The Stranger Within Your Gates
Towards a new Christian attitude to other faiths
“’You can’t preach the good news of the risen Lord Jesus Christ and respect other faiths’ – discuss”…was the title of an essay I was recently asked to write as a part of my on-going theological study.
How would you answer that question?
Traditionally, in answering questions like this Christians have tended to flee into one of two well defined camps: On the one hand are the “liberals” who are often described by their critics as woolly, lacking courage and more concerned with being nice than telling the truth. On the other end you have the “conservatives” or perhaps the “evangelicals” who are commonly decried, particularly by the media, as aggressive, rigid, self-righteous and generally hostile.
Where does this polarisation come from? What if there was another way?
Is there a way of thinking about dialogue with and even mission to other faiths that does not retreat into the safe and well trodden pens on the opposite sides of this divide; a more effective way, a more authentic way, and maybe a more Christian way? Is there even a way we might talk about evangelism to other faiths without evoking the dark shadows of our imperial past?
After looking at some of the historical and theological reasons for the divide described above, we will explore the work of well known and loved thinkers such as Lessley Newbingin, Dallas Willard and Brian McLaren to see if we can discover the foundations of a better way for a rapidly changing world where these questions have taken on new resonance and urgency.
With plenty of room for discussion and questions join us for a stimulating, provocative and fun gathering at CHOW.