John Hick’s attempts, in an article in Journal of Theology for South Africa, to make sense of the incarnation of Jesus Christ in a pluralistic world. In the article, which is named General Introduction – Christology in an Age of Religious Pluralism, Hick rejects the notion of Jesus Christ as a literally son of God.
It was Christianity, under the powerful influence of Greek Philosophy, that turned this poetry into dogmatic prose, so that a metaphorical son of God became the metaphysical God the Son, second Person of a divine Trinity. … [T]he idea of the incarnation can be seen as a poetic expression of his disciples’ relationship to Jesus as the one through whom they have found salvation, liberation, newness in life in the presence of God.
This is based on Hick’s understanding, that by accepting Jesus’s central place in History for all humanity we are somehow invalidating all those that have not heard the Gospel. Hick claims that salvation is somehow the aim of all religious activity, and explains salvation as follows.
Fundamentally, salvation is man’s coming to the fullness of life or being which is possible to him. And the message of all the great religions is that the final reality of the universe is good, and that the fullness of life or being that is open to us is ultimately limitless.
Hick’s conclusion and understanding of centrality of a salvation is understandable from a historical or a sociological point of view. However, Hick does not seem to grasp the concept of God’s saving work. God’s grace or God’s saving work is not in any way based on man’s ability to come to the fullness of life. It was once explained to me that the Greek verb ἁρπαγησόμεθα from 1. Thess 4:17, means that we will all of a sudden by taken into God’s reign, whether we like it or not. The coming of God’s reign is God’s saving work, and has nothing to do with our philosophical word play, our feelings, our rational, or good deeds.