A Biblical Foundation for Interreligious Engagement

A Biblical Foundation for Interreligious Engagement

Christological hermeneutics, the way of Jesus, love for neighbor, and the art of hospitality.

By John W. Morehead, November 11, 2012

Evangelicals are a “people of the Book,” and any approach to how we live our religion among those of other religious traditions must take this into account. But is it possible that our biblical foundation for interreligious engagement is off kilter? I suggest that it is, and as an alternative I present a more appropriate biblical foundation for interreligious encounters.

Years ago I was on staff with a major apologetics ministry that provided seminars for churches on various “cult” groups. They used an approach to Scripture that is commonly found among Evangelicals as they encounter both “cult” groups (or new religious movements) like Mormonism, as well as world religions such as Islam. This involves a confrontational method of citing various biblical passages on important Evangelical doctrines in contrast with the teachings of a competing religious group. There are a select number of Bible verses that are appealed to as a foundation for this approach, and these include Jesus and his stern rebuke of Jewish leaders, New Testament texts warning about false teaching in the church, as well as Old Testament passages warning about false prophets, and the example of Elijah confronting the prophets of Baal.

 

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