The Gospel & Pluralism
With all of my interaction with friends Starbucks and artists from our art shows at The Well and concerts I have had a large number of conversati0ns that pretty much go something like this:
Me: we are a church
them: oh, wow. that is neat. what kind of church is it?
Me: We find our roots in historical Christianity and affirm the centrality of Jesus Christ as the foundation of our life and faith.
Them: Oh, that is nice. Personally, I believe that God is…(then we go on to a discussion on how they believe all faiths are valid ways to God)
This kind of response is pretty typical of the pluralism that is so typical in our culture.
The question that quickly come to mind is this:
How do we, as those who believe the gospel of Jesus Christ as truth, share this truth when society is so against calling anything to do with religion “fact.” In contrast, the world instead calls things that relate to religion “values.”
In The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, Lesslie Newbigin states “now it is beyond question, though we may evaluate the fact, that Christianity began with the proclamation of something authoritatively given…the New Testament writers are at one in regarding this fact (the fact of Christ) as of decisive importance for all peoples everywhere.”
We believe in the fact of Jesus Christ.
How do we share this when every time we do, “in this cultural milieu, the confident announcement of the Christian faith sounds like an arrogant attempt of some people to impose their values on others.”
So the question is, how do we proclaim a gospel as truth in a pluralist society? This question is of utmost importance in the culture where we now live. The world has changed and, while I know the gospel hasn’t (though, I would argue that the way we understand it has and maybe even should as we look at it through the eyes of a postmodern world), the way we tell it and the share it will need to.
All this to say that I am embarking on reading Lesslie Newbigin’s book that relates to that very question. Hopefully I’ll be able to share my journey with you as I read…