In Christ Alone?

A common challenge faced by Christians in today's pluralistic world is how to respond to the claim it's arrogant to believe Christ is the only route to God.

What is Pluralism?

Pluralism essentially teaches that any belief system is legitimate. It's the view that all roads lead to God and we're free to simply choose whichever belief system we want to follow. In other words, God will accept any sincere attempt to reach him.

It sounds gracious on the surface, but there is no biblical authority for that view. And when you think about the pluralistic world-view, its both self-refuting and just as arrogant as the Christian view that Jesus is the only legitimate route to God.

Actually, it's surprisingly simple to expose the self refuting and arrogant nature of the pluralists position.

Why is it self-refuting?

If all religions are equally true and valid, then Christianity, being a religion, must be true and valid. Yet one of the essential claims of Christianity is that it alone is true to the exclusion of all other religions, which are lies of the devil, so Christianity can't be true and valid under the pluralist's definition after all.

And what the pluralist or skeptic fails to understand is that most of the world's major religions make that same claim of exclusivity, so the pluralist view fails that test against whichever religion you choose.

As for the arrogance of the pluralist's position, in essence the pluralist is saying, "you think you know what God finds acceptable? You're wrong, I happen to know what God finds acceptable and I say God will accept any legitimate attempt to reach Him."

But it's not enough to make that claim, or any claim for that matter. You need to be able to support it. Everyone believes something; there is no such thing as spiritual neutral ground. If you reject Christianity, then there is clearly something else you believe, so when skeptics challenge the Christian's claim, they are fair game to explain and defend their own beliefs.

How should we respond to that claim of arrogance then?

When someone makes the claim that all roads are acceptable to God, don't let the statement pass unchallenged. Simply ask the speaker what evidence he or she has to support that view. If they say all religions are essentially the same, then ask them in what way all religions are the same.

Most people aren't going to be able to give you a solid answer; they've never thought about their own belief systems, and they're especially not used to being asked to explain or defend their beliefs.

And if you get hit square in the face with that charge of arrogance, consider a dialogue along these lines, in response: Skeptic: You're intolerant and arrogant.

Believer: What do you mean by that?

Skeptic: I mean, you think you're right and those who disagree with you are wrong.

Believer: Well, tell me then, do you think you're right?

Skeptic: Of course.

Believer: Well help me understand something then. Why is it when I think I'm right I'm arrogant or intolerant and when you think you're right, you're just right?

The goal is not to be quarrelsome, but Christians have to stop letting themselves get pushed around by self-refuting arguments that are so often used against us.

Simply point out to the speaker that they're doing the exact same thing to you they accuse you of doing.

By Doug Walker Doug is a passionate apologist who loves helping people engage their minds with the truths and reasons of the Christian faith.