Communicating the Gospel in a Pluralistic Context

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6 Weeks





Christian discipleship and ministry in a world marked by a diversity of world religions is not new for the Church, as early Christians turned to God from idols and served a living and true God. However, a post-modern pluralistic ideology is now at least two centuries in the making. The ideology of religious pluralism claims that there are many religions and that diversity represents the way things “ought to be.” No single religious perception of reality is universally applicable and binding, and no religion can legitimately claim to proclaim the truth for all people.

Pluralism may or may not rest upon the notion that behind the various narratives lies a single divine reality expressed in humankind’s many cultures and communities. According to the postmodern ideology of religious pluralism, any religion that claims to have “the narrative” for all people should be seen as oppressive, spreading injury in the world, tyrannising the human conscience, and overwhelming human freedom. Christianity either needs to be made a respectful member of the human community or it needs to be abandoned.

Religious pluralism exists paradoxically in a world also marked by resurgent religious fundamentalism and extremism. In many countries, the powers of the State are used to prevent religious diversity and the ideology of religious pluralism. To proclaim the gospel in a way that pays attention to the context in which we speak, we must seriously consider the pluralism that so extensively characterises our age. The purpose of this course is to help prepare Christian ministers for their ministry in a religiously pluralistic world.

Fundamentally, the course focuses on religious pluralism from the biblical and Christian mission perspectives, specifically on the protestant and pentecostal missionary work with the people of other faiths. Further, it probes the interreligious communication of the gospel with various religious traditions in Asian religious pluralistic contexts. Finally, the module recommends general evangelistic strategies to communicate the gospel in a pluralistic religious world. 


Academic (Knowledge)

  • To critically understand various approaches to religious pluralism from the biblical and Christian mission perspectives.
  • To comprehend the Christian mission through interreligious communication among various religious traditions in the Asian pluralistic context. 
  • To enable creatively conceptualise strategies for the communication of the Christian gospel in a religiously pluralistic world. 

Experience (Skills)

  • To equip the students with the biblical and Christian missiological response in relating to the communities from various religious pluralistic traditions. 
  • To empower the students with diverse Christian theological responses to interfaith encounters, where the proclamation of the gospel demonstrates truth and love. 
  • To enable the students to effectively communicate the Christian gospel message to people of other faiths in their pluralistic socio-cultural context. 

Relational (Attitude and Behaviour)

  • To develop a positive attitude in the students while engaging in Christian missions to the emergence of religious pluralism in our society.
  • To promote a reconciliatory and harmonious characteristic in the students towards people living in their religious pluralistic context.
  • To improve constructive evangelical consideration in the students to build relationships with people of various faiths while ministering the gospel in their religious pluralistic context.  

Spirituality (Devotion and Passion)

  • To adopt constrictive interpretations of the biblical passages in reflecting the message of the gospel to people of other faiths.
  • To facilitate the students to articulate the gospel narrative inspired by interreligious communication as their spiritual commitment towards people of all faiths.
  • To glorify God through diverse Christian theological responses to interfaith encounters in a religiously pluralistic context.


Required Readings

(Note: The following Books are available as a PDF file in the materials section of the first lecture of the course.)

Gnanakan, Ken. Proclaiming Christ in a Pluralistic Context. Rev. ed. Theological Book Trust, 2002. 

Pachuau, Lalsangkima and Knud Jørgensen. Witnessing to Christ in a Pluralistic World: Christian Mission among Other Faiths. Wipf and Stock, 2011. 

Suggested Readings

(Note: The following books are available with your Global Classroom Perlego subscription. Click the link as cited.)

Burnham, Frederic. Postmodern Theology. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2006.

Casey, Cornelius, and Fáinche Ryan. The Church in Pluralist Society. University of Notre Dame Press, 2019.

Cavadini, John, and Donald Wallenfang. Evangelization as Interreligious Dialogue. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2019.

Grenz, Stanley. A Primer on Postmodernism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1996.

Larson, Marion, and Sara Shady. From Bubble to Bridge. InterVarsity Press, 2016.

Morris, Wayne. Salvation as Praxis. 1st ed., Bloomsbury Publishing, 2013.

