosexual debate for instance. Where homophobia is defined not just as the abuse and vilification of homosexuals, but merely to state that you think homosexuality is wrong is now being seen as inherently oppressive and discriminating, in and of itself. You see how they press this idea of freedom. That the gay lobby argues that gay's should be free from even people thinking that what they are doing is wrong.

"Of course to believe that another person is wrong is not inherently coercive, nor does it limit their freedom at all. That person is quite free in their conscience to hold whatever beliefs they wish, right or wrong.

"Advocating exclusivism rather than pluralism does not deny people's freedom or or the equality of people before the lord in the least."

-Jock Magregor, The Challenge of Religious Pluralism, 1995 Autumn Lectures - Modern Isms