Discuss whether you see a way around exclusivism, pluralism, and inclusivism that might still keep integrity of each particular religion in place. Discuss how religious language might or might not play a role in your conclusion.
Exclusivism (the doctrine that only one religion is “true”) is the foundation of many religions. If Scripture is correct, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Whatever a person believes passionately will come out of his or her mouth. People who believe that their belief system has the only means to salvation; if they believe that souls depend on the truth of that system, that belief will be shared with others. They can fully respect the dignity of other people, and understand the depth of the beliefs of others; they want to share the truth so that all will come to salvation. One can “witness” or “evangelize” by simply stating one’s belief, while allowing others to share their own beliefs in the same way.
Inclusivism may be compatible with exclusivism, in that (in Christianity, for example) inclusivism maintains that Jesus Christ is the only means of salvation, but salvation (through Christ) can be obtained without a specific belief in Christ for salvation, but through the “general revelation” of nature. People who embrace inclusivism have an understanding that people who have never heard the gospel of Christ, may (through general revelation) may come to a saving faith without ever hearing of Christ).
Pluralism maintains that all religions are equally valid and that any religion may bring a person to salvation. This cannot be compatible with exclusivism (within a person) but may coincide with inclusivism. Once cannot simultaneously believe that there is only one means of salvation and believe that there are many ways to salvation.
Within a group of people, discussions can take place that allow sharing and debates of beliefs. These discussions can get passionate and even heated at times, and they depend on the ability of others to present their convictions and listen to other people and maintain respect and civility for the other people, even if they do not respect the other religion. If respect and civility are not present, the “doctrine of ‘just shut up’” might come into play.
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