Why Is Christianity the Only Way?

April 22, 2005 — 5 Comments

For this series of posts, I want to respond to a comment made on my post on Tolerating the Intolerable:

But how can you be sure that your way is right? What actual, physical proof do you have that says that Christianity is right and Islam (or Judaism, Hinduism, etc.) is wrong? All you have to go on is your faith and your particular holy book. What makes the Bible any more or less true than the Torah or Koran? Why is Jesus any holier than YHWH or Allah? There is no real way to know who is right in religion. Maybe none of the modern religions are right. Maybe Zeus et al. are sitting up on Mount Olympus right now shaking their heads at us. Until we stop declaring that we are right and nobody else is, the world will constantly be in a state of turmoil. (Oh, and in case you couldn’t tell, I’m an secular humanistic Jew.)

I think I’m going to go at it backwards and answer the last question first:
Why is Jesus any holier than YHWH or Allah?
Since this person is Jewish, I will respect that and leave out all vowels in YHWH. First of all, in the New Testament, Christ refers to himself as God, YHWH:
“I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am.” (John 8:58)
So what makes that claim true? How can I say that Jesus really is God?
Well, as Lee Strobel puts it, “Anyone can believe that he or she is God. [But] Jesus didn’t just consider himself God’s Son, but he also fulfilled the attributes that are unique to God.”
He was omnicient, omnipotent , and omnipresent. During His time on earth, as recorded in Phillipians 2, he emptied himself of his attributes when he was incarnated.
“He made Himself nothing, taking the nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Phillipians 2:7)
Collosians 2:9 states, “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.”
And John 8:29 tells of his eternality, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Jesus was God and he did claim to be God.
How can we believe that Jesus was and is God? I’d like to take a look at the prophecies of the Old Testament.
You will have to admit that all prophecies of the coming Messiah were written some 400 years before Christ was born.
Many Christians will first point to what looks to be a fortelling of the Messiah in Isaiah 53, which points out 12 aspects of Christ’s Passion:
He would be rejected, a man of sorrow, live a life of suffering, be despised by others, carry our sorrows, be smitten and afflicted by God, be peirced for our transgressions, be wounded for our sins, would suffer like a lamb, would die for the wicked, would be sinless, and would pray for others.
All of these things were fulfilled in the life of Christ, but many modern Rabbis reject that Isaiah was talking of a coming messiah, and insist that he referred to the Jewish Nation. Norman Geisler says, “It was common for Jewish interpreters before the time of Christ to teach that Isaiah here spoke of the Jewish Messiah. Only after early Christians began using the text apologetically with great force did it become in rabbinical teaching an expression of the suffering Jewish nation. The view is implausible in the context.”
Lee Strobel lists some of the other major predictions about the Messiah (all fulfilled by Jesus):

  • He would be born of a Virgin (Genesis 3:15)
  • He would be of the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3; 22:18)
  • He would be of the tribe of Judah (Genesis 49:10)
  • Of the House of David (2 Samuel 7:12-16)
  • Born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
  • He would be heralded by the Lord’s messenger (Isaiah 40:3)
  • He would cleanse the temple (Malachi 3:1)
  • He would be “cut off” 483 years after the declaration to
  • reconstruct Jerusalem in 444 B.C. (Daniel 9:24-27)
  • He would be rejected (Psalm 118:22)
  • He would have his hands and feet peirced (Psalm 22:16)
  • His side would be peirced (Zechariah 12:10)
  • He would rise from the dead (Psalm 16:10)
  • He would ascend into heaven (Psalm 68:18)
  • He would site down at the right hand of God (Psalm 110:1)
  • Lee Strobel then goes on to say that the “exact fulfillment of so many specific predictions is such a persuasive apologetic that critics have reapeatedly raised objections to try and negate them.”
    And I’m going to attempt to address some of those in my next post.
    Part Two: Objections Addressed

    Tim Sweetman

    Posts

    Tim Sweetman is a 22-year-old writer, blogger, and student who lives near our nation’s capital, Washington D.C. He has been much more widely known by his “code-name,” Agent Tim. This name also served as the name of his popular blog, which received over 750,000 visits between 2005 to 2007. In 2005, he quickly rose to become a leading teenage spokesperson and cultural critic within the booming blogosphere, taking on issues such as MySpace, alcohol, homeschooling, pride, racism, tolerance, and other topics relating to our culture today. His blog has come to the attention of people such as Albert Mohler, C.J. Mahaney, Alex and Brett Harris, and La Shawn Barber. Tim’s written work has appeared in Lifeway’s Living With Teenagers (February 2012), Lookout Magazine, FUSION Magazine, The Brink Online, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Virtue Magazine, Regenerate Our Culture Online Magazine, and on many other blogs and websites across the internet like Marry Well and the Lies Young Women Believe Blog. He has also been featured in WORLD Magazine, The Towers Magazine, and Maryland Newsline. He is scheduled to have an article appear in Veritas Magazine this December. Most recently, his work can be found on Focus on the Family’s Boundless Webzine. His personal interests include writing (surprise!) and sports, both watching and playing. He is a die-hard Washington Redskins fan.

    5 responses to Why Is Christianity the Only Way?

    1. It is as C.S. Lewis so aptly put it, either Jesus is the Christ as He said, He is a lunatic who has led the majority of the people in the world in falsehood, or He is an outright liar. And if He is, then He obviously can NOT be a good moral teacher.

    2. I’ll get into that later…

    3. He is a lunatic who has led the majority of the people in the world in falsehood, or He is an outright liar.

      That’s never struck me as persuasive – at all. Sure, he’s one of ‘em. So? I s’pose that tact will work with people raised as Christians, and who fell from the flock.

    4. jpe…
      I’m addressing that in my 3rd post. I won’t claim to be persuasive, but after reading that the first time, I thought what you thought. Then I dug deeper and now see how it can be persuasive (not alone of course).

      Tim

    Leave a Reply

    *

    Text formatting is available via select HTML. <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>