Dan Strange, of Oak Hill College, London, has written this excellent book, For Their Rock is Not As Our Rock: An Evangelical Theology of Religions. I know Dan and he’s a top bloke, but even if I didn’t know him I would still be saying this book is one of the best I’ve read over the last couple of years.
The book is, in essence, an attempt to make sense of the complexity that is homo adorans – the worshipping man. Why is it that human beings down the ages have been instinctively religious and what do Bible believing Christians make of all that? Dan’s catchy thesis is as follows:
“From the presupposition of an epistemologically authoritative biblical revelation, non-Christian religions are sovereignly directed, variegated and dynamic, collective human idolatrous responses to divine revelation behind which stand deceiving demonic forces. Being antithetically against yet parasitically dependent upon the truth of the Christian worldview, non-Christian religions are ‘subversively fulfilled’ in the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Like I say, catchy! Dan begins by sketching a Reformed anthropology covering such doctrines as the imago Dei, common grace, natural revelation, remnantal revelation, the antithesis, and ‘borrowed capital’. Humans are fundamentally worshiping creatures. Dan argues for original monotheism which, post-Babel, is in a process of idolatrous devolution. He concludes by demonstrating the way in which the religious ‘other’ is subversively fulfilled in the gospel, and then offers thoughts on how we are to make sense of the existence and presence of the religious ‘other’ as Christians.
As you can tell I’m finding it immensely difficult in a few hundred words to do justice to a work that is as scholarly as it is stimulating. All I can say is buy it and invest some time working through it. It will more than repay the investment. Simply outstanding.