Five Ways to Approach the Pluralistic Nature of Post-Modernity

Five Ways to Approach the Pluralistic Nature of Post-Modernity

 

  1. Highlight the inclusiveness and tolerance of the cross. We should be leading the way on these issues. Instead it feels like we’ve allowed secular liberals to champion an agenda that God has always expected his people to lead.
    1. Focus on issues related to legal tolerance – “represent and protect all people.”
      1. Isaiah 56:1
      2. Micah 6:8
      3. Deuteronomy 14:29
      4. Proverbs 31:8-9
      5. Luke 4:18-19
    2. Focus on issues related to social tolerance – “love and respect all people.”
      1. Matthew 5:44
      2. 1 Peter 2:17
      3. Luke 15:1-2

 

  1. Clarify the roots of exclusivism. Post-moderns need to see and understand the ancient nature of the exclusive claims of Christianity. Too often it is seen simply as an attachment to cultural superiority.
    1. While the seminal NT texts like John 14:6 and Acts 4:12 cannot and should not be avoided, OT texts like Isaiah 43:10-12 provide a fresh way to approach the issue which helps post-moderns understand that Christian exclusivism is rooted in Scripture and not in human culture.

 

  1. Explore the basis for Christian exclusivism by highlighting what makes Christianity distinctive.
    1. The doctrines of incarnation, atonement and resurrection.
      1. Incarnation
        1. Logical – If Jesus was truly God in the flesh then his teachings come with divine authority.
        2. Emotional – The God of Christianity went to amazing lengths to be with you (highlighted by the manger and the cross). He wants to be with you in all seasons of your life. He walked through everything that you have walked through and can not only empathize, but also sympathize.
      2. Atonement – Almost every major world religion offers salvation based upon what we “do.” However, because of the atonement, Christianity offers salvation upon what Jesus has “done” on the cross.
      3. Resurrection – more than anything else, the resurrection provides a tangible reason to expectantly hope for heaven. If the resurrection is true then there really is life after death.

 

  1. Highlight the exclusive nature and claims of other faiths. If post-moderns want to reject Christianity because of it’s exclusivity then they need to understand that most world religions claim that they are, if not the only way, the best way to a relationship with God.

 

  1. Highlight the inadequacies of pluralism. Taken to its logical extreme, pluralism is untenable. It is not possible to practice pluralism in every facet of life.
    1. All religious practices and groups are not equal.
      1. Christian crusades, temple prostitution, Aztec human sacrifice demonstrate repugnant acts.
      2. Mother Theresa’s Sisters of Mercy are not equal to the Heaven’s Gate cult or David Koresh’s compound.
    2. All religions are not able to adequately respond to difficult questions and circumstances.
      1. Is there a God? Why am I here? Why did my child die? Pluralism says that all religions can answer these questions equally. This just isn’t true.
    3. Pluralism is inherently intolerant. Pluralism says that it’s always wrong to try to convince someone that his views are wrong. Pluralism affirms the truth of all viewpoints—except the viewpoint that says there is one absolute truth. Pluralism says there is no absolute truth—which is itself a statement of absolute truth.