‘How can you claim there’s only one true religion?’ You may be asked this question as you’re at the photocopier at work or at the bar buying a round. Here’s the second part in the apologetics series that will give you some ideas of how to respond when you only have five minutes.
1. People often liken religions to blind men encountering an elephant. The first blind man feels the stomach of the elephant and concludes it is a wall. The second feels the trunk and concludes it is a snake. The rest conclude it is a spear, tree, fan and rope, depending upon where they touch. The story purports to prove that all religions reflect the truth, but none grasps the whole truth. If people tell this story, ask them: ‘How do you know it’s an elephant?’ In other words, the story assumes the teller is as enlightened, objective observer.
2. People may say: ‘If you were born in Iran, you’d be a Muslim not a Christian.’ But the same goes for the pluralist. ‘If you’d been born in Iran, you wouldn’t be a pluralist.’ In other words, your belief that all religions are equal (or misguided) is as culturally and social conditioned as my belief in Jesus (more so since going to church is now a minority activity in our society).
3. Jesus claimed he was the only way to God (John 14:6). If all religious roads lead to God then Jesus was a liar and Christianity is false. In which case, not all religions lead to God.
4. People sometimes ask if you fully investigated all religions before deciding to follow Christ. Two responses: (1) You don’t need comprehensive knowledge before you can be confident something is true. You don’t read every newspaper and interview multiple eye-witnesses before believing a sports result. (2) I didn’t decide Christianity was the best religion; Jesus laid claim to my life.
5. Ask people to define religion. Jesus is not another religious figure, but the end or opposite of all religion. Religion is about an upwards movement of humanity towards God. Jesus represents of downward movement of God towards humanity.
6. Because Jesus is God’s initiative towards humanity, the message of Jesus is a message of grace. It is not dependant on human achievement, but upon God’s gracious and completed work. So Jesus alone gives assurance of salvation.
This material is adapted from a Porterbrook Learning module.
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