Thursday, June 13, 2013

Is One Way the Only Way?

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This is a good sermon by Greg Koukl about religious pluralism, which is very popular these days. The basic argument against this, though (which is detailed in the sermon), is that contradicting ideas cannot both be correct. This has to be one of the most relevant subjects around right now, as the belief that "you believe what you want and I'll believe what I want and everything is okay" is so rampant. It's a nice point of view and I wish it were true, but it's just not logical.

What's good about this sermon is, at the end, Greg appeals to the heart. He says that everyone has something inside them they don't like. We can attribute this to many things, but maybe, deep down, it's guilt; and if we all feel guilty, maybe we are guilty. I don't know if I can say that everyone essentially feels guilty in life, but I would say that most people, if they examine the innermost of their hearts, would recognize that something is broken. Jesus claimed to fix this, and I think He's right.

Here is the sermon (several lines down, "Is One Way the Only Way"). And here are some notes:
  • Calling someone intolerant isn't addressing the issue, but rather attacking character.
  • Every claim of truth is narrow, Christian and not...
  • Narrow-mindedness is having a prejudice towards other views; having blinders on and not considering other views.
  • Argument against pluralism:
    • The fundamentals of religions contradict -- someone has to be wrong and someone has to be right, but they can't all be right.
  • The identity of Jesus was the central issue to Jesus
    • "I came to seek and to save that which was lost, to give my life as a ransom for many."
    • Being the Messiah and the Son of God are two things...
      • Claiming to the be the Son of God meant to be equal to God back in those days
      • It's what Jesus was killed for -- his claim, not his acts
  •  Jesus claimed to be the only way to heaven over 100 times
    • His followers all said the same thing
    • He either knew he was right or wrong about this.
      • If he knew he was wrong, he was a liar. 
        • Jesus as a liar doesn't fit with his teachings.
      • If he was wrong and wasn't lying, he was crazy.
      •  If he wasn't crazy or lying, he was right.
  • The cross contained an agony we can't understand -- the complete wrath of God.
    • When they crucified people, there was a sign above them that detailed the crime for which they were hanging. When they died, it was crossed out = debt paid.
      • When Jesus had paid all of the debt, he cried out "It is finished," and gave up his spirit.
      • We trade our punishment for his atonement.
  • Religions are valuable insofar as they solve a problem.
    • Get the problem right, and the right solution.
    • People suffer from misplaced sincerity all the time.
    • Christianity solves the problem of a broken relationship with God
      • Rejoins God as our King/Father, and us as subjects/sons
  • Something true about everyone:
    • When we look deep down inside ourselves, we see something we don't like that we don't want anyone to see.
      • Being privately aware of this inner moral brokenness is guilt - everyone feels it.
      • Why do we feel guilty? Maybe we ARE guilty.
        • This is the problem. The answer is not denial, but forgiveness (exactly where Jesus comes in).

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