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Continuing the Conversation on King: My Really Final Response to Tony Moon?

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Tony Richie contends that Bishop J.H. King and a close circle of comrades and colleagues, influential in early Pentecostalism as leading administrators, educators, thinkers, and writers, and including G.F. Taylor and A.A. Boddy, exhibited various levels of (what today is known as) inclusivism regarding Christian theology of religions. He suggests this striking discovery has significant import for the developing field of Pentecostal theology of religions. However, as Tony Moon has rightly pointed out, King did not present non-Christian religions as direct divine instruments or agents of Christ's atonement benefits. Richie agrees with Moon that King primarily encourages hope for some of the humanly unevangelized. Yet Richie, in agreement with Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen, also argues that King's thought can be particularly complex. King's complexity especially shows in his perception of the trans-historical 'essential Christ' and 'religion of Christ'. Thus, Richie persistently suggests that at least King, but probably Taylor too, holds out a well-grounded but cautiously guarded optimism, not so much on world religions per se, as in the boundless Christ and an unbounded—but not boundary-less—religion firmly and forever rooted in the revelation of and redemption in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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