Pluralism and theology

Inclusivism

Rahner:

  • Human experience is finite
  • Unconditional openess to existence
  • Everyone desires grace and salvation 
  • Anonymous christians
    • Religion is grace
    • People might follow the same rules and guidlines as christians unknowingly
    • Open to God's grace
  • Restrictive inclusivism 
    • Non Christian preperation for salvation

Criticisms:

  • Imperialistic and offensive 
  • Arent Christians anonymous Jews
  • Too much emphasis on grace independent from God
  • Anonymous Christianity is unbiblical and so is the invisible church theory
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Exclusivism

  • Restrictive access:
    • Salvation can be only achieved through the gospel and baptism only
  • Universal access:
    • God wills the redemption of everyone
  • Roman catholic perspective:
    • Are respectful of Non Christians 
    • But only Christianity has the controlling belief to offer redemption
  • Barth
    • God chooses who he reveals himself to 

Criticisms of exclusivism:

  • RAE has been the cause of X-ain imperialism and suffering
  • RAE presents an unjust God 
  • UAE lacks consistency
  • Wrongly judges universalism as undermining controlling beliefs. 
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Theological Pluralism

  • Multiple ways to access salvation 
  • Hick
    • Develop natural theology
    • Copernican revolution- God at the centre of all religious beliefs
    • God wouldn't create a world in which salvation was limited to the few

Criticisms:

  • The Bible
    • 'There is salvation in no-one else' - Acts 4:12
    • 'No one comes to the Father except through me' - John 14:6
  • Kraemer:
    • Can't achieve salvation through other faiths 
    • Can't pick out contact points
    • Religion either accepts the salvation offered by christ or it doesn't 
    • Barth- essential importance of the Bible, Church and Christ
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