PLURALISM IN THEOLOGY? AN OLD TESTAMENT INQUIRY 1 PART II THAT ALL MAY BECOME ONE: GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY IN CHRISTIAN THINKING

Erhard S. Gerstenberger

Abstract


One of the most serious errors theologians make, at least in the Western hemisphere,
is to see themselves as having the absolute truth, so that all other theological
positions become error. This arrogant certitude has a long history. It can be found
in some biblical writings, and even in some ancient Near Eastern documents written
long before Israel came into being. Circumstances and realities, however, do not
support those lofty claims. We live in a transient world: Our bodies, minds and
capacities are not of the eternal fibre we wish they were. Even if divine actions and
words descended into our time and space they would become stale and decay, like
the manna of Ex 16, as we attempted to conserve, formalize, and manipulate them.
Theology is essentially a thoroughly transient science; God-talk is a precarious
affair: The words cannot be fixed but must constantly be renewed. To ears attuned
to Western theological attitudes, Biblical witnesses do not point to enduring stability
and unchangeable validity: They teach the transience, contextuality, and pluralism
of human theological insights.
This article is a follow-up of a previous study (Part I) which presented a brief survey of
concurrent as well as successive models of faith in the Hebrew Scriptures.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/88-0-995

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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