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Unformatted text preview: Religion 165 - Introduction to Christian Theology Fourth Celebration of Learning, Fall 2007 1. The issue of Christian salvation in relation to peoples of other faiths is important to address in our pluralistic world. Interpreting the words of Jesus, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by me," describe the different options for interpreting salvation in relation to people from varying religious frameworks. Describe and defend your own position, indicating the weaknesses of the positions you reject, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of your own position. There are multiple views of the passage. First of all, there is the view that Christians go to heaven and others go to Hell. This view is primarily held among fundamentalist Christians, but also many Christians in the southern United States. This interpretation insists that this passage signifies that the only way to God is through believing in Jesus. There are many problems with this interpretation of this passage. First of all, this interpretation takes God’s grace out of the equation. It is also very exclusive. The God of love from Scripture is not going to condemn His children because they rejected a perverted Jesus or never knew Him. There is also the interpretation that what matters about this verse is the context. This verse was spoken to a specific set of people at a specific time. The disciples with whom he was talking could only go to the Father through Him, but that is not necessarily true for everyone else. This theory calls into question any passage from Scripture that is specific. Another way is the ontological/ cosmic way, which says that no one comes to the Father except for the work that Jesus did. No one can be reconciled with the Father except through Jesus’ actions. Through the substitutionary theory this verse signifies that we could not reach the Father unless Jesus stood in our place. The Christus Victor theory states that Jesus overcame death and Satan so that we can be in contact with the Father. This theory is inclusive. There is also the anonymous Christian theory proposed by Karl Rhaner that said that through being dependent on God like Jesus; through living for others like Jesus, and through unconditional love like Jesus. This theory does not propose a doctrine or religion, but through participating in the life that He called us to live. Not all people who are Christians know that they are because they are unaware of following Christ. It replaces tradition with experience. This theory is a little imperialistic, but it shows that God is more just. This theory challenges grace, and dwells in works righteousness. The last theory is the cultural linguistic theory that states that one can experience different traditions and still be closer to God than a sinful Christian....
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