Date of Award

1986

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Christian Studies

First Advisor

Dr. James C. Berryman

Second Advisor

Dr. J. Randall O'Brien

Third Advisor

Dr. Tom Auffenberg

Abstract

Throughout the history of Christianity, Christians have questioned how they, individually as well as collectively, should view other religious traditions. From the musings of Christian thinkers, one can discern four possible relationships between Christianity and other faiths. Some thinkers see Christianity as having continuity with other traditions. Those who hold this view strongly contend that Christianity is no different from other traditions as a means of existence.

Christianity is similar to other faiths but has special status as one's heritage or cultural background describes the weaker continuity position. Others hold that discontinuity exists between Christianity and other faiths. The weaker discontinuity position recognizes that other religions contain some value or truth, but only Christianity possesses the whole truth. The strong discontinuity view proclaims Christianity to be the only valid religion; other traditions have no value or truth. This strong discontinuity view is inconsistent with the other three opinions. It comes through history in the writings of Augustine, Luther, and Barth. As a Fundamentalist position it can be found in the doctrine of the American Neo-Fundamentalists of the late 1970s and 1980s. Is Christianity the only valid religion? That is the question to be addressed in this paper.

 
 

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