Why I'm Incarnational

I'm reading "Generous Orthodoxy" still and I'm on the chapter "Why I'm Incarnational." It deals with how we should relate to other religions. It is interesting because he seems to be balancing on a fine line. He explicitly states that he doesn't believe all religions are the same or lead to the same place. But at the same time he wants an open dialogue between religions and wants us to be willing to learn from other religions. There have been a couple of times that I worried that he was about to step over the "all religions lead to the same place" line, but then he said that wasn't true.

I think this is an interesting place he is trying to balance on. I wonder how well it would work living it out in a daily life. It seems like it would be hard to balance on. I mean, if you are willing to learn from other religions, how do you know how far to go. You would have to be careful to be able to distinguish between letting go of the non-essentials and still keeping the gospel true. And how do you communicate this position to the person you are having a dialogue with. And how do we relate evangelism to all of this. How do we learn, but at the same time still say that there are parts of Christianity that I believe are essential and only found here, and that are very important?

But at the same time, I think this would be a good position to have. I have learned things from other religions. I admire the Muslims' commitment to praying multiple times a day. I think the Mormon and Jehovah’s Witness commitment to evangelism is important. And I do think that those of us in the west tend to throw out things that don't have to be thrown out. We tend to want people to convert to Western Christianity, not allowing the gospel to grow within their own culture. I think about how there have been issues with Native Americans using traditional drums in their worship to God. Why should they have to throw out that part of their culture, why not allow God to redeem it and let them use it in their worship of him?

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