Confronting Pluralism: Can Salvation Be Saved?

“We must address this problem head-on, explaining to our congregations why Western culture is pluralistic. Without diving too deeply into the philosophical weeds, I teach my church about Kant’s separation of faith from knowledge.” - Lifeway


I’m not sure ‘pluralism’ is quite the right word for what he has in mind. It’s not quite ‘syncretism’ either, but that would be closer.

The problem is that he seems to conflate social and civic pluralism—which is vital to a free society (“why Western culture is pluralistic”)—with theological pluralism, which says you can get to heaven/nirvanna/etc. any way you like. All roads lead to “God.”

So, near the top of the list of things church leaders should teach is that distinction. But the writer is on the right track seeing social/civic pluralism as influencing theological pluralism. There is influence. I’m not sure Kant has all that much to do with it, but some. I’m not sure I’d bother to include Kant in my own teaching on that topic.

But maybe that’s hasty. There is certainly a kind of dualism in modern/postmodern attitudes toward religions… the attitude that religious knowledge has completely different rules and a different reality, even, from all other kinds of knowledge.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.