The Spirit Of Truth As Agent In False Religions? A Critique Of Amos Yong’s Pneumatological Theology Of Religions With Reference To Current Trends -- By: James R. A. Merrick

Journal: Trinity Journal
Volume: TRINJ 29:1 (Spring 2008)
Article: The Spirit Of Truth As Agent In False Religions? A Critique Of Amos Yong’s Pneumatological Theology Of Religions With Reference To Current Trends
Author: James R. A. Merrick


The Spirit Of Truth As Agent In False Religions? A Critique Of Amos Yong’s Pneumatological Theology Of Religions With Reference To Current Trends1

James R. A. Merrick*

*James R. A. Merrick, an ordained Anglican minister, holds both an M.A. in Christian Thought (2006) and Th.M in Church History (2007) from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Currently, he is completing a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at the University of Aberdeen.

With the rise of “postmodern pluralism,” Christian theology has witnessed a burst of literature on the theology of religions.2 Now that it is popular parlance to characterize each religion as a different path leading to the same end, what are Christians to think about these other paths? Perhaps more pressing, now that our society is a world society, that is, now that globalization has made us aware on a daily basis of the abundance of different religions, how can Christians legitimately herald the truth of the gospel when it seems to be muffled by numerous similar claims from other religions? Is it not somewhat contrived to pronounce that “we are right” when

every other religion touts the same, each without empirical proof of their super-mundane beliefs? Behind these and other related questions, is the enterprise of the theology of religions—how are the claims of other religions acknowledged by Christianity? This question is receiving heightened attention due to our globalized and pluralistic atmosphere.

At the same time, we are witnessing a rise in discussions of pneumatology. While in 1965 George Hendry could say that it “has become almost a convention that those who undertake to write about the Holy Spirit should begin by deploring the neglect of this doctrine in the thought and life of the Church today,”3 now it seems, due to the explosion of Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, theologians cannot address pneumatology enough. Thanks to the efforts of Gordon Fee and Max Turner, as well as others of similar caliber, Pentecostalism has gained a seat at the academic table, precipitating into widespread interest in the person and work of God the Holy Spirit.4

Given these two contemporaneous trends, it is only fitting that a Pentecostal theologian has taken up the question of a “pneumatological approach” to the theology of religions. Amos Yong has sought to think through the implications of pneumatology for our pluralistic society. He has been active at the inters...

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