The Unique Christ in Our Pluralist World

Article excerpt

Edited by Bruce J. Nichols. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker, 1994. Pp. 288. Paperback $14.99.

These twenty-two collected essays, originally given in Manila at the 1992 gathering of the World Evangelical Fellowship, provide insight into the state, quality, and diversity of evangelical theological reflection on the subject of the uniqueness of Christ and the implications of this belief for several contemporary issues.

The chapters are a rich mosaic of the varied but generally harmonious ways evangelicals understand and legitimate Christological uniqueness. The first four essays interact vigorously with the theological inadequacies of religious pluralism, such as that of Professors Hick and Knitter. More than one author sounds a call for evangelicals to do a better job of articulating an evangelical theology of religion, though the essays do not seem to advance that cause in substantive ways.

Two sets of three chapters each take up the topics of the challenge of modernity and the difficulties evangelicals have with godless political ideologies. In the context of modern theories of knowledge, Miroslav Volf offers a challenge to evangelicals to rethink the myth of epistemological certitude and calls for them to acknowledge that the "peregrine nature of Christian existence implies the provisional nature of Christian knowledge" (p. 104). The WEF "Manila Declaration," presented at the beginning of the book, seems to partly adopt this position when it states: "As proclaimers of the gospel, we claim only a provisional certainty" (p. …