Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions
Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions: Jesus, Revelation & Religious Traditions
- Author: Gerald R. McDermott
- Length: 233
- Edition: Paperback
- Publisher: InterVarsity Press
Description of Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions:
What is the nature of revelation in other world religions? And what can evangelicals learn from it? In this provocative and thoughtful book Gerald McDermott explores the theological concept of revelation and how evangelicals have responded to world religions. He then makes a case for God's having revealed himself outside of Israel and the church. He also explores four case studies of how Buddhist, Daoist, Confucian and Islamic understandings have enriched his own concepts of scriptural concepts. Can one's Christian faith be enriched by encounter with the Analects of Confucius? Could God's saving deed and disclosure in Jesus Christ alone include a wider grace at work in the wisdom of other world religions? Evangelical Gerald McDermott says yes. With warrants from Scripture and the tradition of Jonathan Edwards, and a good grasp of today's debates on religious pluralism, he makes his case by scrutiny of key writings of non-Christian religions. Here is a fresh voice that needs to be heard in the current conversation. - Gabriel Fackre, Abbot Professor of Christian Theology Emeritus, Andover Newton Theological School Evangelicals have been wary of engaging at any depth with faiths other than Christianity. Commitment to the 'scandal of particularity' has meant that many never consider what the revelatory value of non-Christian religions might be. Gerald McDermott provides a beautifully written, timely and much-needed contribution to a field where most angelic evangelicals fear to tread. - Jeremy Begbie, Vice Pricipal, Ridley Hall, University of Cambridge This book makes a solid contribution to the evangelical theology of religions. Leaving aside the issue of the fate of the unevangelized, it leads us to expect to learn from people of other faiths and not suppose that they have nothing to teach us. What a gracious and open spirit this message frees us to have. - Clark H. Pinnock, Professor of Theology, McMaster Divinity College
About Gerald R. Mcdermott:
Gerald R. McDermott is associate professor of religion and philosophy at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. He is the author of One Holy and Happy Society: The Public Theology of Jonathan Edwards (Penn State Press), Seeing God: Twelve Reliable Signs of True Spirituality (IVP), and Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods: Christian Theology, Enlightenment Religion and Non-Christian Faiths (Oxford University Press).
Description of Gerald R. Mcdermott, author of Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions:
The unique revelation of God through the Jews and through Jesus does not imply that no other revelation of God's character has ever occurred. That is the basic premise that motivated Gerald McDermott to write Can Evangelicals Learn from World Religions?: Jesus, Revelation and Religious Traditions. As he describes the book, it is "the beginning of an evangelical theology of the religions that addresses not the question of salvation but the problems of truth and revelation, and takes seriously the normative claims of other traditions." The first five chapters of the book are McDermott's argument that we can indeed learn more about Christianity by understanding various ideas and concepts from other religions. He believes that the Bible even suggests that God may have sometimes revealed Himself to those outside of Israel and the Church. He also offers a possible new interpretation of revelation, and argues that God has revealed religious types in other religions (which is different from both special and general revelation). Then he looks at three Christian theologians who have used extensive knowledge from outside the Church to help them understand the revelation of Christ better (Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin). The next four chapters are observations from McDermott's study of four major religions. He offers insight and perspectives from Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism and Islam. Each of these religions, says McDermott, can teach us something new about Christ, or at the very least, teach us how to view something we already know from a different perspective. While many of those who accept the possibility of revelation in other religions tend to adapt Christian doctrines to fit that which is revealed in other religions,McDermott feels he has found in other religions a strong confirmation of Christian doctrine which allows for a new, and deeper insight. But there are some objections which can be raised in response to McDermott's insights, and he understands this. Thus, he asks and answers five questions which can and have come up regarding the issue of revelation in other religions: 1) Do we not already know the truths revealed in other religions? 2) Does new revelation compromise the biblical canon? 3) How does believing in the possibility of revelation in other religions affect missions and evangelism?; 4) Why study other religions when we do not know our own? 5) What is the purpose of learning truth from other religions? Provocative and insightful, this book will open your eyes to the God who has made Himself known among the nations. You will gain an understanding of other religions, and their search for God, and you will understand Christianity better as well.