How can there be only one truth? In this new series, Cole and Terry discuss the claims of Christianity against some of the most common objections to Christianity. Starting with the question of exclusivity, they look at the nature of truth, different religions, and how it's possible to claim that Christianity it true amid all the other options.
There are two aspects to this question: the exclusivity of Christianity and the absolute truth of Christianity.
In general conversation on this topic, these are some common questions: “How can you be so sure you have the truth when there are many intelligent people in the world who believe differently? How can we be sure we are right and they are wrong?”
There is an emotional element to this topic – by telling someone we are right and they are wrong, it can seem like we are forcing truth on them when they have not come to that conclusion on their own. In our secular culture, to claim you are right and someone else is wrong is often interpreted as oppressive.
Another pop-culture rendition of truth is based on life experience. In this way of thinking, my life experience dictates my truth, and your life experience dictates your truth. This is extremely subjective as everyone’s life experience is different. With eight billion people on this planet, each living different lives, it can easily become a web of billions of different “truths,” thereby eliminating the possibility of objective truth.
There are two main elements in which this line of reasoning falls short.
This ideal that Western thought is giving us peace, equal rights for everyone, all religions are the same, etc. is a fairy tale and far from a realistic view of the world. It is naïve.
Denying a God’s-eye view of the world’s religions inadvertently requires a God’s-eye view of all the world’s religions – much like the analogy of the elephant as a way to describe different beliefs. In this analogy, all of them are wrong about the elephant. Yet that analogy presupposes the ability to see the whole animal.
In the midst of all this chaos, Jesus identifies himself as the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Truth is a person. We do not get to choose whether something is true. Only Jesus has authority to tell us what is true and what is false.
Christianity is the most inclusive-exclusive offer in all the world. Salvation is offered to everyone (inclusive) yet what one must believe to become a Christian is specific (exclusive).
Brittany Proffitt lives in Dallas and is a writer and content manager for So We Speak.