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The Battle for Christ: Is He the Only Way? by Dr. Norman Geisler Or, Are All Religions True?

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Presentation on theme: "The Battle for Christ: Is He the Only Way? by Dr. Norman Geisler Or, Are All Religions True?"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Battle for Christ: Is He the Only Way? by Dr. Norman Geisler Or, Are All Religions True?

2 Religious Pluralism Is the belief that every religion is true

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6 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions answered

7 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions answered

8 What is Truth?

9 Truth: Matches its object. Corresponds to reality. Is telling it like it is.

10 A true statement matches its object This object is a table.

11 Opposites cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. The Law of Non-Contradiction The Earth is Round The Earth is NOT Round

12 The Opposite of True is False Sure-Fire Way to Convince a Skeptic! Anyone who denies the law of non- contradiction should be beaten and burned until he admits that to be beaten is not the same as not to be beaten, and to be burned is not the same as not to be burned. (Avicenna, Great Muslim Philosopher)

13 A Self-Defeating Statement The opposite of true is not false? Is the opposite of that true?

14 1.Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 2.We can believe everything is true, but everything cant be true. Summary The Truth About Truth

15 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions Answered

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17 All view are not true All the blind men were mistaken. The truth is that this is really an elephant!

18 The Parable Fails In fact, It Proves the Opposite: 1.The blind men are mistaken; they do NOT have the truth. Their perspectives are wrong (even so, ones perspective about religion can be wrong). 2.The pluralist claims to have the one true perspective. If the others were not blind, they would see the objective truth as well. 3.To claim that each religion has only part of the truth, the pluralist must know the whole truth. 4.You cant see that someone is wrong unless you know what right is.

19 The Bottom Line: 1. The pluralist is an exclusivist, since he believes all views contrary to his are false. 2. He believes everyone is blind but him.

20 No God at all If one is true, the other two are false God is all God made all ReligiousHumanism Zen Buddhism Hinduism New Age JudaismChristianityIslam

21 All Religions Cant Be True: They Teach Opposites Islam with Christianity Lets contrast:

22 ISLAM GOD: absolute one CHRISTIANITY GOD: 3 persons in 1 essence HUMANITY: sinful by natureHUMANITY: good by nature JESUS: major prophet who performed miracles but was not God DEATH OF CHRIST: he didnt die or rise SALVATION: Work toward salvation; good deeds must outweigh bad ones JESUS: second person of eternal Trinity; added humanity in the incarnation DEATH OF CHRIST: died and rose in same physical body SALVATION: Free gift of forgiveness and physical resurrection via faith in Christs atoning work BIBLE: corruptedBIBLE: not corrupted

23 1.Can all religions be true: No, they teach opposites! 2.Can one religion be true: Yes, if we take off our blinders and see which religion corresponds to reality. 3.Do other religions have some truth? Yes, but since the opposite of true is false, if one religion is true, then all opposing beliefs in other religions are false. Summary Can All Religions Be True?

24 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions answered

25 Contradictory Truth Claims Regarding Salvation Christianity– by faith alone in Christ alone Islam– by belief in Allah, his prophet Muhammad, and good works Hinduism– by overcoming karma and reincarnations with good works Buddhism– by cessation of desire through eight-fold path Humanism– by education in this life (no afterlife)

26 Summary: What Do Major Religions Teach About Salvation? Since the major religions make contradictory truth claims about salvation, they cannot all be true.

27 Outline 1.What is Truth? 2.Can all religions be True? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions answered

28 Is There Only One Way? by Dr. Norman Geisler Are All Religions True?

29 Is There Really Only

30 Is There Only One Way? Christianity says yes because: Jesus Claimed It Jesus Proved It

31 Jesus Claimed It John 14:6 I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 10:1,9 I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber…. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.

32 His Disciples Affirmed It Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. 1Tim 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus….

33 1. Fulfilling P rophecies; 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life; 3. His Death and Resurrection Jesus Proved It By:

34 Human Race Woman, Gen 3:15 Ethnic Group Abraham, Gen 12:1 Tribe Judah, Gen 49:10 Dynasty David, 2 Sam 7:12 How Virgin, Isa 7:14 Where Bethlehem, Mic 5:2 When 33 A.D., Dan 9:24

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36 1. There are more manuscripts. 2. They are earlier manuscripts. 3. They are more accurately copied manuscripts. 4. They are confirmed by more translations and quotations. The Reliability of the Witnesses

37 Reliability of NT Documents

38 1. There were more witnesses. 2. They were contemporary witnesses. 3. They were honest witnesses. 4. They were confirmed by history. The Reliability of the Witnesses

39 1. Fulfilling P rophecies 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life a. No other religious leader was sinless. b. No other religious leader was miraculous. Jesus Proved It By:

40 1. Fulfilling P rophecies; 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life; 3. His Death and Resurrection Jesus Proved It By:

41 Evidence Jesus Died 1.Nature of his wounds (whipping, crucifixion and spear in side) ensured death. 2.His mother, friends and closest disciple witnessed his death. 3.Romans, who were professional executioners, pronounced him dead.

42 Evidence Jesus Died 4.Pilate double-checked to make sure Jesus was dead. 5.The Jews never denied the account of Jesus being buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea (a member of the Sanhedrin).

