I came across this quote recently:
We in the Orthodox church regard all religions as being an indication of Godâ€™s graciousness to mankind. (Father Gregory Hallam, being interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Programme last Sunday, found via Dave Walker’s Blog)
And it got me thinking. I’ve been re-reading “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” by Philip Yancey over the past few days – I’m only 1/3 of the way through it, but there’s a little story in it which the quote above reminded me of. I can’t find the exact quotation in the book, but here’s a similar one:
It is told that during a meeting on comparative religions in Britain that many scholars gathered together to discuss what, if anything, was unique to Christianity. Many different elements were discussed and debated. Was Christianity unique because of its concept of truth? No, other religions have this. Was it unique because of the doctrine of reconciliation? No, other religions have this. Was it unique in terms of inspiration of a particular book? No, again, other religions have this. It is told that C.S. Lewis entered the room during the debate and asked what the discussion was all about. â€œWe are discussing what makes Christianity unique, if anything.â€ â€œThatâ€™s easyâ€ Lewis responded, â€œits grace.â€ [Source]
In other words, Christianity has the concept of grace, which other religions lack. Can, therefore, other religions be said to be an indication of God’s grace, or graciousness? Would God graciously give us a religion where we had to earn our salvation, as so many other religions seem to require?
I’m not saying that all other religions are 100% wrong, and as such will contain elements of God’s grace – and in that sense the above quote does hold true. But it just seems you’re on a dangerous road when you proclaim that all religions are an indication of God’s grace, especially some of the stranger ones out there.
To summarise, this post was fairly pointless, just random musings!