An exploration of the relationship between God who saves and humanity among the world’s diverse religious phenomena. The historical scope of this course begins with popular questions such as, “Do all paths lead to the same God?”, “Can salvation be obtained apart from the Christian Church?”, “What happens to people who never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ?” and “Where is God in non-Christian religions?” and compares and evaluates the models commonly proposed to answer these questions.
The missional mindset affirms the urgency to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ but missional practice also observes and acknowledges that the field is increasingly global, secular and inclusivistic where pluralism, diversity and tolerance are among the highest social and personal values. Students who can articulate a vision of the interactions between a God whose highest value is soteriological, who is known as “Savior” and who can acquire an appreciation of the “unknown God” among the nations will be better equipped to build missional relationships among those people. This course helps students recognize God’s Presence among people who do not yet know the Living God.
Students who can embrace a God who is by nature a Savior will learn to see God at work, interacting with sinners and the ignorant so that the seeds of the Gospel of Jesus Christ can take root in good soil as it is sown in missional contexts.
The idea of “the unknown God” is given by the Apostle Paul in Acts 17, where it is said, “We are His offspring,” and God is depicted as loving all the people of the world, willing that none should perish.
Christian missions relies on the urgency for the Gospel of Jesus Christ to be made known to all people, therefore a well-grounded theology of religion recognizes that God is present among the nations, and the Holy Spirit goes before—sending but also preparing and leading—and an ability to articulate this theology should be part of this preparation.
Globalism, pluralism and values of tolerance and diversity define much of the contemporary missional setting, so our missional ambitions should be informed by an appreciation of the ways God may be involved among the peoples to whom we are sent.
This course focuses on theological discussion concerning the possibility that God could be at work to save people who practice religions other than Christianity
that God is being revealed to people outside the functions of the church.
Inquiry and reflection on the nature of God including revelation and the acquisition and apprehension of saving knowledge, the mechanism and means of grace, the plan of salvation and the relationship between God, humans and the world are applied philosophically but also practically in that our theological assumptions inform our relationships with others and the motivation for engaging the world in real, lived social dimensions.