Popular Religion and Fullness of Life

We believe that the newest popular religion of our time regardless of class, gender, race, national boundaries and sexual orientation
Now that that seems like our ultimate concern  or ground of being is our desire to have more money, material possession and convenience. Money worship is the newest popular religion of our time.
And the feminism is the ultimate concern of women to obtain fullness of life and many other oppressed people by the patriarchal system.

What does it mean when we say fullness of life? what does it look like if there is an absence of it?

We observe that differences in religion brings confusion, and with that confusion, can the fullness of life be attained? Even a person can start his/her own religion and could ascribe things as the basis of religion. Jimi Hendrix once said that “Music is my religion.”

According to Pascal “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing…” and we agree with this. The fullness of our being must be filled by something or someone transcendent than life itself, and in the case of those who acknowledges themselves as created being, it is God who fills this vacuum.

The problem now is how can God be experienced as one who fills the vacuum? well, that depends on who, or what the individuals considers who/what God is.

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How to Bring the Religions in Asia Closer to One Another

We believe that language gives challenges in bringing religion in Asia closer together. We also believe that energetic leaders and teachers of Christianity and Islam should emphasize compassion, love and mercy to other people. This will be the key to unity of all religion. Through love and compassion of human being especially for the goal of human dignity, spiritual and physical responsibility for all creation.

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Tehological task in Asia is a very challenging work for all of us. It is a mission that needs much efforts, prayers and patience – especially that most of us are fundamentalist and individualist in nature. Bu if we have that wilingness to change, to show concern, love and compassion to all humanity who are in need of salvation in all aspects of life, that will make us united as one christian commmunity.

The Holy Spirit teaches us how to react in this world. In terms of poverty, global warming, globalization, injustices and war, God’s will (spirit) is summed up in goodness peace, love, justice, mercy and freedom.

In the context of Asia in the midst of different religions, it is quite hard to express Christian faith as transcendently distinct due to the fact that every religion have their own sense of revelations. The question is, could it be that these  revelations belong to the one and the same God? And more importantly we need to distinguish what is completely human and what is divine. But if we qualify what is and what is not, eventually the issue not no longer about religious traditions but about God himseld revealing to us. WOuld it be better if God revealed himseld in a final and decisive intervention or in a dispensational sense. So the task of theology then is to understand how God interacts with us and how we cope it in our langguge. And evetually, what is important is that there is a God who longs for the welfare of creation and especially the proclamation of the glory of God-self.

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Rethink, Revisit CAP: A Reflection

Asia is the largest continent in the world. It consists of 60 countries with a population of approximately 4 billion people. Moreover, different religions also emerged from this continent (e.g. Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam etc.). It is indeed a land which we consider as relevant when as far as theological articulations and emerging peculiar issues in the Asian context is concerned.

Theology is a complex subject matter with diverse issues and questions relating to the nature of God and religious truths. The main objective of theology is to establish a faith seeking understanding which builds the process of inquiry within the Christian community. Theology and the process of theologizing emanate from works of men and women in different periods of time who gave birth to the influx of diverse theologies that present different cultures, customs and traditions.

The fact that CAP has been articulated in the early 70’s and purposely addressing the present conditions and situations in Asia during those times, the changing context is the driving forced which lead to revisiting and rethinking the CAP in 2006. It is a reality indeed that the past thirty years is definitely different from our present context. There has been a rapid yet significant change to be reckoned when as far as theology, education, hermeneutical, and mission is concerned in order to be responsive in the context where we are now in. The changing context is significant to take into consideration.

The CAP, in its original form, is “inadequate to provide interaction with contemporary issues such as Religious Fundamentalism, Gender Justice Issues, Ecological Problems, Diseases and Disasters, Globalization and Global Empire Building, Colonization, Spirituality, Identity and Power Struggle, People Movement, Ecumenism, Information and Technological Changes and challenges, Reclaiming indigenous Identity and Minority Right.”

The very reason of rethinking and revisiting the CAP is to respond to the religious, political, cultural, and social issues emerging in our today’s context. We think, realize, meditate, contemplate and discern with the confidence that we can actualize our faith and open for dialogue for the purpose of humans’ welfare that is life giving and life sustaining.

Our journey of changes must be rooted in the lived experiences of Asian people which include their horrendous journey under the hands of colonial powers and the aftermath of colonialism which until now has affected both the professing and non-professing Christian communities. It is through this process that the Gospel is fleshed out in the lives of the people making their faith journey both empowering and life-giving. It is imperative that the objective of every Asian theologian should focus in merging the Gospel with the lived experience of Asian people so that the nature of God and the quest for religious truths might be fully understood.

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Evangelical and Ecumenical Inclusivity and Exclusivity in Asian Context

Asia can be viewed as the home of eastern religions and is usually related with mysticism.

Christianity has found its way to the Asian people and with it, introduced some western influence.

With this case, we need to look at how to deal with the challenges in this case for the goal of ecumenism.

