Friday, February 17, 2012

Read Along: Christian Apologetics Ch23

Today we continue with chapter twenty-three of Read Along with Apologetics315, a weekly chapter-by-chapter study through Christian Apologetics: A Comprehensive Case for Biblical Christianity by Douglas Groothuis. Please leave a comment on your reading below. This is where you can interact with others reading the book, ask questions, or add your own thoughts. Series index here. Click below for the audio intro, chapter 23 study questions PDF, and summary:

[Audio Intro] - Dr. Groothuis introduces this chapter.
[Chapter 23 Study Questions] (with kindle locations) - PDF study guide.
[Podcast Feed RSS | Podcast in iTunes] - Click to subscribe to the audio.

Summary
Chapter Twenty-Three: Religious Pluralism: Many Religions, One Truth
(pages 567-598)

Chapter twenty-three is the first chapter of part three, dealing with objections to Christian Theism. This chapter addresses the issue of religious pluralism, the idea that though there are many religions, all of them are equally true paths to eternal life. Groothuis dismantles this claim by showing the substantial differences between Christianity, Hinduism, and Buddhism in their views on ultimate reality, human nature, and spiritual liberation.

The author also looks at the concept of perennialism, and explores and responds to John Hick's religious pluralism. After this, Groothuis looks at the issue of Christianity and the unevangelized, providing a number of key points to take into consideration when looking at the issue. Finally, the topic of "how many will be saved" is discussed, and a case is made for particularism over inclusivism.

Notable quotes:
The most powerful apologetic for Christianity will be ignored by anyone who simply-and probably ignorantly-accepts all religions as equally spiritual(Christian Apologetics, p. 568)  
Religions may be similar in form and function, but they claim contradictory things about ultimate reality, the human condition and spiritual liberation. (Christian Apologetics, p. 570)
While other religions contain elements of truth, they reject the most important truth of all: Christ crucified, resurrected and offered for the redemption of the cosmos. Therefore, all religions are not created equal. While God will judge every human being justly, neither logic nor Scripture allow us to endorse all religions as one or to justify any path to salvation except that carved out by the crucified and risen Nazarene(Christian Apologetics, p. 598)    
Discuss
  1. What emotional reasons do you think people have for embracing religious pluralism?
  2. What is the primary flaw you see with the "elephant and the blind men" parable?
  3. How would you respond to those who reject the idea of particularism?
Next week
Chapter Twenty-Four: Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam

5 comments :

Mo said...

How I hate that I discovered this so late - much too late to catch up and participate.

I hope another book is chosen after this one, and the same type of format followed!

Brian Auten said...

Well, it's never to late to work through the book using the tools.

However, it's likely another book will take this route as well.

christian apologetics said...

This is a very good program. It helps encourage those who want to learn but don't know where to start or how to explain christian apologetics

Vicki McGrew said...

I'm really enjoying this study and would encourage anyone to jump in even if you've just discovered it.

I'd also be interested in more book studies with this same format.

Pr. Ion Sorin Bora said...

For me, the Word is very important. He say today , i read he's words and we communicate now. For you? Jesus not says yet? Don't read now what He say? Or the Bible haven't words for you?

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