Download Christianity and Other Religions, New Edition: Selected by John Hick, Brian Hebblethwaite PDF

By John Hick, Brian Hebblethwaite

This definitive e-book considers the best way Christianity pertains to the opposite global faiths.

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Additional resources for Christianity and Other Religions, New Edition: Selected Readings

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It is a salvation really intended for all those millions upon millions of people who lived perhaps a million years before Christ – and also for those who have lived after Christ – in nations, cultures and epochs of a very wide range which were still completely shut off from the viewpoint of those living in the light of the New Testament. If, on the one hand, we conceive salvation as something specifically Christian, if there is no salvation apart from Christ, if according to Catholic teaching the supernatural divinization of mankind can never be replaced merely by good will on the part of man but is necessary as something itself given in this earthly life; and if, on the other hand, God has really, truly and seriously intended this salvation for all men – then these two aspects cannot be reconciled in any other way than by stating that every human being is really and truly exposed to the influence of divine, supernatural grace which offers an interior union with God and by means of which God communicates himself whether the individual takes up an attitude of acceptance or of refusal towards this grace.

There has been some temptation, perhaps, even not to recognize it at all! – or at least, not to recognize how serious, and how far-reaching, it is: that the whole Church is involved, and not merely ‘those interested in missions’. At the practical level the situation is acute enough. It is not only in China that the traditional missionary venture has come or is coming to an end. Take the problem of recruitment: more have remarked on the fact that volunteers today are either scarce or curious, than that today no mission board can in fact offer any young person a life vocation on the mission field.

The official, institutional forms known as the ‘kingdom’ and the priesthood were so little proof against this God-offending corruption that they could bring about the ruin of the Israelitic religion itself. And since there were also pseudo-prophets, and no infallible ‘institutional’ court of appeal for distinguishing genuine and false prophecy, it was – in the last analysis – left to the conscience of the individual Israelite himself to differentiate between what in the concrete appearance of the Israelitic religion was the true covenant with God and what was a humanly free, and so in certain cases falsifying, interpretation and corruption of this God-instituted religion.

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