Paths from Science towards God 12: Towards a Global Theology

Although for Christians Jesus is the unique, historical embodiment of God as Word/Logos, this does not preclude God as such being expressed in other people, cultures and times. Who dare affirm that God was not at work expressing Godself, God as Word/Logos, in other times and places to reshape humanity through the creat founders of other religions and in the continued experience of their disciples and followers? Hence, what was revealed in Jesus the Christ should also, in principle, be capable of being manifest in other human beings and so in the other world religions. Indeed, it should also be capable of being manifest on other planets, in any sentient, self-conscious, non-human persons inhabiting them who are capable of relating to God. ~ Arthur Peacocke, Paths from Science towards God

While I strongly affirm that there is great value (and many truths) to be found in the other world religions, and that God does reveal Godself to and through people of all faiths (including the founders of such faiths), and also that many of these world religions are the visible outcomes of God working within various cultures in the world throughout human history, I am reluctant to place them (and this includes Christianity itself as a world religion) on the same level as what was revealed through the historical person of Jesus the Christ. For me as a Christian, I believe that the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ represent the turning point in cosmic history, the dawn of a new day for all humanity and all creation, the next big step towards the consummation of God’s purposes in the new heavens and new earth. This of course, leads to all sorts of problems when extraterrestrial sentient beings come into the picture! I shall leave that for future discussion.

In my opinion, a global theology represents the coming together of all faiths to share their best ideas – to find truth and value in each other; looking for common ground on which to unite us, while allowing for disagreements and divergent views; and learning from and being enriched by each other in our common endeavour in search of meaning in this vast and evolving cosmos in which human consciousness has emerged.

I now bring this series to a close, having come to the end of this thoughtful and enriching book by Arthur Peacocke. I end with a quote from a poem found at the beginning of the book:

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time
~ T. S. Elliot, Little Gidding

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