I'm running behind on my Christ & Culture posts, but I remembered I had read Leslie Newbigin's The Gospel in a Pluralist Society, which is a related work - or at least similar issues. As I'm trying to get back to Niebuhr, I'll intersprese a summary of each chapter of Newbigin that I wrote as I was reading his book a few years ago - pre-blogging. Take them for what they're worth, but they're not doing much good in my "My Documents" folder. Enjoy.
Newbigin argues that our world celebrates pluralism in the sense that nothing is absolute for all people – unless it can be scientifically proven. People may have preferences, but to believe something is true for everyone is unforgivably arrogant “dogma.” Newbigin specifically says, “The purpose of these chapters is to examine the roots of this culture we share [pluralistic] and to suggest how as Christians we can more confidently affirm our faith in this kind of intellectual climate.” He gives four principles to start on in relation to dogma: 1) it is not unique to the church – everyone takes something as given; 2) every society has “plausibility structures” and the gospel gives rise to a new one!; 3) Christians may not possess all truth, but they are on the right path toward the complete truth in Jesus Christ.