• On Being Unique

    I was involved recently in a church service that was a little outside my normal range. It was to be run by a minister with whom I don’t have a lot in common, and I had a minor task to perform near the end. A few days before the event I received an order of service, and was alarmed to note that it included an item listed as “Multi-faith hymn”.

    I should make a few things specific at this point. One is that I understand that our age regards tolerance more highly than conviction, and I have no real wish to be intolerant.  Another is that I have been a member of various inter-faith dialogues, and I have always observed the preparedness of Muslims to be visible Muslims and of Jews to remain unapologetic Jews. I have applauded them for that, and sought to remain specifically Christian alongside them. But if I regard inter-faith dialogue as civilized, I regard inter-faith worship as oxymoron. All of Jesus’ teaching points unequivocally to singularity. So does the thrust of the Old Testament law. And even if none of it did so, I would have to wonder why Jesus gave his life for the redemption of sins if there existed another, less agonising way of addressing it.

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