Over the last four decades, evangelical scholars have shown growing interest in other religions and their differing theologies. The result has been consensus on some issues and controversy over others, as scholars seek answers to essential questions: How are we to think about and relate to other religions, be open to the Spirit, and at the same time remain evangelical and orthodox? Gerald R. McDermott and Harold A. Netland offer a map of the terrain, describe new territory, and warn of hazardous journeys taken by some writers in exploring these issues. This volume offers critiques of a variety of theologians and religious studies scholars, including evangelicals, but it also challenges evangelicals to move beyond parochial positions. It is both a manifesto and a research program, critically evaluating the last forty years of Christian treatments of religious others, and proposing a comprehensive direction for the future. It addresses issues relating to the religions in both systematic theology and missiology-taking up long-debated questions such as contextualization, salvation, revelation, the relationship between culture and religion, conversion, social action, and ecumenism.
The book concludes with responses from four leading thinkers of African, Asian, and European backgrounds: Veli-Matti Karkkainen, Vinoth Ramachandra, Lamin Sanneh, and Christine Schirrmacher.