43 Evidence Jesus Died 7.Non-Christian writers from the first and second centuries recorded the death of Jesus (e.g. Josephus, Tacitus, Thallus, Lucian, Phelgon, The Jewish Talmud.) 8.In light of the historical evidence, modern medical authorities have verified his death.

44 JAMA March 21,1986, p Clearly, the weight of historical and medical evidence indicates that Jesus was dead before the wound to his side was inflicted and supports the traditional view that the spear, thrust between his right rib, probably perforated not only the right lung but also the pericardium and heart and thereby ensured his death. Accordingly, interpretations based on the assumption that Jesus did not die on the cross appear to be at odds with modern medical knowledge."

45 Evidence Jesus Rose

46 1.The Jews admitted the tomb was empty and no one could produce the body. 2.Jesus made 12 different physical appearances over 40 days to over 500 people. 3.Many Jewish priests were converted (Acts 6:7, cf. Acts 15:5) and thousands of unbelievers were converted (Acts 2:41).

47 Evidence Jesus Rose 4.Jesus unbelieving brother James, and Saul, an ardent opponent of Christianity, were converted. 5.Scared, scattered, skeptical disciples were transformed into the worlds greatest missionary martyrs overnight.

48 If Jesus claimed to be the only way-- and proved his claims by three sets of miracles-- then Jesus really is the only way. Conclusion Is There Only One Way?

49 Why is Jesus the Only Way? Because: Gods unchanging justice must be satisfied Sinful man cant satisfy it Only the perfect God-man can satisfy it

50 Why is Jesus the Only Way? Because: Gods unchanging justice must be satisfied Sinful man cant satisfy it Only the perfect God-man can satisfy it

51 Why is Jesus the Only Way? Because: Gods unchanging justice must be satisfied Sinful man cant satisfy it Only the perfect God-man can satisfy it

52 Why is Jesus the Only Way? Man God Because only the God-Man can bridge between God and Man God-Man

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54 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 3.What do major religions teach about salvation? 4.Is there only one way? 5.Questions answered

55 What About Those Who have Never Heard? 1.We know that God is just and wants everyone to be saved (Gen 18:25, 1 Tim 2:4, 2 Pet 3:9). 2.Everyone has heard there is a Creator God (Psalm 19, Rom 1). 3.Everyone knows of sin because of the Moral Law/Conscience (Rom 2).

56 4.Are they lost? Yes, everyone is lost because everyone has sinned (Rom 3:19, 23). 5.Is this fair? Yes, because they have chosen to suppress the lights of Creation and Conscience (Rom 1, 2), and it would be unloving of God to force himself on those who have rejected the light theyve been given. What About Those Who have Never Heard?

57 6.Can they be saved apart from the work of Christ? No, because Christs sacrificial atonement is the only way God could reconcile his infinite love and infinite justice (Rom 3:26, John 14:6, 1Tim 2:5). What About Those Who have Never Heard?

58 7.Can they be saved apart from the knowledge of Christ? The New Testament seems to say no (Acts 4:12, Rom 10:14). 8.Is this fair? Yes: because those that diligently seek God will get the knowledge of Him (Heb 11:6, Acts 10:35) What About Those Who have Never Heard?

59 9.But what if the missionary fails to get there? God has other means of communication (radio, Bible, tact, etc.) We may fail God, but doesnt fail us (Acts 10:35; Heb. 11:6). What About Those Who have Never Heard?

60 God could have prearranged events so that all those who dont hear would not have believed anyway (Acts 17:26-27). All who die in infancy go to heaven (Isaiah 7:15; 2 Sam 12:23; Mark 10:14; Rom. 5:19). The bottom line is that, since God is just, no one will go to Hell who should go to Heaven (and vice versa). What About Those Who have Never Heard? Other important considerations:

61 What About Those Who Are Sincere? Sincere Belief: This ship is unsinkable! 1.Sincerity is not a test for truth. a.You can be sincerely wrong (Prov. 14:12).

62 What About Those Who Are Sincere? 1.Sincerity is not a test for truth. a.You can be sincerely wrong (Prov. 14:12). Sincere Belief: This is a two- way street!

63 What About Those Who Are Sincere ? 1.Sincerity is not a test for truth. a.You can be sincerely wrong (Prov. 14:12). b.You must be sincerely right.

64 What About Those Who Are Sincere? 2.A truly sincere seeker of God: a.Wants God to save them (Heb. 11:6) b.Wants God to save them Gods way: Jesus said, If anyone chooses to do Gods will, he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. (John 7:17) Paul said, For they being ignorant of Gods righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. (Rom. 10:3)

65 Summary Objections to Christian exclusivity falsely assume that: 1.Only Christianity is exclusive in its claims 2.Christians believe theres no truth in other religions 3.Jesus claim to be the only way is arbitrary 4.More than one way to God is possible 5.Those in non-Christian cultures have no know- ledge of God and no chance to accept Christ 6.God can only use missionaries to get the Gospel to people

66 Is There Truth in Other Religions? Yes, they have some truth, but They dont have the whole truth; They dont have saving truth; They are a system of error.

67 E t t t t t t T e e e e e e System of Truth with some error System of Error with some truth

68 Why is Jesus the Only Way? Man God Because only the God-Man can bridge between God and Man God-Man

69 The End Jesus said: Unless you believe in me, you will die in your sins. Paul said: If you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that God raised him [Jesus] from the dead you will be saved.


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