Dialogue, Proclamation and the Growth of the Church in Religiously Diverse Societies
This chapter argues Christian approaches to other faiths should be characterised, by the humility that is expressed in dialogue and confidence that issues in proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The robust proclamation of atheism by public figures such as Richard Dawkins indicates that confident, conversionist proclamation of competing worldviews is a widespread, proper, and generally accepted feature of our culture. Hick's arguments reflect ideas that are widespread in western culture and have deeply influenced Christian discourse and practice. The critique offered here, which will focus on those parts of his argument most directly related to the relationship of dialogue to proclamation, can be summed up in Gavin DCostas observation of a principal theological problem inherent in Hicks pluralism. A significant challenge to this view is found in the work of Charles Taylor, who disputes the idea that radically different claims about the nature of the world can produce basically similar ethical traditions.