Author Lee Strobel explains why Jesus is the only way to God.
Here are the points that Lee Strobel makes:
Jesus did a very unpopular thing revealed in John 14:6 where he said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Anybody can make a claim like that but only Jesus can back it up because he rose from the dead. This gives Jesus special credibility.
Does this make Christians narrow minded? Absolutely not. When a pilot lands a plane, he can choose to land it in a lake, or a street, or a runway. Is this narrow minded? No, he is choosing a path to life. So does the Christian when he responds to the reality that Jesus is the only way to eternal life.
Someone must pay the penalty for our sin that keeps us away from God. Jesus, by virtue of his sinlessness, is the only one qualified to be our substitute.
Does this make Christians arrogant for believing that? Actually the opposite is true. Consider two clubs. One only allows people in who have earned their membership, through superior wisdom or works. Many people are excluded. This is what most religions teach. The other club allows anybody admission because Jesus has paid for the membership. However, you must accept his gift first. The matter is entirely up to you.
Do all religions only contain part of the truth, not the whole truth? Is Christianity narrow-minded if it claims the whole truth? Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan, addresses The Veritas Forum at UC Berkeley.
Dr. Timothy Keller makes the following points in his video:
Some people say, “You can’t say that Jesus is the only way,” because they think that all religions are equally wrong. Each may provide little bits of wisdom, but none see the whole picture. They say that all religions only see a little bit of the whole.
They often use the following illustration of the “Blind Man and the Elephant.” Five blind men come upon an elephant and each grabs the elephant in a different place. One grabs the trunk and concludes the elephant is long and flexible. Another grabs a leg and concludes the elephant is short and stumpy. Each blind man generalizes what the elephant is like from his narrow experience.
However, the underlying basis to the story is never told. Only a person with sight, who can see the whole elephant, can inform the blind men what they can’t fully grasp. The story is told by one who claims to see and know the whole truth.
You can only say that these men are blind if you are not blind. You can only say that all religions only see part of the truth if you see more of the truth than they do. You are claiming to see all of the truth and are claiming to possess superior knowledge. Your claim to possess knowledge that no one has is in fact an arrogant claim itself.
If you say that nobody should make exclusive truth claims, that in itself is a exclusive truth claim. Everybody makes exclusive truth claims. The narrow minded person is one who sneers at and belittles people who have different exclusive truth.
Which religion is better: one in which God approaches us or one in which prophets help us approach God? Dr. Timothy Keller, pastor of Redeemer Church in Manhattan, addresses The Veritas Forum at UC Berkeley.
Are all religions equally right? Is there more than one way to heaven?
The leaders of all the non-Christian religions basically say, “I am a prophet to help you find God.” In contrast, the leader of the Christian religion, Jesus, is the only one who says “I am God come to find you.”
If what Jesus said was a fact and true, then he is the only way to God. If what Jesus said was not a fact and true, then he was deranged. Not all religions are the same. A fact is not narrow. It is either right or wrong.
In this video, Greg Koukl of Stand to Reason answers the question, “Why is Jesus the only way?”
As Greg Koukl explains in the video, Jesus is an exclusivist but not because of arrogance. Jesus is an exclusivist because he understands the human problem. The problem isn’t that good or sincere people exist in the world. The problem is that every person in the world has failed to keep God’s law as they were supposed to. Therefore, since God is perfectly just, His justice requires punishment. God does not overlook His own laws.
Imagine a courtroom where God is the judge. We stand accused of not keeping God’s law. We are guilty as charged. However, Jesus steps in the dock in our place. He says that he will accept the punishment that is meant for us. The punishment he is referring to is his crucifixion. The question asked by the judge is whether we accept Jesus being punished in our place? If we accept it, God offers a pardon. We fall under the mercy provided by Jesus’ punishment, and that provides the grounds for forgiveness by God. If we don’t accept Jesus being punished in our place, then we stand on our own two feet before God, and we fend for ourselves. We are therefore not forgiven by God and receive the sentence of eternal separation from God (hell).
That is the choice put before us. It is a step of trust based on good, solid information found in the Bible. The choice is ours.