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:
Chapter Twenty-Three: Religious Pluralism: Many Religions, One Truth
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.
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)
- What emotional reasons do you think people have for embracing religious pluralism?
- What is the primary flaw you see with the “elephant and the blind men” parable?
- How would you respond to those who reject the idea of particularism?
Chapter Twenty-Four: Apologetics and the Challenge of Islam