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For Their Rock is not as Our Rock: An Evangelical Theology of Religions

Strange, Daniel
InterVarsity Press (UK)
PB ?| 0 x 0 x 0 Inch| 1 kg| 384 pages| ISBN 9781783591008
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The reality of our post-Christendom, post-colonial, post-Holocaust, post-9/11, multi-ethnic and multicultural context has meant that, more than ever, Christians are acutely aware of the questions posed not simply by the existence of other religions, but also by their apparent flourishing. If secularization is still alive and well, then, seemingly, so too is society's sacralization. Hence, the theology of religions is arguably the issue for mission in the twenty-first century. However, there has been little evangelical theology that offers a detailed, comprehensive and biblically faithful analysis that deals with not only the question of salvation but also questions of truth, the nature and history of human religiosity, and a host of practical issues pertaining to apologetics and contextualization.

In this ambitious interdisciplinary study, which synthesizes close exegesis, biblical theology, systematics and insights from the social sciences, Daniel Strange examines the origins, development and idolatry of the 'religious Other', and explores how the gospel of Jesus Christ is its 'subversive fulfilment'. He concludes with a missiological postscript and some pastoral perspectives on the purpose of other religions in God's providence.


'Thoughtful, nuanced, and biblically faithful evaluations on the role of other religions are unfortunately rare. Strange fills an important gap by offering us a bold but humble perspective on other religions, repristinating the thought of J. H. Bavinck and Hendrik Kraemer for a new day. Strange doesn't pretend to be neutral but offers an explicitly Reformed critique of other religions. Even those who are not Reformed or entirely convinced will be challenged and provoked and helped by Strange's contribution. I found Strange's thesis to be convincing and was struck by the depth and profundity of the notion that the gospel of Jesus Christ  functions as a subversive fulfillment of other religions. The book is not merely an academic exercise but is intended to be a platform for missions. Strange's passion for the glory of God in Jesus Christ shines through his work. This crucially important book should be read by missionaries, professors, pastors, and all those who teach the word of God and who long to see God's name praised among the nations.' - Thomas R. Schreiner, James Buchanan Harrison Professor of New Testament Interpretation, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

'Dan Strange has written what will become both an important textbook in the theology of religions and one of the most incisive and original contributions to the recent debate. His biblical Reformed tradition is employed to rigorously address complex questions about religious pluralism and his answers are uncompromising, challenging, and deeply Christological. His prose is a delight and this book is accessible to both trained theologians and the novice. Miss it at your peril.' - Gavin D'Costa, Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Bristol

'There is no question but that developing a biblical theology of world religions is one of the two or three greatest priorities facing the church today. Globalization means it is no longer simply a subject for foreign missions. Dan Strange has given us here what will surely be the standard for years to come. Deeply learned, theologically solid, well-informed in anthropology, this riveting study will guide the reader into the best ways to evaluate the religions of the world. Standing on the shoulders of Hendrik Kraemer and J. H. Bavinck, Dr Strange illuminates both the spiritual longings of people in different religions and their need for the gospel of Jesus Christ.' - William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia PA, USA

'Daniel Strange is one of the brightest and most articulate contemporary theologians in the Reformational tradition, and in 'For Their Rock Is Not as Our Rock' he provides a theology of religions which at once is theologically sound, analytically rigorous, and lucidly written. Highly recommended.' - Bruce Riley Ashford, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Provost and Dean of Faculty, Associate Professor of Theology and Culture, and Senior Fellow at the Bush Center for Faith & Culture)

'The overriding post-colonial concern of world mission has been contextualisation and the indigenisation of the local church. Pragmatism and methodologies have been uppermost in the minds of most missionaries. Refreshingly Dan Strange directs us back to the fundamental question of our theological understanding of other faiths. A proper view of this should control how we answer the practical questions. Dan sets before us the Scriptures, viewed as a trustworthy record of God's self-revelation, that portray a decline in human understanding from creation rather than an evolutionary development towards monotheism. In so doing he also introduces a new generation of Christians to the consistent Reformed missiologies of Dutch practitioners like Bavinck and Kraemer and the principle of 'subversive fulfilment '.  This is a book that should be on the reading list of anyone concerned to see the nations become disciples of the Lord Jesus.' - Ray Porter , Chair of Global Connections (Evangelical Mission Association)

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