The First & The Last: The Claim of Jesus Christ and the Clams of Other Religious Traditions.George R. Sumner
The First & The Last: The Claim of Jesus Christ Jesus Christ: see Jesus.
40 days after Resurrection, ascended into heaven. [N.T.: Acts 1:1–11]
See : Ascension
kind to the poor, forgiving to the sinful. [N.T. and the Clams of Other Religious Traditions
Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2004, 219pp.
Sumner's sophisticated, rigorous, and theologically challenging work comprises a strenuous effort to move Christian discourse in inter-religious dialogue past what he calls "the quagmire of pluralism"--that is, the impasse created by competing truth claims among the various faiths in dialogue, which appear to require ceding cede
tr.v. ced·ed, ced·ing, cedes
1. To surrender possession of, especially by treaty. See Synonyms at relinquish.
2. the primacy of Christ in order to participate. In particular, he endeavors to provide an intellectual justification for Christian interlocutors to engage in dialogue with other traditions without having to compromise Christ's ascendancy as·cen·dan·cy also as·cen·den·cy
Superiority or decisive advantage; domination: "Germany only awaits trade revival to gain an immense mercantile ascendancy" Winston S. Churchill. within their own tradition.
In what he deems a "post-pluralist" account, Sumner lays out his interpretation of the usefulness and capacity of Christian theological engagement with other traditions. At the core of his exploration lies the concept of "final primacy," a concept that seems to borrow equal parts from narratology Narratology is the theory and study of narrative and narrative structure and the way they affect our perception. In principle, the word can refer to any systematic study of narrative, though in practice the use of the term is rather more restricted (see below). , philosophy, and theology: "... the 'final primacy' of Jesus Christ ... consists in the fact that, in narratives generated from the scriptural scrip·tur·al
1. Of or relating to writing; written.
2. often Scriptural Of, relating to, based on, or contained in the Scriptures. narrative, by which theological constructions imagine alien claims and communities somehow engrafted into the divine economy, Christ is the One toward whom the narratives run and from whom their truth (to the extent that they are true) derives. He is at once the finis legis (to the end of the law) and the prima veritas (the first truth)."
It is, not surprisingly, a thorny theological project. Sumner's position at times appears to actively delimit de·lim·it also de·lim·i·tate
tr.v. de·lim·it·ed also de·lim·i·tat·ed, de·lim·it·ing also de·lim·i·tat·ing, de·lim·its also de·lim·i·tates
To establish the limits or boundaries of; demarcate. the truth content and revelation status of other religions, placing the Christian viewpoint at the center of inter-religious dialogue. The truth claims of other faiths, he argues, remain subject to the Christian rule of Grace. This reinforces a hierarchical superiority that the pluralist plu·ral·ist
1. An adherent of social or philosophical pluralism.
2. Ecclesiastical A person who holds two or more offices, especially two or more benefices, at the same time.
Noun 1. movement was created, in part, to counter. Nevertheless, The First & The Last is a courageous effort, one worthy of attention.