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Encountering Religious Pluralism: The Challenge to Christian Faith & Mission Paperback – September 14, 2001
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Netland's strength lies in his ability to cover a broad range of topics concerning religious pluralism while remaining lucid and concise in his writing. For example, he not only gives a brief history of religious pluralism and how the church has reacted to it, but he also levels sophisticated critiques against it and even devotes a chapter to the most ardent modern day religious pluralist, the philosopher of religion John Hick. And he doesn't just give us Hick's views, he actually goes into detail into Hick's personal journey from being a conservative Christian to a radical pluralist.
Netland's critiques of Hick and other modern pluralist views are trenchant. Of course on the surface it seems very warm and fuzzy and modern to proclaim that all religions are really different manifestations of the same ultimate reality, but Netland points out the serious problems with this view. Take, for example, Hick's notion of "the Real." In Hick's view, all the religions of the world are nothing more than different cultural manifestations of human responses to "the Real." What matters is that we live a life that is not self-centered but Real-centered.Read more ›
The tone of the book was such that this reviewer wondered if he would "defect" in some way and make some significant compromise on the exclusivity of the Christian faith, but he never did, though open minded individuals will appreciate his nuances and carefully wrought arguments. All this makes his conclusions all the more compelling, and make the book a exemplar of how inter-religious dialog (and indeed, Christian witness of any kind) should take place.
I was profoundly challenged by this fine book, both intellectually and behaviorally. That's a lot to get in return for less than $20!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this book for a class that I may take at a seminary. I have read nearly half the book. For me, this book is boring. The writer spends too much time in the details. Read morePublished on November 22, 2012 by T. C.