A thought that has come up in the series about "When Christians Disagree" time and again is that most of would agree that it is OK to agree to disagree about non-essentials. What we really disagree about is what those essentials are, and on what basis they are to be identified. And so, after asking about that and how we figure out what is essential, in Dr. McGrath's Sunday school class today we found ourselves talking about Christian identity and other religions.
Among the subjects we discussed was whether Christian identity is a matter of doctrine, practice or both. It was pointed pointed out that conservative Christians and Muslims would agree over against many liberal Christians in believing in the virgin birth. We also discussed whether it makes sense for Christians to think of Muslims as "worshipping a different God", or whether it makes more sense to acknowledge that the belief in one supreme deity is something held in common, while we may disagree about certain details of our doctrine about God. Over the coming weeks we'll be thinking more about the subject of the relationship between Christianity and other religions, and how Christians might/should view those religious traditions. In the mean time, Dr. McGrath shared what he calls the flaming meteorite test, as well as introducing the notions of exclusivism, inclusivism and pluralism.
At the end of May, Dr. McGrath's class will take a hiatus so that all its participants can attend the Sunday school class Pastor Bartley will be teaching about "Being Baptist".