- Not looking at this question from the Bible as some don’t believe it is a credible source.
- Every belief system in some way agrees/believes “no” to the statement that Jesus is the only way to God – each believing for very different reasons.
4 different ways of thinking Jesus is not the only way to God:
1. Polytheists – because there are lots of gods
- How can one person be the way to lots of gods?
- However, there is no existence for lots of gods and a lot of polytheists don’t think there is either – they just believe it.
- You need evidence for what you believe – especially claims about God or truth. If people can’t give you any evidence, why should you believe it?
- Is the polytheistic view then a good reason to reject Jesus as the only way to God?
- Some believe this way as it’s part of their culture – again, not a good enough reason.
- We need to look at what we believe – is it valid? Is there evidence?
2. Atheists – because there is no such thing is a god
- They say it is useless to debate over whether Jesus is the only way to God if there is no God in the first place.
- Not a compelling reason – whatever evidence for belief in God gets swept under the carpet – e.g. saying real-life miracles don’t qualify as evidence because miracles are impossible.
- Trying to debate this leads to going round in circles: there is no God because there is no evidence, but miracles wouldn’t be impossible if God existed, but miracles don’t count as evidence, etc.
- Also – writing off ancient documents as evidence because they don’t understand them.
- You can’t have a sensible argument with a fundamental atheist.
3. Pluralists – because it’s exclusive, intolerant and will lead to oppression
- Very common view in Brighton.
- Yes, believing Jesus is the only way to God is an exclusive belief. But ALL truth claims work that way – truth statements include people who agree and exclude people who disagree.
- People get scared of exclusive truth claims as they sometimes lead to extremists or oppression, but not always – depends on what the truth claim or belief system actually is – not whether you believe in God or not, but what you believe. If it is ‘kill the infidel’ or ‘people who believe in God are stupid and ignorant’ – both are very exclusive and intolerant and will lead to oppression. But something like believing you should love God and love people as yourself is a different matter.
- Again, not a good reason for rejecting the belief that Jesus is the only way to God.
4. Monotheists – because Jesus didn’t say he was a way to God, but someone else altogether
- Saying Christians are wrong about who they believe Jesus was – that Jesus was substituted with someone else on the cross.
- Muslims and Jews, for example, believe this.
- This theory came 600 years after Jesus – not very credible.
Christians don’t just believe Jesus is the only way to God – but that he is God incarnate. He is more than just the way – he showed us what God is like. This belief has always been controversial and people have been persecuted for it – but it has persisted. The evidence points this way and is the most plausible and credible explanation.