We will define Ecumenism and Evangelical and differentiate Inclusivity and Exclusivity with some extracts from selected boo

Evangelical and Evangelicalism

Evangelicals are considered to be a biblically oriented people. Evamgelical claim that divine revelation which must be maintained and obeyed at all costs and not human insights.

It is derived from the greek noun “evangelion, which means “glad tidings”, “good news” or “gospel.”  The word Gospel traces back to an old English word for “God talk”.

It is first used in the early 16th century by catholic writers who tried to revert to more biblical beliefs and practices than were current in the late medieval church. The Lutherans who focus on the doctrine of justification by grace to faith and who sought to renew the church based on what they found in the scriptures during the reformation was given that name evangelicals . Today’s evangelism emerged as a self conscious reaction against fundamentalism.

Theological definition

There are three implications as it is radically Christ centered. First, Christ is the only means through which we know God. Secondly, apart from the cross there is no salvation because we are saved by Christ’s life, death and resurrection. Third, we need the cross because of our falleness and it is the central means. No dimension of our lives is free from sin according to Evangelicals.

Individual conversion (the “new birth”) is emphasized in Evangelicalism. It is essential to have a personal, experienced faith in Christ; Christ’s atoning sacrifice for individual sin; the Bible’s authority in matters of faith and life; holy living; and the obligation of laity and clergy to propagate the gospel through preaching and missionary effort. Evangelicals tend to focus on points of theology in favor of the shared experience of salvation through faith and not much on denominational differences.

Ecumenical and Ecumenism

The linkage between religious and secular for the praxis of new life along with the multi-religious and multi-cultural ecumenical methodology is ecumenism.

Churches moved toward cooperation and unity, by mutual understanding and respect through dialogue; by cooperation or common witness to whatever divine gifts and gospel values they already share and experience; and by a common search for that unity even though they have been separated by doctrinal, social, ethnic, political, and institutional factors. The Lord wills for his one and only Church to be united “so that the world may believe.” John 17:21

The term is derived from “household of God” (gk. , oikodomi) biblically, it means that both of the whole church (I Cor. 3:9; Eph. 2:19; I Tim. 3:15; Heb. 3:6) and “the whole inhabited earth.” This is headed for the achievement of unity among all Christian churches, and ultimately among all religious communities.


All non-Christian religion is on the way of discipleship with the truth that comes form Christ.

Along with Christianity, this approach recognizes that God is present and at work in other religions. It accepts the fact that when individuals and the community in touch with the divine presence, transformation takes place. all religions have access to the grace of God. God’s love and God’s grace are are available to any particular historical religion.

Salvation is by Christ alone even while admitting that there are other saviors and revelations in the other religions. Explicitly or implicitly, knowingly or anonymously All are saved when Christ is acknowledged.


Being exclusive is the inclination of every new religious movement. It highlights its distinctive identity and makes strong claims to set them apart from others. In the midst of the other religious communities, it is a question of identity.

Their claims become more rigid and inflexible when the truth-claims become the posture they assume. The expansions of their faith communities are encouraged and motivated by extreme claims. The truth-claims becomes stronger when the competition becomes greater

Certain Biblical passages give account to some setting of exclusivism in relation to Christianity. John and the Apostle Paul, were bearing testimony and making confessional statements. The Gospel writers in this case, in the face of the attacks from Jewish exclusivism as well as pagan religions of the day, were making their claims and advancing the new religious movement.

The involvement of adherence in the task of delineating the inner religious dynamism of the other faith is a nature of exclusivism.


Longchar, A. Watiet al.  Visioning New Life Together Among Asian Religions. Cearcutt Publishing and Printing Company, Hong Kong. 2002,

Mc Dermott, Gerald R. Can Evangelicals learn from World Religions? Inter Varsity Press 2000.

Mcbrien, Richard P. The Harper Collins Encyclopedia of Catholicism. HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

Race, Alan. Christians and Religious Pluralism, Orbis books Maryknoll, 1982.

Dr. Hao, Yap Kim. Doing Theology in a Pluralistic World. The Methodist Book Room. 1990.

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Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Their Similarities and Differences

CHRISTIANITY, JUDAISM, AND ISLAM: Similarities and Differences

Christianity is world’s largest religion, Islam is the world’s second largest and fastest growing religion, and Judaism is one of the oldest faiths.
Judaism, Islam and Christianity believe in one God (monotheism), Islam, some Jews and Christianity believes the righteous dead of all generations will be brought back to life.
Christianity, Judaism and Islam accustomed to think of themselves as supreme, in religion and culture, possessing the highest truths and the oldest the best philosophy.
Judaism also despite of its great universalist, prophets no longer seeks to extend its faith outside the membership of its own race. Rabii Epstein said recently that when paganism gave place to Christianity and later also to Islam. Judaism withdrew from the missionary field and was satisfied to leave the task of spreading the religion of humanity to her daughters faith like Christianity and Islam. Christianity and Islam have been great missionary religious and that they will continue to be seen as to their tradition: Indeed it was the submission of Abraham in his supreme test — would he be willing to sacrifice his son? That appears to have provided Islam with its name. According to the Koran, Ishmael went to the place where Mecca was to rise. His descendants flourishing in Arabia, become Muslims, whereas those of Isaac, who remains in Palestine became Jews.

