All posts tagged: pluralism

The Modern Mood of Syncretism and Pluralism


There was a social worker in Nigeria who not long ago was visiting a young man in one of the back streets of Lagos. On the bedside of this student he found the following books: the Bible; the Book of Common Prayer, I’m glad to see; the Koran; three copies of Watchtower, the magazine of the Jehovah’s Witnesses; a biography of Karl Marx; a book of yoga exercises; and a popular paperback that he particularly needed entitled How to Stop Worrying. That is typical of the modern mood, a mood of syncretism and of pluralism. The correct name for this aspect of postmodernism is pluralism. Pluralism does not just affirm the obvious fact that there is a plurality of cultures and ideologies and religions in the world. It goes beyond that. It says that all these claims should be respected equally, and we must therefore affirm the independent validity of every religion and every ideology. We must therefore give up the naïve and arrogant notion that we should try to convert anybody, let alone try to convert everybody. To those …

How to resist and defeat Cultural Pressures


We are exposed on every side to cultural pressures. Between the two temptations of escapism and conformism, the latter is more common—that is, accommodation to the prevailing culture. We are exposed to cultural pressures incompatible with the Lordship of Jesus Christ, which, nevertheless, are demanding from us a capitulation that we are not prepared to give. And if we do capitulate to the pressures of society around us, then we compromise our integrity, we blunt our testimony, and we suffocate our spiritual life. What are the pressures of our culture to which we are forbidden to conform? What are the contemporary trends which threaten to envelop and engulf the church and against which we need to be on guard? I have selected three. I’m sure there are many more we could discuss, but these three are very important. First there is the challenge of pluralism: the church is called to be a community of truth. Second there is the challenge of materialism: the church is called to be a community of pilgrimage. Third there is the challenge of moral relativism: the …