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Religious Pluralism …is the belief that: All religions are true All roads lead to heaven All the sincere will be saved …is the belief that: All religions.

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Presentation on theme: "Religious Pluralism …is the belief that: All religions are true All roads lead to heaven All the sincere will be saved …is the belief that: All religions."— Presentation transcript:

1 Religious Pluralism …is the belief that: All religions are true All roads lead to heaven All the sincere will be saved …is the belief that: All religions are true All roads lead to heaven All the sincere will be saved

2 On the Roads Again “I believe all roads lead to the same place. We’re taking different ways to get there, but we all end up in the same place. It’s kind of like Kinky Friedman’s statement, ‘May the God of your choice bless you.’ That’s the main thoughts that I have about life” (Time 8/7/06, p. 6).

3 Oprah Winfrey’s Pluralism I believe that there are many paths to God…. I certainly don’t believe that there is only one way…. There couldn’t possibly be just one way to God …. I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity” (the Oprah Winfrey Show 1/3/94). I believe that there are many paths to God…. I certainly don’t believe that there is only one way…. There couldn’t possibly be just one way to God …. I am a Christian who believes that there are certainly many more paths to God other than Christianity” (the Oprah Winfrey Show 1/3/94).

4 Eckhart Tolle: All Religions are the Same “…Due [in part] to an influx of the ancient Eastern wisdom teachings, a growing number of followers of traditional religions are able to let go of identification with form, dogma, and rigid belief systems and discover the original depth that is hidden within their own spiritual tradition at the same time as they discover the depth within themselves…” (A New Earth, 18).

5 Bishop George Conger “Christians understand that Jesus is the route to God. That is not to say that Muslims, or Sikhs, or Jains come to God in radically different ways. They come to God through human experience of the divine. But to assume that God could not act in other ways is, I think, to put God in an awfully small box” (Church of England Newspaper, 4/17/09).

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9 Outline I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true? III. Is there only one way? I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true? III. Is there only one way?

10 Outline I. What is truth?

11 What is Truth?

12 What is Truth? Truth is what: Corresponds to the facts

13 What is Truth? Truth is what: Corresponds to the facts Matches its object

14 What is Truth? Truth is what: Corresponds to the facts Matches its object Tells it like it is

15 A true statement matches its object “This object is a table.”

16 What is False? False is what does not: - Correspond to the facts -Match its object -Tell it like it is

17 Opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. Opposite ideas cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. The Opposite of True is False (The Law of Non-Contradiction) The Opposite of True is False (The Law of Non-Contradiction) The Earth is Round The Earth is NOT Round

18 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) 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)

19 Self-Defeating Claims Aim at Something Else: Hit Yourself

20 Apply the claim to itself! Examples... Answering Objections to Objective Truth:

21 A Self-Defeating Statement “I can’t speak a word in English.” “Didn’t he say that in English?”

22 “Truth is not telling like it is!” A Self-Defeating Statement “Isn’t that telling it like it is?”

23 “Opposites can both be true.” A Self-Defeating Statement “Is the opposite of that true?”

24 A Self-Defeating Statement “There is no truth.” “Is that true?”

25 A Self-Defeating Statement “You can’t know truth.” “How do you know that is true?”

26 “There is no absolute truth!” A Self-Defeating Statement “Is that absolutely true?”

27 A Self-Defeating Statement “It’s true for you but not for me!” “Is that just true for you but not for me?”

28 A Self-Defeating Statement “Nothing is true for everyone!” “Is that true for everyone?”

29 “No one knows the truth!” A Self-Defeating Statement “Then how do you know that is true?”

30 “Truth about God isn’t objective!” A Self-Defeating Statement “Is that an objective truth about God ?”

31 1.All truth claims are absolute, narrow and exclusive. (Even the claim that “Every religion is true” excludes its opposite.) The Truth About Truth

32 2. Truth is discovered, not invented. It exists independently of anyone’s knowledge of it (Gravity existed prior to Newton). The Truth About Truth

33 3. Beliefs can not change a fact, no matter how sincerely they are held. (I can sincerely believe the world is flat but that only makes me sincerely wrong.) The Truth About Truth

34 3. Beliefs can not change a fact, no matter how sincerely they are held. (I can sincerely believe the world is flat but that only makes me sincerely wrong.) The Truth About Truth 4. Truth is trans-cultural (2+2=4 here, there, and everywhere).

