Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Unique Claims of Christianity (2: Truth)

We find the core of Christianity’s uniqueness in John 14:

“LET NOT YOUR HEARTS BE TROUBLED. BELIEVE IN GOD; BELIEVE ALSO IN ME. IN MY FATHER'S HOUSE ARE MANY ROOMS. IF IT WERE NOT SO, WOULD I HAVE TOLD YOU THAT I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU? AND IF I GO AND PREPARE A PLACE FOR YOU, I WILL COME AGAIN AND WILL TAKE YOU TO MYSELF, THAT WHERE I AM YOU MAY BE ALSO. AND YOU KNOW THE WAY TO WHERE I AM GOING.” THOMAS SAID TO HIM, “LORD, WE DO NOT KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING. HOW CAN WE KNOW THE WAY?” JESUS SAID TO HIM, “I AM THE WAY, AND THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME. 

Jesus makes claims here that He is the only answer to our problem of sin and death. Let’s look at His three claims in reverse order:

The Truth 

The Bible teaches that truth is not just a collection of facts. Truth is a person. The God and Creator of everything that exists, is outside of the Creation He created. He is the ultimate source of Truth in the universe because He has made this universe. It operates according to rules and laws because it was created by a Creator who has a consistent and true character. And Truth, therefore, is not just the reality we experience in Creation, Truth is the person of God.

When we rebelled against the Creator, we lost our relationship with the Truth. When we sinned and experienced death, that is when we started inventing religions as ways of denying death. We started telling ourselves lies.

The Bible is where Truth has revealed Himself to us. It presents the only system that makes consistent sense of the world that we live in—of the problem we have with sin and death—and that offers us a solution to that problem. Jesus is God. Jesus is Truth embodied in a man. Jesus is our only hope at reconnecting with God. What Jesus offered us was not another in a long line of religious solutions to our problem. He gives us back the relationship that we lost in our rebellion.

Arrogance: Another objection raised against Christianity, or more specifically here in John 14:6, is that it is arrogant. Once again, we sadly do find that a lot of Christians are arrogant. However, it does not have to be that way. Being right and being arrogant are two different things.

I can be right in saying that 2+2=4 without being rude. In the same way, I can point out the problems we have in society due to our rebellion against God without coming across and holier than thou. After all, we are all in the same boat. We all have the same problem of sin and are all dependent on God’s gracious forgiveness to experience the Life that He has for us.

And exclusivity is not arrogance. Truth is truth. It is not something that one group possesses or controls. As Believers, we do not have a monopoly on truth. It exists for all to see who are willing to look. However, truth, by its nature, is exclusive. Saying 2+2=4 is not an arrogance over someone who wants it to be 5. It is 4 and not 5, not because someone decides for it to be, but because it is simply so.

To say that Christianity is arrogant because it believes its truth over others’ is silly. All religious systems propose differing and exclusive claims on reality. To say they are all valid is, once again a ridiculous assertion that only works if they are all false. They are either indeed all false, or one of them is true. And when we look at the claims of Christianity, it is the most internally consistent worldview and the one that makes the most sense in the reality in which we live.

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