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Hmmm, I wonder what Jesus said about connecting acts of terror and natural disasters with people's sinfulnes? Luke 13:1-5 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
Toggle Commented Jun 23, 2008 on June 23, 2008 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Dr. Perl's story is also told in the movie "Out of the Ashes". Available at and
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2008 on June 16, 2008 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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Since the Roman empire, Christian doctrines regarding the exclusivity of Christ have always been offensive to cultures with religious pluralism. ("The Christians as the Romans Saw Them" By Robert Louis Wilken) In an article you wrote some time ago, you referred to comments made by Joseph C. Hough Jr., president of Union Theological Seminary, where he "...suggested that Christians adopt a different way of viewing other faiths. He says that simply tolerating other faiths is 'not sufficient in a world of religious pluralism.' Hough says it's important to study and understand other religions and that 'we want to be careful about claiming that one religious form is the only one that is authentic or real.'" Isn't this a call for Christians to reject the salvific exclusivity of Christ for the purpose of promoting peace between religions? Has tolerance been redefined to require us to relinquish truth claims? Conversely, is claiming Christ as "the only path to the Father" an act of intolerance? Is it religious bigotry? Is it hate speech? That doesn't sound like dialogue. Wilken's book describes the 'dialogue' between Roman pluralists and Christians: Justin Martyr responds to Clesus and Augustine to Porphyry. Isn't dialogue supposed to be a tool for determining truth? Perhaps it is too much to ask for that kind of honest dialogue without someone picking up a gun or hijacking an airliner. Both the pantheistic Romans and the Christians wanted to maintain civil order, and promote virtue. But the Romans saw the Christian claim of exclusivity as undermining the civil religion which was the basis for their civil society. As the US has become more religiously pluralistic, the old Roman criticism of Christians seems to be returning. It seems likely that Christians like myself will be increasingly seen as intolerant and even religious bigots.
Toggle Commented Jun 7, 2008 on June 5, 2008 at Bill's Faith Matters blog
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