Myth-busting 101 with Robert Louis Wilken.
Commentators on religion are always harping about how our contemporary “radically pluralist” situation is unprecedented, and more likely than not, catastrophic for the Christian tradition.
Self-styled radical theologians such as John Hick in God Has Many Names, Charles E. Winquist in Desiring Theology, plus John Shelby Spong and Raimondo Panikkar in academically less respectable volumes (whose names I shall not mention), argue that Christian theology must change or die in the face of this revolutionary situation.
Robert Louis Wilken, one of our most important scholars of early Christianity, believes nothing could be further from the truth. In the volume Remembering the Christian Past (Eerdmans, 1995) he proves that we’re only replaying the debates of early (and medieval) Christians:
“Christians, however, have long had to face the challenge of other religions. For the first four hundred years of Christian history a traditional religious culture (which was not, as once…
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