The opening words of Hebrews are, "At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our own time, the last days, he has spoken to us through his Son...". Does this confine God's earlier revelation to the people of Israel through their Hebrew prophets, or is it possible that God has also spoken to other ancient peoples through their own indigenous equivalents of Hebrew prophets in whatever cultural form that took? We now recognise that God's revelation to us located in time and space as we are has been conveyed to us historically and in a distinct cultural context. Revelation did not occur in a vacuum. Revelation also appears to be progressive in a historical sense. We read of enemy nations being "put to the ban" at the beginning of Israel's history and not towards the end. It is also common experience for Christians living overseas in a non-Christian culture to observe fairly quickly that holiness and transparent goodness are not confined to Christians. In fact, to our shame we often discover the opposite to be the case. What are we to make of this? In the face of obvious goodness and holiness can we honestly deny the presence of God's activity in these other faiths? In short, what should the Church's attitude be towards other faiths in a Post-Modern world? A corollary to this would be to ask what is the Church's missionary role in a Post-Modern world?
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