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November 08, 2011

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"God is too big for one religion."

...Unless, of course, God were to start his own religion.

The slogan assumes there are no revealed religions, that we are all just groping around trying to figure out something about God.

ChrisB

+1

“God is too big for one religion”

“Really? How big is he?”

“Really big. Don’t even think about it because he’s too big for your mind.”

You get that a lot too. "He's just so powerful you can't know anything." No word yet on why we know he's so big and powerful.

@ChrisB +2
@KWM,
"He's just so powerful you can't know anything" is also a claim. Its the like Indian elephant story of the 5 blind men, each feeling a part of the elephant. Each guy says god is like this or god is like that. The guru says, no one can know all of god because they only have a part of the elephant. This guru is, perhaps unintentionally, claiming that he knows what is going on because he is the only one who can see the that it is, in fact, an elephant - that is, he is the only one with sight. I.e. it's an exclusive claim. Which, leads us back to ChrisB's comment.

We are made in God's Image...right? We as humans, have different likes and tastes that draws us to what makes up Happy and Serene!
God has many different ways to draw his children to him.
Our concern should not be for the ones who see God's Salvation differently...it's for the ones who don't see Gods salvation at all.

Mac,

What if I have a different view of “concern” than you do? Are you telling me that you’re right as it relates to the correct amount of concern we should or shouldn't have? Why should I be concerned about those that don’t see God’s salvation at all? And what makes your correct view of concern different and more important than someone else’s view of salvation?

It would seem to me that having the correct view of what salvation means is more important that the level of concern we have towards those that view salvation as a fantasy.

Mac,

I’d also be curious as to what you mean by the different “ways” God draws us. Do you mean ways like Paul’s conversion or ways like a philosophy major pouring over the evidence one night in his dorm? OR Do you mean ways like through other religions?

But what if someone says that God is personal in one sense and impersonal in another sense?

The Bible portrays God as incomprehensible, unsearchable, and limitless, which can be seen as impersonal attributes by themselves (Romans 12). But also that God is love, a friend, incarnated and died on the cross for us, etc. which sounds more personal.

When I hear the claims Melinda talks about, I think people are knowingly making a dogmatic statement, namely that their dogma is bigger than "religious" dogma. Their point is that the proper, correct, enlightened view is to look beyond the apparent differences between religious systems, since at some deeper level they all have part of the Truth to share. They are advocating a way of synthesis in spite of obvious contradictions, without having to know for sure how to harmonize opposing doctrinal statements. Part of this view may be that contradictions are merely apparent but actually illusionary, or that they are the result of human limitation, the corruptions of organized religion, or simple human error.

Pointing out that this view constitutes its own dogma is not a true challenge - the people I've known who express these kinds of ideas do so precisely with the intent of saying their view is the right one. It's important to point out their assertion is not technically exclusionary, since they're trying to absorb all religions together into one grand metaphysical whole rather than eliminate any religion outright. Their point is that religions err only insomuch as they exclude other religions from the landscape of truth, and fail by not going far enough into that landscape on their own.

PB-

You are personal in some respects: You are a thinking, acting being. And you are impersonal in some respects. You are a mass of material substance, so is a boulder.

But, if we ask the question, "Is PB personal?" The answer is "yes" and not "no". I think the moral is that having a personal aspect is what it is to be a personal being.

Maybe I am just cynical, but I always have the feeling when people talk about some all encompassing religion they are just conforming to modern norms of acceptable behaviour. Right now it's not acceptable to claim that any religion is absolutely true. They want everyone to be on the same page and if we have separate religions we are on opposite sides, which is a slippery slope to hatred and violence. Let's avoid and ignore all those tricky moral, existential, and cosmic questions.

So the Christian (or other religious adherent) acknowledges what the other religion teaches but says it's wrong (they say one religion is true). The pluralist says the religious experts/serious adherents don't understand their own religion because if they did they would know that it's all the same or parts of some greater whole (there is only one religion). They just cannot accept that religions are actually different in substantive ways. This is because they cannot accept what religious adherents say about their religion. Instead of outright declaring that the other religion is false, they twist it until it becomes their religion. Truth is ultimately irrelevant in this model.

"Truth is ultimately irrelevant in this model."

The postmodern practice of eviscerating essential differences between contrary doctrines when expedient for achieving some desired political end is common in treating religion, morality, political doctrines, and philosophy as applied to every conceivable discipline. 'Truth' is merely a political tool just like science, art, education, social institutions, et al. Every category of meaning, every unit of cultural currency, is a device useful for structuring society into predetermined patterns, for the sake of controlling the allocation of resources to gratify the agendas of selected special interest groups.

Political control is the white elephant in the room of the marketplace of ideas. Relativism is one of several primary methodologies in the postmodern arsenal.

Sorry for mixing metaphors there at the end.

How about: Political control is the white elephant within the marketplace of ideas.

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