With increasing awareness of the permanence of religious pluralism and increasing acceptance of other religions as valid ways to God, some theologians have argued that Christianity needs to abandon its traditional, biblical claim that Jesus is the unique, normative, decisive and final self-revelation of God and the salvation of the world.
Braaten's response is an unequivocal reassertion of the exclusive claim of the gospel. To do so, he surveys the range of current options and dives into questions of the uniqueness of Christ, the absoluteness of Christianity, and the universality of salvation. Working with concepts of justification, eschatology, and Trinity, Braaten affirms that the gospel relativizes other religions.
The gospel, however, also relativizes Christianity. Thus Christianity's strong claims for Christ need to be tempered by acknowledging that Christians do not know beforehand the final outcome of God's unfolding plan for the world. Although not all will agree, this book is an important call to Christian conscience from a theologian who sees Christian theology teetering on the brink of confusion.
Carl E. Braaten
Carl E. Braaten, Professor of Theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, is founding editor of Dialog: A Journey of Theology. Among his many books are Justification: The Article by which the Church Stands or Falls, Principles of Lutheran Theology, and, edited with Robert W. Jenson, Christian Dogmatics, Vols. 1-2.