Basic theological concepts of Islam are virtually identical with those of Judaism and Christianity. It is all about the four that are most important.
1. God
2. Creation
3. The human self
4. The day of judgment

Beliefs and practices
Judaism is expected to live according to certain principles and ethics. Observe holy days and festivals and most important consider themselves a part of the Jewish people. They are expected to learn Jewish history and traditions and to consider the welfare of others Jews everywhere. All denominations recognized the authority of the Bible (Old Testament) Many devout Jews recite a Biblical passage daily “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one”. This called the Shema. The first five book of the Bible called Torah or Pentateuch; Jews also recognize the authority of the Responza, another body of literature. Among Orthodox Jews the teachings of the Bible and Talmud are taken literally.
Muslims believe in a single God that has no gender or form. Their religion is based on divine revelations from God to various prophets include Abraham and Moses from the Bible’s Old Testament .Muslim also believe in Jesus Christ was a great prophet although they do not agree with Christians that he is the son of God. Muslims are expected to live according to Islamic law, which is in some countries not separate from civil law. The Koran and Hadith are the main sources of Islamic law. Muslim call Islamic law the Shariah, or “God’s way “.Muslims believe that Mohammed’s( or Muhammad).teaching are the most accurate and complete.
Christianity believes that people are children of God and have immortal souls. Believe in one God who is represented as a trinity, or single deity with three parts: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Most Christians believe that Jesus Christ, the Son, was the human manifestation of God who came to earth, died, crucified and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven and that through this action he made it possible for people to be saved from sin. Most Christians belong to one of three groups: Roman Catholic, Protestant, or eastern Orthodox. Christianity has various rites (which includes sacraments) and rituals. Baptism and Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion. The Bible is Christianity’s most sacred book.

These religions emphasize the significance of:

1. Persons as superior to nature;
2. The individual human person, who must answer for his thoughts and deeds;
3. The moral value of justice;
4. Law;
5. History, which moves not in an everlasting cycle, but in a straight line, from a beginning to an end.

– The places of worship of the religions of Semitic origin — synagogue, church, and mosque — are communal, being designed for the gathering of an assembly.

There are words common among the three and vocabulary that don’t alienate each other: monotheism, prophet, retribution , hell, paradise, creation, almsgiving.

Table of Comparison Among Judaism, Christianity and Islam

The table shows the relationship among the Judaism, Christianity and Islam

1. God – They believe in a single divine being, who is personal, that is, possessing mind and will; eternal, that is, not subject to the limits of time or change, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good. That is, all three religions are example of what is called ethical monotheism.
2. Creation – God creates a world distinct from himself (none of these religions are monistic in their mainstream forms); a world which is real, not illusory, though totally dependent on God; a world which is good.
3. Revelation – In a unique historical event God reveals his will, requiring obedience, disobedience being sin. The revelation in its case is given in writing.
4. Immortality and Judgment – There is a life after death. At death God will judge each individual, for reward or punishment.


Judaism– It is the physical testimony that he is a member of the Jewish people.

Islam – It is a form of purification (it is often called simply tahara, which means purification) and is obligatory for all Muslim boys, although the age at which it is done varies from region; in some areas it is performed in infancy, in others as late as the age of 10 or 12.
– It is also widely practiced on girls, in the form of cutting away all or part of the clitoris, although this is not an Islamic obligation as a folk custom, which is also practiced in some non-Islamic societies.

-Danielou, Jean. Introduction to the Great Religions, Fides Publishers, Inc. Notre Dame, Indiana. 1964.

-Crin, Keith, et al.  Abingdon Dictionary of Living Religions. Copyright by Abingdon. 1981.

– Burke, T. Patrick. The Major Religions: An Introduction with Text.

-Schwarz, John. A Handbook of the Christian Faith. Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 2004.

-Eerdmans’ Handbook to the World Religions, WM.B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. Grand Rapids, Michigan. 1982.

-Parrinder, Geoffrey. Comparative Religion.  Ruskin House, George Allen and Unwin LTD. Museum st. London. 1962

-Huston Smith, The World’s Religion – The Revised and Updated Edition of the Religions of Man.

-The New Book of Knowledge, Volume 10-JK. Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc. Danbury, Connecticut, USA. 2006.
-The New Book of Knowledge, Volume 9-I. Scholastic Library Publishing , Inc. Danbury, Connecticut, USA. 2006.
-The New Book of Knowledge, Volume 3-C. Scholastic Library Publishing, Inc. Danbury, Connecticut, USA. 2006.

Prepared by:
Apalla, Ruena
Benitez, Benjie B.
Chen, Hsiang Yi
Loscos, Jonathan Leo B.
Marquez, Rosalyn
Sadac, Hector S.
Son, Hyekyoung
Tariga, Irene

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