Only Jesus 4

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Only Jesus 4

Post  Guest on Sat 24 Nov 2007, 6:17 pm

Theocentric or Christocentric Approach.

During the above discussion, the two concepts: Theocentric and Christocentric appeared several times and one of these two formed the basis for the various approaches of different Christian theologians. Some seeing God at the centre of the Universe of Faiths (John Hick), while other talking in a total contrast to the same concept and saying that Jesus is at the centre of the Universe of Faiths ( Hendrik Kraemer). Others have like a middle point of view, considering both God and Jesus at the centre. Many questions arose during the course of the discussion and most of them are tried to dealt with. Some times theologians also, are being seen to raise questions against there counterpart theologian and the opponent answering them. In this way the two concepts: theocentric and christocentric, and what should be adopted and why, are wonderfully dealt with the theologians, seemingly to the contentment of the reader.

Although the three different models of religious paradigm are different from one another in their response to the assertion that ‘Jesus is the only way’, but still, after the above discussion and analysis, and detailed study of the three models, I can conclude that all three of these co-exist and one can not stand without another.

The conviction that Jesus Christ is the definitive and normative revelation of God, has been held and argued upon differently by them, but, none of them deny it or totally rejects it. Within their frame of religious paradigm they seem to defend it and to some extent they are successful in doing so, even we see Hick to be convinced on the normative Christology when he argues that we cannot know God through philosophical reasoning or inference, but primarily by religious experience. And he says:-
As a Christian, the assertion of an all-loving God who desires the salvation of all is grounded in the specific fact that the Christian experiences his or her own life in greater or lesser degree, as being lived in the presence of God, as made known to us by Jesus.[/size]

And D’Costa adds to it, by saying in the above quote, that in one sense, Jesus is decisive and normative for Hick[1]. But here one can question that Hick’s Christology is not normative its mythological, for answering it, D’Costa will say that by calling incarnation of Jesus a myth, Hick is trying to avoid an understanding of the incarnation as the absolutely unique and only disclosure of God to human beings, thus considering it to be the only way to salvation, which is not true and he give reasons for his point, primarily the Universal Salvific will of God[2], thus maintaining his pluralistic view point.

Several questions arose during the discussion, of which some were and are very common among people of different faiths (Christians included), Christian theologians, to a great extent, are successful in answering them, to the satisfaction of those who are questioning. But at the same time, many are left unanswered, and Christian theologians are struggling hard to answer them for example one of them is a very interesting one: Who can be saved? In its answer Newbigin says, this must be left on God, as he is the only judge to make a judgment and to take a decision. What we have to do is to know who Jesus was, what is his teaching, what he did for us and how can we glorify and honour him?[3]

Despite all this, one question keep striking my mind, is it the matter of interpretation or cultural, social or societal influence that pluralists hold the view that all the religions do contain elements for salvation and Jesus is not the only way?

P.Knitter, Introducing Theologies of Religions, Maryknoll: Orbis,2002.[/size]
G.D’Costa, Theology and Religious Pluralism, Blackwells, 1986.[/size]
A.Race, Christians and Religious Pluralism, SCM, 1983.[/size]
John Sanders (ed.) What About Those Who Have Never Heard?, Illinois:IVP,1995.[/size]
L.Newbigin, The Gospel In a Pluralist Society, London: SPCK,1989.[/size]
M.Forward, A Short Introduction to Interreligious Dialogue, Oxford: Oneworld, 2001.[/size]
H.Coward, Pluralism in the World Religions – A Short Introduction, Oxford: Oneworld, 2000.[/size]
<hr align=left width="33%" SIZE=1>[1] Ibid, pg 31, where D’Costa quoted Hick.
[2] Ibid, pg 31, 32.
[3] L. Newbigin, The Gospel and The Religions, in R.Plantinga, (ed.) Christianity and Plurality, Qxford: Blackwells, 1999, pg 354. the quote says:- “ The whole discussion of the role of the world religions
and secular ideologies from the point of view of the Christian faith is skewed if it begins with the
question, Who is going to be saved in end? That is a question which God alone will answer, and it is
arrogant presumption on the part of the theologians to suppose that it is their business to answer it.
We have to begin with the mighty work of grace in Jesus Christ and ask, How is he to be honoured
and glorified? The goal of missions is the glory of God”.