Newbigin, Lesslie. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. SPCK, 2014.

Phan, Ray. Ed. Understanding Religious Pluralism. Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2014.

Pitman, David. Twentieth Century Christian Responses to Religious Pluralism. 1st ed. Taylor and Francis, 2016.

Shenk, David. A Gentle Boldness. MennoMedia, 2021.

Stone, Bryan. Evangelism after Pluralism. Baker Publishing Group, 2018.

Sunquist, Scott, and Amos Yong. The Gospel and Pluralism Today. InterVarsity Press, 2015.

Sweet, Leonard. Post-Modern Pilgrims. B&H Publishing Group, 2000.

Tan-Chow, May Ling. Pentecostal Theology for the Twenty-First Century. 1st ed. Taylor and Francis, 2016.

Wan, Enoch. Ed. Christian Witness in Pluralistic Contexts in the Twenty-First Century. William Carey Publishing, 2004. 

Yu, Patrick. Being Christian in a Multi-Faith Context. 1st ed. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing, 2013.


Assessments for the students for the course “Communicating the Gospel in a Pluralistic Context” are based on four sections. There are (1) Discussion Questions, (2) Weekly Assessments, (3) Course-End Assessments and (4) Live Sessions Attendance. All these sections are evaluated with points, culminating in a total score of 100 marks for the course. 

  1. Discussion Questions (25 marks)
    The students need to engage with the discussion questions posted in the discussion forum each week in a written blog comment style. The assessment requires the students to answer each weekly question in 250 words and comment on other students’ blog answers as responses in about 100 words. For the entire course duration, there are five discussion questions posted for each week with a maximum of five marks each.

  2. Weekly Assessments (30 marks)
    The weekly assessments require the students to write (i) two reports from the interviews suggested and (ii) three essays reflecting on lectures, articles, and creative content mentioned as the task for each week. The weekly assessment papers need to be 500 words each. The course necessitates that the students submit five assessment papers posted for each week with a maximum of six marks each

  3. Course-End Assessments (40 marks)
    It is expected that the students submit two major course-end assessment papers on the topics posted for descriptive and critical analysis. These research papers require the students to follow the prevailing rules of research work, including the scholarship in engaging with the topics and deriving practical application in the religious pluralistic context. Both the course-end assessment research papers need to be 2500 words each, bearing a maximum of 20 marks, respectively.   

  4. Live Sessions Attendance (5 marks)
    The weekly live contact sessions are hosted for six weeks on the virtual meeting platform, preferably through Zoom. The students need to promptly attend and actively interact with the course instructor in the online classes. Attendance for the live sessions of the entire course is graded with a maximum of five marks.   


Submission Method
The five weekly assessment papers and the two course-end assessment research papers needed to be submitted electronically in .doc or .docx format via Global Classroom: Assignment Upload. 

Citing References
For proper citation style, consult the FBC Style Guide or the full edition of the MLA.  Refer to the Handbook for Writers of Research Papers, Seventh Edition, especially chapters 5 and 7, for the arrangement of entries through in-text citations and works cited.

Academic Integrity
Students need to uphold academic integrity while submitting their papers online. It is imperative to recognise that any breach of academic integrity includes such practises as cheating (the use of unauthorised material on assessment and research papers), submitting the same assessment papers for different classes without permission of the course instructors, using false information (including false references to secondary sources) in assessment papers, improper or unacknowledged collaboration with other students, and plagiarism.


Global Classroom takes seriously its responsibility to uphold academic integrity and to penalise academic dishonesty. Global Classroom values quality in the courses it offers its students. End-of-course evaluations provide valuable student feedback and are one of the ways that Global Classroom works towards maintaining and improving the quality of courses and the student’s learning experience. Students’ involvement in this process is critical to enhancing the general quality of teaching and learning. Before the end of the course, students will receive an email with a link to the online course evaluation. The link can also be found in the left column on the course page. The evaluation period is two weeks; after the evaluation period has ended, it cannot be reopened. Course evaluation results will not be disclosed to the instructor until final grades in the course have been submitted and processed. Student names will be kept confidential, and the instructor will only see the aggregated results of the class.


The readings can be found as PDF files on the course web page at under “Materials”.

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