35 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. The Truth About Truth

36 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. The Truth About Truth

37 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. b) Being raised a racist does make racism true. 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. b) Being raised a racist does make racism true. The Truth About Truth

38 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. b) Being raised a racist does make racism true. c) Being raised a bigot does not make bigotry true. 5. Being raised in a given culture doesn’t make their beliefs true. a) Being raised a Nazi doesn’t make Nazism true. b) Being raised a racist does make racism true. c) Being raised a bigot does not make bigotry true. The Truth About Truth

39 6. One’s Attitude Doesn’t Change the Truth a) A bad attitude about truth does not make it an error. b) A good attitude about error does not make it true. 6. One’s Attitude Doesn’t Change the Truth a) A bad attitude about truth does not make it an error. b) A good attitude about error does not make it true.

40 The Truth About Truth 7. Objective Truth Can’t be Denied a)The denial of objective truth makes a claim to be an objective truth. b)The claim that “There is no objective truth” is an objective truth claim. 7. Objective Truth Can’t be Denied a)The denial of objective truth makes a claim to be an objective truth. b)The claim that “There is no objective truth” is an objective truth claim.

41 1. Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 2. You can believe everything is true, but everything can’t be true. 3. Objective truth can’t be denied without being affirmed. 1. Contrary beliefs are possible, but contrary truths are not possible. 2. You can believe everything is true, but everything can’t be true. 3. Objective truth can’t be denied without being affirmed. Summary The Truth About Truth Summary The Truth About Truth

42 In Banking Truth is Absolute “It doesn’t matter what the Bank says is in my account, but it is how much I feel should be there that counts.”

43 Medicine Demands Absolute Truth “It doesn’t matter whether the Doctor gives you poison or not as long as you feel good about it”!

44 Legal Oath Demands Absolute Truth “I swear to tell the expedient, the whole expedient, and nothing but the expedient, so help me future experience”!

45 Truth is Absolute in Religion 1.The claim that “Religious truth is subjective” is not a subjective truth claim about religion. 2.The claim that “Religious truth is not objective” claims to be an objective truth about religion. 1.The claim that “Religious truth is subjective” is not a subjective truth claim about religion. 2.The claim that “Religious truth is not objective” claims to be an objective truth about religion.

46 Outline 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true? 1.What is truth? 2.Can all religions be true?

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49 Except the one with his eyes open to the truth! The truth is absolute: This is an elephant!

50 Outline I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true? I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true?

51 All Religions Can’t Be True: Because They Teach Opposites Islam with Christianity Let’s contrast:

52 ISLAM GOD: Only one person CHRISTIANITY GOD: 3 persons in one God HUMANITY: Sinful by natureHUMANITY: Good by nature JESUS: Merely a man, not God. DEATH OF CHRIST: He didn’t die or rise again SALVATION: By faith plus works when good deeds outweigh bad ones JESUS: More than a man; He was also God. DEATH OF CHRIST: He died and rose again in same body SALVATION: Not by works but is a free gift of God for all who believe BIBLE: CorruptedBIBLE: Not corrupted

53 Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. But Don’t They Have Things in Common?

54 Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. But Don’t They Have Things in Common?

55 Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. But Don’t They Have Things in Common?

56 Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. 3) Both have a “20” on them. Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. 3) Both have a “20” on them. But Don’t They Have Things in Common?

57 Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. 3) Both have a “20” on them. But one is a counterfeit! Yes. So Do a Counterfeit and a Genuine $20 Bill. 1) Both are paper. 2) Both are rectangular. 3) Both have a “20” on them. But one is a counterfeit! But Don’t They Have Things in Common?

58 How to Tell a Counterfeit Not by superficial similarities But by crucial differences

59 1.Can all religions be true: No, they teach opposites! And opposites can’t both be true. 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’s claims are true, then all opposing claims in other religions are false. Summary Can All Religions Be True? Summary Can All Religions Be True?

60 Outline I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true? III. Is there only one way? I. What is truth? II. Can all religions be true? III. Is there only one way?

61 Is There Really Only

62 Is There Only One Way? Christianity says “yes” because: Jesus Claimed It Jesus Proved It

63 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.”

64 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….”

