Friday, February 1, 2008

21st Century Problem

In my theology class today my professor talked about some of the issues facing the church (meaning the body of believers). In his opinion, the biggest obstacle in the 20th century was answering how God could allow such grievous suffering. With tragedies such as the Holocaust, and dictators such as Fidel Castro this was certainly not an easy question to answer.

He feels that now the biggest challenge to the church is the idea that there are many ways to get to heaven. Not only is this something held by several religions already but many Christians would even say that Jesus isn't the only way. This could be called a form of universalism and it is very dangerous.

5 comments:

Kesh kesh bo besh said...

Sounds like the Unitarian Church.

colorwheel said...

ah yes, the theology of tolerance....

Ric Wild said...

What do we mean by "Get to heaven"? I started reading N.T. Wright's new book and he talks a lot about a muddled view of "heaven". Christians believe in a future hope that's connected to the resurrection of the dead and the the renewal of creation. Buddhist, for example, do not have this kind of hope at all. Their future anticipation is connected to reaching Nirvana and eventually escaping life altoghether. Christianity and Buddism are just two examples of two very different paths with two different goals in mind. I wonder if the problem at hand has more to do with the fact that we don't know what we mean by "heaven" and that we don't realize what different religions teach. I think a good Buddhist would be outraged to hear someone speculating that his religion is one of the "many ways to get to heaven" because the good Buddist doesn't want to go to heaven, has no interest in heaven, and, to top it all off, like me doesn't know what you mean when you say "heaven" because it's such a muddled term.

Tyler said...

very fair point ric. i guess what my prof was saying and what I was emphasizing was that so many people believe all religions are one of many ways to get to God. That we are all worshiping the same God. This is the problem we are dealing with now.

Ric Wild said...

If nothing else I think this conversation demonstrates the fact that there is much confusion surrounding claims of the world's religions. I think it also points out that most people have a very ambiguous notion of "heaven" and mistakenly believe that what Christians are talking about is the same thing that Budhists and other religions are talking about. I don't know if this is called "Universalism", but whatever it is it is incoherent.