GERSTNER: PLURALISM

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AUDIO VAULT
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This sermon was delivered by Dr. John Gerstner. Date, occasion, and location unknown.

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The original audio was poorly recorded on substandard equipment. There were numerous irreparable problems with the original recording. I have done my best to improve and restore it using Sony Sound Forge software, but was unable to achieve the desired result.

My deepest apology if you have difficulty understanding the message.

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Pluralism is the toleration of non-Christian views. Christians must defend the right of opposing religions to exist, but that does not mean we must honor illegitimate faiths which deny Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

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Listen to the 41.5 minute lecture:

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For Further Study:

 

Excerpted from Norman Geisler’s Systematic Theology, Vol. III, The Exclusivity of Salvation (Pluralism), pp. 427-428:

Pluralism’s claim that all religions are true is self-refuting, for the undeniable law of noncontradiction affirms that opposites cannot both be correct.  Consequently, for instance, since Islam claims there is only one person in God, and Christianity says there are JOHN 14-6 I AM THE WAY THE TRUTH THE LIFEthree, both religions cannot be right on this point. Likewise, since Islam teaches that Jesus did not die on the cross and rise from the dead on the third day, and Christianity teaches that He did, one of them is wrong. The same is true of all core beliefs of all religions—some affirm there is a theistic God (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), while others hold to a pantheistic God (e.g., Hin­duism, Zen Buddhism, and Taoism). God cannot be both transcendent over the world (as in theism) and not transcendent over it (as in panthe­ism). If theism is true, then pantheism is false.

 Further, pluralism’s claim that all religions are equal is unsubstantiated, for in the process of making this charge pluralists maintain unproven pre­suppositions (such as naturalism and pantheism). They further argue con­trary to fact by denying the historicity of the New Testament. What is more, they reduce all religions to their basic common denominator and then claim that none is unique. This begs the question because we cannot determine whether one religion is unique by neglecting uniqueness in favor of comparing it with other religions on the basis of what it has in common with them. In brief, pluralism fails both in fact and in philosophy.

 Finally, and fatally, pluralism is hanged on its own gallows, for while it denies exclusivism on the grounds that no view can make an exclusive claim to truth, nonetheless, it claims that pluralism is exclusively true—that is, true to the exclusion of all forms of nonpluralism (such as exclusivism). If pluralism is exclusively true, then it is not actually pluralism but a form of exclusivism.

 

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