65 1. His Fulfillment of P rophecies 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life 3. His Death and Resurrection No other religious leader did this! Jesus Proved It By:

66 MUHAMMAD Not Virgin Born JESUS Virgin Born SinlessNot Sinless Not Messiah Not Word of God Called Messiah Did MiraclesNo Miracles Called Word of God Body in Grave Body in Heaven Comparing Leaders: According to Islam and the Qur’an

67 Comparing Great Religious Leaders Characteristic Jesus Muhammed Buddha Confucius Virgin Born Yes No No No Sinless Yes No No No Prophecy Yes No No No Did Miracles Yes No No No Resurrection Yes No No No Ethic Highest Not Not Not Following Greatest Not Not Not Characteristic Jesus Muhammed Buddha Confucius Virgin Born Yes No No No Sinless Yes No No No Prophecy Yes No No No Did Miracles Yes No No No Resurrection Yes No No No Ethic Highest Not Not Not Following Greatest Not Not Not

68 1. His Fulfilling P rophecies Jesus Proved It By:

69 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

70 Joseph Smith’s False Prophecies Temple to be built in Missouri before the living will die Coming of the Lord within 56 years (by 1891) Copyright of Book of Mormon would be sold in Canada by Smith’s reps Temple to be built in Missouri before the living will die Coming of the Lord within 56 years (by 1891) Copyright of Book of Mormon would be sold in Canada by Smith’s reps.

71 False Prophecies of the Jehovah’s Witnesses End of the Age will be: All were wrong! End of the Age will be: All were wrong!

72 What About Psychic Predictions? They are often vague They are usually wrong When right, they are: Reading trends Employing trickery Reading personalities Using inside information Using power of suggestion They are often vague They are usually wrong When right, they are: Reading trends Employing trickery Reading personalities Using inside information Using power of suggestion

73 THE PSYCHICS SCORE CARD THE PSYCHICS SCORE CARD THE PEOPLE'S ALMANAC: 66 OF 72 WRONG (92%) THEY MISSED EVERY MAJOR UNEXPECTED STORY: MICHAEL JORDAN'S RETIREMENT MIDWEST FLOOD ISRAEL-PLO PEACE TREATY WHAT ABOUT THE PREDICTIONS OF NOSTRADAMUS? HE NEVER PREDICTED HITLER (A PERSON) BUT “HISTER” (A PLACE) HE NEVER PREDICTED A SPECIFIC CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE HE NEVER MENTIONED CALIFORNIA BY NAME HE NEVER GAVE A YEAR FOR IT IT WAS ONLY A BIG QUAKE FAR AWAY ON SOME MAY 10 th HE WAS OFTEN WRONG IN HIS ALMANAC PREDICTIONS MOST OF HIS PREDCTIONS WERE VAGUE THE PEOPLE'S ALMANAC: 66 OF 72 WRONG (92%) THEY MISSED EVERY MAJOR UNEXPECTED STORY: MICHAEL JORDAN'S RETIREMENT MIDWEST FLOOD ISRAEL-PLO PEACE TREATY WHAT ABOUT THE PREDICTIONS OF NOSTRADAMUS? HE NEVER PREDICTED HITLER (A PERSON) BUT “HISTER” (A PLACE) HE NEVER PREDICTED A SPECIFIC CALIFORNIA EARTHQUAKE HE NEVER MENTIONED CALIFORNIA BY NAME HE NEVER GAVE A YEAR FOR IT IT WAS ONLY A BIG QUAKE FAR AWAY ON SOME MAY 10 th HE WAS OFTEN WRONG IN HIS ALMANAC PREDICTIONS MOST OF HIS PREDCTIONS WERE VAGUE

