Monday, August 18, 2008
The Gospel in a Pluralist Society - intro.
Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Cambridge and Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1989.
Here is a passage on page 9 that adjusted some of my own thinking:
“In the famous story of the blind men and the elephant, so often quoted in the interests of religious agnosticism, the real point of the story is constantly overlooked. The story is told from the point of view of the king and his courtiers, who are not blind but can see that the blind men are unable to grasp the full reality of the elephant and are only able to get hold of part of the truth. The story is constantly told to neutralize the affirmation of the great religions, to suggest that they learn humility and recognize that none of them can have more than one aspect of the truth. But, of course, the real point of the story is exactly the opposite. If the king were also blind there would be no story. The story is told by the king, and it is the immensely arrogant claim of one who sees the full truth which all the world’s religions are only groping after. It embodies the claim to know the full reality which relativizes all the claims of the religions and philosophies.”
I move the rest of this post, Newbigin's bio and some introductory comments over to my blog http://c-far.blogspot.com/ for the sake of brevity. You can go there if you want to read the whole thing and come back here for comments.
ok -- my new copy of McLaren just arrived as I was writing this ...I'll hit it this week.