More on Clones

For background, see Altruism and Jesus Clones.

Felix links to an article on his blog that criticizes a common Christian claim: that Christians should give up themselves. In “Altruism,” I discussed this in light of altruism. In “Jesus Clones,” I referred to the belief of many Christians that all of us should be like Jesus, which, for many, means happy-happy extroversion.

Here I want to talk about the Christian belief that everyone should believe the exact same way. For me, life is interesting because it has different people with different beliefs. The different ways that people get through life are of interest to me.

There is a strong part of me that likes John Hick’s view on religious pluralism: that God interacts with people through various religions, making them better people through his grace. Or, as “God” said in Joan of Arcadia, God made different people, so there are different ways of relating to him.

At Harvard, a teaching assistant defined Thomas Jefferson’s view on religion as follows: different religions are like different flavors of ice cream. As long as you’re kind to others, you can pick whatever flavor you prefer.

I wonder if there are insights that non-Christian religions have that Christianity does not emphasize as much. Buddhism, for instance, talks about non-attachment as a key to happiness. I guess Christianity has that concept in some way, shape, or form, but Buddhism expresses it in its own unique fashion. As a result, I’m not sure if I’d call Buddhism superfluous.

On the other hand, is it wrong for all of us to believe the same way on certain things–how we should treat one another, for example. And not all of the religions can be right in their truth claims, right? Truth is truth. Shouldn’t everyone believe in the truth, whatever that may be?

Is there a way for Christianity to be true, while preserving and celebrating the diversity of life, particularly people’s different worldviews?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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