74 1994: FAILED PSYCHIC PREDICTIONS QUEEN OF ENGLAND WOULD ABDICATE KATHIE LEE GIFFORD WOULD REPLACE JAY LENO CINDY CRAWFORD WOULD HAVE TRIPLETS HILLARY CLINTON WOULD PLEAD GUILTY OF SHOPLIFTING CHARLES MANSON WOULD GET A SEX-CHANGE OPERATION WHITNEY HOUSTON WOULD MARRY MIKE TYSON AN AFRICAN PLANT WOULD CURE AIDS VOLCANIC ACTION WOULD MAKE A LAND BRIDGE TO CUBA MADONNA WOULD MARRY BOY GEORGE SEARS TOWER WOULD LEAN LIKE TOWER OF PISA NATIONAL LOTTERY WOULD CUT TAXES IN HALF TEEN WOULD BUILD AND DETONATE NUCLEAR BOMB IN SC MADONNA WILL MARRY A SHEIK AND BECOME A HOUSE WIFE QUEEN OF ENGLAND WOULD ABDICATE KATHIE LEE GIFFORD WOULD REPLACE JAY LENO CINDY CRAWFORD WOULD HAVE TRIPLETS HILLARY CLINTON WOULD PLEAD GUILTY OF SHOPLIFTING CHARLES MANSON WOULD GET A SEX-CHANGE OPERATION WHITNEY HOUSTON WOULD MARRY MIKE TYSON AN AFRICAN PLANT WOULD CURE AIDS VOLCANIC ACTION WOULD MAKE A LAND BRIDGE TO CUBA MADONNA WOULD MARRY BOY GEORGE SEARS TOWER WOULD LEAN LIKE TOWER OF PISA NATIONAL LOTTERY WOULD CUT TAXES IN HALF TEEN WOULD BUILD AND DETONATE NUCLEAR BOMB IN SC MADONNA WILL MARRY A SHEIK AND BECOME A HOUSE WIFE

75 1. His Fulfillment of P rophecies 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life Jesus Proved It By:

76 Jesus was Sinless

77 A. Jesus said: “Which of you convicts me of sin?” (Jn. 8:46). B. Those Who Knew Him Best Said: “For we... have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Heb. 4:15). “Christ [is] a lamb without blemish or defect” (1 Peter 1:19). “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22). “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous…” (1 Peter 3:18). “He is righteous” (1 Jn. 2:29). “He is pure” (1 Jn. 3:3). “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us….” (2 Cor. 5:21).

78 C. His Enemies and Others Said: Judas: “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood” (Mt. 27:4). Pilate: “I am innocent of the blood of this just person” (Mt. 27:24). Pilate’s Wife: “Have nothing to do with that just man…” (Mat. 27:19). A Centurion: “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Lk. 23:47). A Centurion: “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:54). The Thief on the Cross: “This man has done nothing wrong” (Lk. 23:41). The Herodians: “Teacher, we know that you are true, and teach the way of God in truth: nor do you care about anyone, for you do not regard the person of men” (Mt. 22:16).

79 Jesus Proved It By Miracles: Nicodemus: “Rabbi, we know you are teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him” (John. 3:2). Peter: “Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves know…” (Acts 2:22).

80 Jesus Proved It By Miracles: Hebrews 2:3: “God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His will..”

81 1. Walking on Water 2. Multiplying Loaves 3. Healing One Born Blind 4. Turning Water into Wine 5. Healing a Man Born Lame 6. Raising a Dead & Decaying Man 7. Raising Himself from the Grave! Jesus Proved It By:

82 1. His Fulfillment of P rophecies 2. His Sinless and Miraculous Life 3. His Death and Resurrection Jesus Proved It By:

83 Evidence Jesus Really 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.

84 Evidence Jesus Really 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).

85 Evidence Jesus Really 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.

86 Journal of American Medical Ass’n “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.” (March 21,1986, p. 1463).

87 Evidence Jesus Actually Rose

88 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).

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

90 The Twelve Appearances of Christ PersonsSawHeard Touched Other Evidence 1.Mary X X X Empty tomb (Jn. 20:10-18) 2.Mary & Women X X X Empty tomb (Mt. 28:1-10) 3.Peter X X Empty tomb/clothes (1Cor. 15:5) 4.Two Disciples X X Ate with Him (Lk. 24:13-35) 5.Ten Apostles X X X** Saw wounds, ate food (Lk. 24:36-49; Jn. 20:19-23) 6.Eleven Apostles X X X** Saw wounds (Jn. 20:24-31) **Offered Himself to be touched

91 The Twelve Appearances of Christ Persons SawHeard Touched Other Evidence 7.Seven Apostles X X Ate food (Jn. 21) 8.All Apostles XX (Mt. 28:16-20; Mk 16:14-18) Brethren XX* (1Cor. 15:6) 10.James XX* (1Cor. 15:7) 11.All Apostles XX Ate with Him (Acts 1:4-8) 12.Paul XX (Acts 9:1-9; 1Cor. 15:8) *Implied

92 Yes! Because Jesus claimed to be the only way, and He proved it in three miraculous ways. So, He is the only way to God. Conclusion Is There Only One Way?

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

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