The key point that Roger Haight raises in this chapter is the relation that Jesus holds as the Christ in relation to the other religious mediations that human beings believe. Unlike the past days where Christianity was considered as the absolute and only true religion for man, the world today is full of religious movements. Each of these groups has a figure they look up to as the author of their faith and the mediator of their salvation. Jesus is no longer reckoned to be the only way to the father. Rather, the human race sees Him as one of the many ways to the Father. In this chapter, Roger explains how and why it is important for the post-modern Christian to view religious plurality as a positive thing.
Haight critically examines the significance of why Christians today should have an attitude that regards Jesus as God’s normative revelation, while simultaneously holding the conviction that God has also revealed Himself normatively elsewhere to the man. Roger asserts that the principal argument supporting the authentic and genuine saving power of the other religions existing in the world emanate from the witness that Jesus bore about God – acting in the lives of human beings in many ways. Jesus did this in unconditional mercy and total love. All these actions indicated how God Himself is gracious in approaching His creation. This plurality of ways that Jesus used in revealing God to men forms the basis for the existence of multiple religions in the world. Therefore, Christians should see these religions as ways that God is using to...
reach out to human beings and not as opponents of salvation.
I have learned that openness to the dialogue on religious plurality can never be a reason to dismiss the convictions of Christians on Jesus as the normative truth for the entire humanity. As much as parties entering a dialogue always come with opinions that they presuppose as being true to them, they never inhibit or pre-empt what is to be discovered in the conversation. Christians should always be willing to share the awareness they have of God in light of what Jesus revealed to them and still be open to learning whatever truths history offers about the other religions. Thus, total commitment and correlative appraisal that Christians have about Jesus as the Christ should never be an obstacle to one embracing religious plurality. Rather, they should serve as positive impulses and catalysts of interreligious dialogues.
A critical observation from this chapter that I have noted is that religious plurality has its roots and is not going to end anytime soon. Therefore from a Christian theological point of view, this plurality ought to be embraced and taken positively. To the extent that these faiths mediate in the saving grace of God, they are true up to a certain measure. It would be theologically incorrect to dismiss these movements as being false when they, in fact, have a profound history of their beliefs. The post-modern Christian should not look at these religious groups as being competitors with God’s saving action through Jesus Christ. Rather, they should be open an
eager to understand the inherent confessions of these belief systems. They should have a substantial attitude of wanting to learn God’s ways through a dialogue with these religions if at all they want to benefit from the talks. The ultimate aim of these discussions should not be converting one from one belief system to another or create a united world religion. Rather, it should be one having the objective of unveiling the truth of God that these religious systems bear.
- Haight, Roger. Jesus, Symbol of God. Maryknoll, N.Y: Orbis Books, 1999. Print.
- Age Of Enlightenment
- Child Observation
- Critical Reflection
- Form Of The Good
- Free Will
- Good And Evil
- Human Nature
- Meaning Of Life
- Natural Law
- Philosophy Of Life
- Philosophy Of Mind
- Political Philosophy
- alternative religions