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Beyond the Impasse: Beyond a Pneumatological Theology of Religions Paperback – March 1, 2003
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About the Author
Amos Yong (Ph.D., Boston University) is associate research professor of theology at Regent University School of Divinity. He is the author of Discerning the Spirit(s): A Pentecostal-Charismatic Contribution to Christian Theology of Religions and Spirit-Word Community: Theological Hermeneutics in Trinitarian Perspective.
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Yong wades through a variety of key issues relating to how a theology of the Holy Spirit might help make sense of religious pluralism. His sensibilities lie in a Pentecostal/Evangelical approach, but one that is intellectually sophisticated. Yong appreciatively critiques Clark Pinnock's work, and although his own position is not greatly different, suggests that spirit-aided discernment in assessing the inter-religious dialogue is required.
Thomas Jay Oord
From an Eastern Christian standpoint that rejects the phrase "and from the Son," Yong argues "the Son and HS are the two hands of God." He says the HS is present in all that God has made and argues for a HS that is independent from Christ and the gospel. He argues that his view would help missions because ALL world religions are sustained by the Spirit. So people can approach God without a conscious acknowledgment of Christ or the gospel. He contends therefore that we shouldn't reject other religions as false. He says the HS is active in places that Christ isn't present - such as at work in non-Christian religions. By his argument, he concludes that humans can be saved in different ways: through Christ and the gospel or through the HS and other religions (or perhaps no religion at all). He says we shouldn't disregard other religions as completely false because the Holy Spirit is free to work apart from Christ and the gospel.
Not only has Yong made the mistake of divorcing the HS from Christ, he has destroyed Christ as the object of faith necessary for salvation. One can now be saved apart from faith in the object of Christ. Christianity then becomes one of the many paths to a non-Christian god. This sounds dangerously close to Universalism and Unitarianism. This work is not Christian, for it has cast Christ aside as the one exclusive savior and turned him into one of an endless number of saviors.