Item description for With Cords of Love: A Wesleyan Response to Religious Pluralism by Al Truesdale...
Overview The arrival of the 21st century has brought with it a wave of religious tolerance and indifference unlike any before. The effects of religious pluralism in our world today make it increasingly difficult for the hope-filled message of Christ to reach the hearts of those who need to hear it. With Cords of Love presents a thorough introduction to religious pluralism and offers a sound, loving response drawn from the essential doctrinal features of the Wesleyan theological tradition. This examination discusses the historical, philosophical, and cultural factors that have contributed to religious pluralism and explores the major responses currently embraced in some Christian circles. With compelling instruction, it provides the insight needed to approach people from other religions with both respect and compassion in order to complete the work God has already begun in their hearts.
Publishers Description Religion today comes in many forms. The arrival of the twenty-first century brought with it a wave of religious tolerance and indifference unlike any before. As Christians struggle to unfold the truth tangled by modernity and postmodernity, many choose to radically and disrespectfully oppose other religions or passively accept their possible validity for the sake of tolerance. The effects of religious pluralism in our world today make it increasingly difficult for the life-giving message of Christ to reach the hearts of those who need to hear it. How should Christians attempt to tell the Gospel story in a world that believes no one religion is right? How should Christians live and speak in the crowded marketplace of world religions?With Cords of Love presents Christians with an introduction to religious pluralism and offers a sound, loving response drawn from the essential doctrinal features of the Wesleyan theological tradition. This thorough examination discusses the historical, philosophical, and cultural factors that have contributed to religious pluralism and explores the major responses currently embraced in some Christian circles. In addition to this historical overview, it also outlines ways the Church can bear a hopeful, effective, and intelligible witness for the message of Christ. Using Paul's response to the Athenians in the Book of Acts, With Cords of Love compels us to approach people from other religions with both respect and compassion, urging us to allow God to direct and guide our words and actions as we help to complete the work He's already begun in their hearts.
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Studio: Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.34" Height: 0.67" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Sep 19, 2006
Publisher BEACON HILL PRESS #29
ISBN 0834123061 ISBN13 9780834123069
Availability 3 units. Availability accurate as of Jul 24, 2017 03:01.
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More About Al Truesdale
AL TRUESDALE is emeritus professor of Philosophy of Religion and Christian Ethics at Nazarene Theological Seminary. He has earned degrees from Trevecca Nazarene University, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Emory University. Truesdale has published numerous articles and books, including With Cords of Love. He and his wife, Esther, live in the historic South Caroline low country.
Reviews - What do customers think about With Cords of Love: A Wesleyan Response to Religious Pluralism?
Practical Theology Nov 27, 2009
This book was a class assignment - how thankful I am to have taken that class! Truesdale provides both background and discussion of today's "pluralistic" society, and also practical ways to respond to it while maintaining the integrity of the Christian gospel. Non-Wesleyans - don't let the subtitle put you off! This is a book that Christians of any denomination or persuasion can benefit from.
One pivotal point in the book is Truesdale's discussion of how he responded to a young friend who said she wasn't a Christian because "your gospel is too small. It's all about YOU..." He uses that entry point to show that we need to expand our horizons - "will you get to heaven" is indeed a too-small gospel. Rather, we need to tell people the great good news of God's Kingdom, how it is for the WORLD, for everyone and all creation, and how it is NOW and we get to be part of the Kingdom work if we will. (This is a far too short synopsis of a Biblically rich and nuanced presentation in the book.)
Truesdale shows that we need to integrate theology (which many in the evangelical church tend to major in) with practice, i.e. with living lives of love and compassion that let Christ show through to others in tangible ways. Not because it's "good", but because Jesus told us and showed us to do it. By the same token, we cannot just "do good" - we need to be ready to tell others about the Christ who leads us to the good works, and how He and He alone is the ground of our salvation. And we need to do all this while respecting others and the views they hold today, in order to provide the best ground for the Holy Spirit to do His part of the process. Truesdale gives a good explanation of how to do this (although if I have one quibble with the book, I'd have liked to see even more explanation of the "how").
I would recommend this book to any Christ-follower who has been hesitant to share their faith with friends of different backgrounds.
An answer to a question that tends to divide Feb 21, 2008
I had a good friend of mine say to me once "I don't want to have anything to do with a religion that says unless you believe and follow Jesus Christ that you're not going to go to Heaven." I didn't know how to respond to that. It made sense to me, there are too many "good" people in this world that never even heard of Jesus Christ and it just doesn't seem fair that they should be condemned to hell. I know you don't get to Heaven by being "good" otherwise Jesus death on the cross was unnecessary. But for the billions of people over the years that never even heard of Jesus, not to have a chance to go to Heaven just didn't seem fair. I think it's this kind of thinking that makes people "shop" for a belief system like they're in a religious cafeteria. "With Cords of Love" is a response to religious pluralism that helped me with that question of "unfairness" and I know how to respond to that with a little more confidence now. I'd recommend this book for anyone that has ever had trouble reconciling that subject with themselves or with being able to defend their Christian doctrine when asked to. This is one of those books that I had trouble putting down and was sorry when I got to the end.
RE: A Wesleyan Scholar Responds to Religious Pluralism Jun 1, 2007
Al Truesdale has given a great gift in his book, With Cords of Love: A Wesleyan Response to Religious Pluralism (Beacon Hill Press of Kansas City). The book is accessible, and it should secure a wide audience of readers.
Truesdale's gift is presenting the Wesleyan view of God's grace extended to all people whatsoever, while maintaining the Christian conviction that Christ is necessary for salvation. Wesleyans recognize God's activity wherever it appears, says Truesdale, but this does not force Wesleyans to be religious pluralists or believe that salvation comes through good works.
"Prevenient grace goes forth without reference to the historical, cultural, or religious contexts in which persons are born," says Truesdale. "It is the real presence of the Spirit of Christ in a person's soul, working to enlighten and draw him or her to repentance and regeneration and moving him or her toward new creation in the image of Christ."
One of the helpful aspects of the book is Truesdale's distinction between the individuals who affirms nonChristian religions and the nonChristian religions themselves. While not making the distinction too sharp, Truesdale uses real-life illustrations to argue that God reaches out even to those who have not heard the gospel. Truesdale puts human faces on religious pluralism.
With regard to nonChristian religions, Truesdale says that "the value of a non-Christian religion rests upon its ability to serve as an instrument of prevenient grace. To that extent alone can its positive features be recognized, but even then only as a result of God's creativity in diverse cultures - not from some inherent and independent value in the religion itself."
Truesdale reminds his readers that "no religion has saving merit of its own (including Christianity)." Christians should ask, How well does this religion serve the purposes of prevenient grace?
There is much about this book that is helpful. I plan to recommend With Cords of Love to my students and to pastors who puzzle over how to respond in our present age to nonChristians as individuals and nonChristian religions.