Tuesday, July 28, 2009
A Thought on Pluralism
In a pluralistic society it's just disrespectful to presume that all religions are talking about one God, the same God. In their pursue of inclusiveness and in their attempt to take all religions seriously, people who presume that all religions are saying the same thing actually end up taking NO religion seriously. To say that all religions are the same or that they are talking about the same God is to disregard all distinguishing uniqueness and everything that sets them apart from one another and to render their claims to uniqueness as void. It is to say, for example, that Christianity's claim that God is Triune and is revealed uniquely and specifically in Jesus Christ is ignorable and that we can in fact speak of their God outside of those claims no matter how Christianity may protest. And Islam would certainly not say that you are still talking about their God if you started talking about a 3 in 1, Triune, and incarnational diety. So in order to respect both Christianity and Islam we must allow them their claims to uniqueness and we must honor their claims that they are talking about very different Gods. We must honor and respect every religion enough to say that they are all saying very different things. Harmony does not mean forcing everyone into agreement. We must seek a harmony which understands our differences and moves forward peacefully regardless of those differences. We must let every religion take its own very specific shape and we must continue the dialogue.