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Re: Only Jesus 4

Post  Waqar Daniel on Sat 24 Nov 2007, 9:40 pm

Dear Nadia:

Thank you for your detailed study on various schools of theologians. However, I totally disagree with both schools of thought. The reason is simple, it is all out of context and they both are trying to accomodate other religions, customs and socities through their assumptions.

Satan is known as deception - deception means, some truth covered with lies to make it look like truth. The way God works so does satan tries to work. You will find many similarities among Christian Faith and other faiths - why? DECEPTION.

When Jesus said, He is the way, then there is no need of any discussion on that. However, I can answer all these question and assumptions made by these theologians in the light of Bible.

I always say, that Christianity is NO religion or faith, rather, it is a revelation. Holy Spirit reveals Jesus Christ to us and Jesus Christ reveals Heavenly Father to us and this is what Trinity is. Without Holy Spirit, you can never know who Jesus is and without Jesus you cannot know who Father is.

Now let us take the same statement in reverse order. You will never know Father if you do not know the Son (Jesus Christ) and you will never know Jesus Christ if you do not know Holy Spirit.

However, I must say that you have put a great amount of effort to understand the two different schools of thought and it was really interesting and challenging to go through it.

You can never worship Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ in Spirit with the tools of satan.

Do keep on writing and sharing your thoughts here. And if you don't mind, I or someone else can answer all the questions raised by theologians and then tried to answer them. Please do also remember, if anyone does not agree with any of your articles, do not take it personally. There are many, here on this forum, who do not agree to what I say. In the end, what matters is, giving honor and glory to Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ in Spirit.

God bless you and your family


Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the LORD Jesus Christ. (Philemon 1:3)

Waqar Daniel

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Re: Only Jesus 4

Post  dove on Sun 25 Nov 2007, 6:01 pm

Nice and interesting research Hannah and it is really interesting to know different view points on Bible and Jesus Christ. I believe that is is modern Roman Catholic Theology you have posted here. I have read an article where all prophets and gods have been recognized by Roman Catholics as image of True God and faiths for different religions to get saved. It also stated that people get saved through their own actions and good deeds who have not heard of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul II recognized various prophets as prophets from God including Mohammed as a prophet from God.

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Re: Only Jesus 4

Post  Guest on Wed 26 Dec 2007, 6:51 pm

Dear Dove,
thank you for appreciating my article. want to tell it was not Modern Roman Catholic Theology i posted. it was all about portraying the different views to understand that Jesus is the only way to salvation. personally i believe in this and my article merely gives different views personal beleive in not invloved in it
thanks for your response


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Re: Only Jesus 4

Post  Guest on Thu 27 Dec 2007, 5:07 am

I just have to bud in this one. Jesus is the only way to the
Father. Either we believe it all, or we believe nothing at all. I have lead
somebody to Jesus, after a few days later he sends me this article about Pope Benedict,
it was the strangest thing I have ever read. He was stating that the Catholic
Church is the only true church, while adding this and that to salvation. Tthe
gospel is so simple that if you give it to a five year old to read it, he will Glorified
Jesus for who he is-- God Almighty. So why do we need theologians or Rabbis or
teachers. Paul took off for three years and the Holy Spirit was his only
teacher. As long as you got the Holy Spirit He will teach you all things that
pertain to God. I stay away from the so called smart people, and listen to
babes for they are the most exciting people to be around. And some of the
smartest people have become fools. Hannah I say this not to offend you God forbid
less I fall, but that the simple may find salvation only through Jesus Christ.
God be with you always is my prayer. Anastasia Martone

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