Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Macleod on Hick, Pluralism and Camels

In the last analysis, there is a blatant hypocrisy in Hick's position: under the language of pluralism there lurks a most dogmatic exclusivism. Far from gazing admiringly on all the world's religions, Hick is standing on the vantage-point of modern western humanism, giving a nod of approval to the few elements in each religion which agree with his own philosophy and dismissing the rest with unconcealed contempt....Hick does not believe, with the Jew, that Yahweh is God and that Israel is his people; or with the Muslim that Allah is God, Muhammad his prophet and the Q'ran his infallible revelation; or with the Christian that Jesus is Lord and his cross the one place of atonement. He believes all these claims to be, equally, nonsense. The real prophets are Hume, Kant and Lessing; the real truth is Liberty, Equality and Fraternity; and the real kingdom came with the Enlightenment....How could one ever again look Goethe in the face if one came to believe that a dead man had risen?
Hick's argument is entirely circular: if the resurrection were fact, it would confirm the entire Christian worldview. But it cannot be fact precisely because it would confirm that worldview. It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a worshipper of the Enlightenment to enter the kingdom of God.

Macleod, The Person of Christ, 240-241