Monday, January 3, 2011

Pluralism's Persuasiveness

for January 3


Pluralism's Persuasiveness

"The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God ..." (v. 20) — Galatians 2:11-21

Further Study

Additional Verses

Acts 4:1-12

1 Timothy 2:1-6

1 Corinthians 3:11

Questions to Consider

What did Peter declare to the Sanhedrin?

What did Paul declare to Timothy?

The argument presented by pluralists that Christians must view their religion as one among many, and Jesus as only one Savior among others, must be firmly resisted. It may sound arrogant to say so but it is nevertheless a fact that Christianity is unique, absolute, definitive, ultimate, and final. Critics of the uniqueness of Christianity can be very persuasive. "The world is under great threat," they tell us, "because of environmental pollution, economic injustice, and many other problems. Nothing that divides us, including our religions, should be considered as important as the need to live together in harmony." Another emphasis is on the need to study comparative faiths. There is a sense in which understanding what other people believe is useful, but not until the claims of Christianity are seen to be definitive and final. Christianity is not a comparative religion; it reveals God's one and only way of entering into a personal relationship with Him. The text before us today in the Amplified Bible reads: "The life I now live ... I live by faith - by adherence to and reliance on and [complete] trust - in the Son of God, Who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Bishop Leslie Newbigin put it well: "If it is really true, as it is, that 'the Son of God loved me and gave himself up for me,' how can I agree that this amazing act of matchless grace should merely become part of a syllabus for the 'comparative study of religions'?" Christ is not first in a class; He occupies the category all by Himself.

"My Father and my God, may the Person of Your Son become as real and as precious to me as He is to You. And teach me more about Him so that I can make clear to others why He is a Savior beyond compare. For His own dear Name's sake. Amen."

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