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 November 2006

We live in an age of growing religious pluralism, in which the uniqueness of Jesus Christ is being downplayed to meet the demands of political correctness and “the new tolerance.” We are now told that Jesus is not the way to God, but a way to God—one among many in the world. To suggest otherwise is to be ignorant, intolerant, insensitive, arrogant, fundamentalist, or just hopelessly out of touch with the enlightened consciousness of today’s world.

C.S. Lewis offers some valuable, clarifying insights about Jesus in relation to other religious figures in history. Speaking of Jesus as he is presented in Scripture, Lewis says,

On the one side clear, definite moral teaching. On the other, claims which, if not true, are those of a megalomaniac, compared with whom Hitler was the most sane and humble of men. There is no half-way house and there is no parallel in other religions. If you had gone to Buddha and asked him, “Are you the son of Bramah?” he would have said, “My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.” If you had gone to Socrates and asked, “Are you Zeus?” he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammed and asked, “Are you Allah?” he would first have rent his clothes and then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, “Are you Heaven?” I think he would have probably replied, “Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.” The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man. If you think you are a poached egg, when you are looking for a piece of toast to suit you, you may be sane, but if you think you are God, there is no chance for you. We may note in passing that He was never regarded as a mere moral teacher. He did not produce that effect on any of the people who actually met Him. He produced mainly three effects—Hatred—Terror—Adoration. There was no trace of people expressing mild approval.1

When we speak of Jesus to others, we must not bow to the pluralistic ethos of our culture and allow him to be reduced to one religious or moral teacher among others. He claimed to be God. Either he was or he was not. If he was not, we certainly should not believe in and follow him. If he was, we should present him as we find him in the Scriptures, knowing that some will be drawn to him while others will ridicule, reject, or persecute us because of him— just as they did the apostles and countless others through the centuries. As we speak to others of Christ with the same love and humility that he modeled for us, we can be assured that he will be glorified and his elect will respond.

I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
JOHN 14:6 (ESV)

1 C.S. Lewis, God in the Dock, “What Are We to Make of Jesus Christ?” (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans, 1970), pp. 157-158.

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