Michael L. Brown
it the height of arrogance to claim that the only way
people can come into right relationship with God is through
At first blush,
the answer would seem to be yes. After all, there are
sincere, moral, deity-fearing people in every religion
of the world. Why must Christians think that their religion
alone is right? Why not follow the teaching of traditional
Judaism that the righteous of every nation not
just Israel have a place in the world to come?
no more arrogant for Christians to say that Jesus is the
only way to God than it is for others to say that Jesus
is just one way among many thereby declaring the
belief of more than one billion Christians to be wrong.
The real question
is: On what basis can we claim that Christianity alone
brings people into right relationship with God? The answer
is simple: Only the gospel provides a true antidote to
the problem of sin.
all religions recognize that human beings have somehow
fallen short and become alienated from the godhead (singular
or plural). The problem is how to receive forgiveness
of sin and become reconciled with an offended or distant
We must therefore
ask on what basis the deity offers forgiveness. Muslims
and Jews do their best and hope for mercy. Hindus patiently
bear their lot, hoping for a better life next time around.
Buddhists seek for an ultimate nirvana. But none of these
faiths provides a definite and certain answer.
Christianity from every other religion is not so much
the moral teaching of Jesus, or even the moral example
of Jesus, but rather the fact that Jesus, the divine Son,
took our place. He paid the penalty for our sins, thereby
satisfying the justice of God and securing eternal salvation
for all who believe.
If there had
been any other way for mankind to be forgiven, Jesus would
not have died. It is this fact alone the necessary
sacrificial death of the Son of God on the cross
that separates Christianity from all other religions.
None of these religions have at their foundation a divine
act that is unique and comprehensive for all people.
why Jesus gave us the mandate to go into the whole world
and declare the good news of His death and resurrection.
And good news it is. No other religion in the world has
L. Brown, Ph.D., specializes in answering Jewish objections
to Jesus. His three-volume series on Jewish apologetics
is published by Baker Books.