Monday, September 27, 2010

Do Christians say that all other religions are just bunk?

C. S. Lewis didn't. 

To me, who first approached Christianity from a delighted interest in, and reverence for, the best pagan imagination, who loved Balder before Christ and Plato before St. Augustine, the anthropological argument against Christianity has never been formidable. On the contrary, I could not believe Christianity if I were forced to say that there were a thousand religions in the world of which 999 were pure nonsense and the thousandth (fortunately) true. My conversion, very largely, depended on recognizing Christianity as the completion, the actualization, the entelechy, of something that had never been wholly absent from the mind of man.1

I couldn't believe that nine-hundred and ninety-nine religions were completely false and the remaining one true. In reality, Christianity is primarily the fulfillment of the Jewish religion, but also the fulfillment of what was vaguely hinted in all the religions at their best. What was vaguely seen in them all comes into focus in Christianity.2

1 C. S. Lewis, God In The Dock, ed. Walter Hooper (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1970), p. 132. 
2 Ibid., p. 54.


Joshua Blanchard said...

Vic, you just don't get it. The OTF says you're brainwashed!

GREV said...

Try this again. I find quite credible Lewis' argument that Christianity is this completion of the religious quest that finds expression in all these other religious expressions and their quest to understand the divine.

Obviously, from my Christian theistic view, these expressions or quests are wrong to differing degrees. Christ makes a unique claim that gives no room to any other approach to God.

So, to realisitically understand my commitment to Christ is to realistically assess these competing claims. To attempt to argue that somehow I can make a completely rationalisitic dispassionate assessment of anything is quite a large claim that the history of the Enlightenment shows to have been found to be seriously wanting in its credibility.

I can act as a rational being created in the image of God. That is entirely another way of living that is different from being a rationalist committed to an idolatrous type worship of the power of the human mind when history shows us that the power of the human mind divorced from God leads us to many dark places. Regardless of all the good we can and do accomplish.

Anonymous said...

Bob Prokop writing:

I’ve said it before on this website that there are greater or lesser amounts of Truth in all (well, most all… You won’t catch me defending Scientology) religions.

I recall the awe I felt one day in the British Museum, looking at a 2500 year old statue of the goddess Aphrodite, when it suddenly hit me that the unknown sculptor was not just creating an image of a beautiful woman, he was imaging GOD. I saw the thing in a whole new light, and realized that I could actually learn something from this statue, and not just admire its workmanship or its antiquity.

I felt the same way standing in the prehistoric stone circles in England. (I visited the approx 3500 year old Rollright Stones in Oxfordshire just last week.) I couldn’t help but see that whoever put up these stones so many years ago had valuable, indeed vital, insights into the fundamental nature of Man, life, death, community, eternity that I could ignore only at my peril.

No, I’d be the last person to call non-Christian religions “just bunk”. (But I’m still an unapologetic, believing Christian.)

John W. Loftus said...

Vic, if you want to compare the things you and I accept there are a great many of them. So?

Patmos Pete said...

The third message from heaven...

If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Anonymous said...

Go C.S. lewis!

I wish his fundamentalist admirers would pay attention

JS Allen said...

Chesterton made this same point in "Everlasting Man", arguing that Paganism was the best and most appropriate place to first adopt Christianity.

Steven Carr said...

Do Christians say that all other religions are just bunk?

No, there was just the argument that, using three evidential tests, the Bible stands on far firmer historical ground than does the Qu'ran.

The fact is that Christian apologists reject religions like Mormonism and Scientology, because, to be quite honest, Joseph Smith looks like a charlatan using ordinary evidence

Of course Christians claim other religions are bunk.

Unlike their religion which says 'eyewitnesses' saw Jesus fly into the sky on his way to Heaven, like a Saturn V rocket taking off.

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