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With so many religions in the world, how can you say that Christianity is the only way? Isn’t Buddha as good as Christ?

By Michael L. Brown

Isn’t it the height of arrogance to claim that the only way people can come into right relationship with God is through Jesus?

At first blush, the answer would seem to be yes. After all, there are sincere, moral, deity-fearing people in every religion of the world. Why must Christians think that their religion alone is right? Why not follow the teaching of traditional Judaism that the righteous of every nation — not just Israel — have a place in the world to come?

Actually, it’s no more arrogant for Christians to say that Jesus is the only way to God than it is for others to say that Jesus is just one way among many — thereby declaring the belief of more than one billion Christians to be wrong.

The real question is: On what basis can we claim that Christianity alone brings people into right relationship with God? The answer is simple: Only the gospel provides a true antidote to the problem of sin.

Generally speaking, all religions recognize that human beings have somehow fallen short and become alienated from the godhead (singular or plural). The problem is how to receive forgiveness of sin and become reconciled with an offended or distant godhead.

We must therefore ask on what basis the deity offers forgiveness. Muslims and Jews do their best and hope for mercy. Hindus patiently bear their lot, hoping for a better life next time around. Buddhists seek for an ultimate nirvana. But none of these faiths provides a definite and certain answer.

What separates Christianity from every other religion is not so much the moral teaching of Jesus, or even the moral example of Jesus, but rather the fact that Jesus, the divine Son, took our place. He paid the penalty for our sins, thereby satisfying the justice of God and securing eternal salvation for all who believe.

If there had been any other way for mankind to be forgiven, Jesus would not have died. It is this fact alone — the necessary sacrificial death of the Son of God on the cross — that separates Christianity from all other religions. None of these religions have at their foundation a divine act that is unique and comprehensive for all people.

That’s why Jesus gave us the mandate to go into the whole world and declare the good news of His death and resurrection. And good news it is. No other religion in the world has its equal.

Michael L. Brown, Ph.D., specializes in answering Jewish objections to Jesus. His three-volume series on Jewish apologetics is published by Baker Books.

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