Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Wisdom of Roger Hines

The April-June of the Magnolia Messenger, which I am still receiving without ever having subscribed, includes an article by Roger Hines on the difference between secular pluralism and Christian pluralism. I'm not entirely sure I agree with his use of the term "pluralism" in this context--and I certainly don't agree with all the points he makes throughout the article--but his comments on the divisive way that secular culture treats difference in a paradoxical attempt to construct unity has distinct Vernard Eller overtones:

Secular pluralists teach that the differences are the determining factors in any interaction with people. The ultimate determiner of how one views marriage, how one views public policy and the role of government, how one views religion and its role in society, how one views human life in the individual and the group with which the individual aligns himself or herself. The group determines truth.

This is seen even in how groups view the Bible, not as containing a timeless message that calls one to subordinate the group to the lordship of Christ but as a message that the group can adapt to fit its own goals. So, the members of the group (i.e. liberation theology, feminist theology, black theology, gay theology, Marxist theology) view the relevance of the gospel in relation to how it relates to what they deem important.

Thus, by its very nature, secular pluralism is divisive and self-serving.

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