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« Topic #2: Evangelicalism and the Exclusivity of Christianity »

Launch Date for the Conversation: June 1, 2013

Evangelism is a core focus of American evangelicalism. The importance of preaching the gospel, sharing the faith, and reaching out to the lost is indicative of a particular attitude toward non-Christians. This in turn leads to a particular perspective on the purpose of dialogue with adherents of other religions, whether as individuals or as groups. In light of this commitment to evangelism, some “leading questions” are:

  1. Is Christianity “exclusive”? What does that mean? Is Christianity the one true faith?
  2. Is there anything for evangelicals to learn from other faiths?
  3. Are all people who do not believe in Christ in this life consigned to eternal separation from God and everlasting torment? Is this a critical tenet of evangelical Christianity?
  4. Should all American evangelicals see evangelism as their primary task?
  5. In our increasingly globalized world, there is ever more contact between people holding different religions. Relationships between evangelical Christians and non-Christians involve more than religion, but encompass business, political, and broader personal interests. How does this affect the relationships between evangelical Christians and non-Christians?
  6. What is the role and goal of interreligious dialogue? How should such dialogue be fostered? What should its ground-rules be?
  7. Is it right for non-Christians to seek to convert Christians? How should evangelicals respond to efforts to convert them?
  8. Christians worship the God of Israel as revealed through Israel’s scriptures. Does this unique relationship with Judaism mean that dialogue with Jews should be conducted in distinct ways from its dialogue with adherents of other religions? 

 

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