INT-244 Lecture 1.docx

Often find the evolutionary approach problematic for

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often find the evolutionary approach problematic for a variety of reasons and find the theory of original monotheism the most satisfying. Exclusivism, inclusivism, and pluralism are three terms often used to indicate approaches toward religions other than one's own. Corduan summarizes the general understanding of each approach: Pluralism is the view that all religions are equally true. Exclusivism is its very opposite, namely, the view that only one religion is true and all others are false. Inclusivism attempts to bridge the gap between the two by claiming that only one religion is actually true, but that believers in other religions are actually included in that one religion and so are either followers of the religion without knowing it or at least receive the benefits of that one religion unbeknownst to them. (Corduan, 2012, p. 55) Although Christian thinkers hold to each of these positions, many have questioned the logic behind a purely pluralistic notion. In response to pluralism, Ravi Zacharias suggests, "it is therefore more logically possible that all the religions in the world are wrong, but it is not logically sensible to say that all the religions of the world are right" (Zacharias, 2014). Pluralism, though promoted by many in the world today, is a difficult theory to justify intellectually. Moreover, pluralism may deprive the diverse religious traditions of their own value as unique responses to important questions of meaning and community.
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As Norman Anderson notes, the Christian studying world religions ought to be "vitally concerned with what millions of his fellow creatures believe, and their convictions will command not only his interest, but also his study and respect" (Anderson, 1975, p. 228). While not every teaching or religious practice may be accepted by the Christian, there nevertheless
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