Is Jesus the Only Way?
Dear Dawson, There are so many different religions, and they all seem like good options to me. But Christians say theirs is the only true religion. Is Jesus really the only way?
You've essentially asked a question of truth: What is truth, and how can I know it?
Let's start by looking at what Jesus said about himself: "I and the Father are one" (John 10:30). He claimed to be God. He also claimed to be the only way to God: "No one comes to the Father but through me" (John 14:6). That's why Christians say Jesus is the only way—because Jesus said so.
Truth is truth whether we believe it or not. Sincerely believing something doesn't make it true. If I believe two plus two equals five, I'm dead wrong, no matter how sincerely I believe it.
Some "truths" are determined by society, and others are determined by the physical nature of the world. For instance, the penalty for speeding is determined by society: If you drive too fast, you pay a fine—an arbitrary amount determined by society. But other truths in the world will never change, no matter how society feels about them. Like gravity. If a billion people voted to suspend the law of gravity for one hour, would any of them test that law by jumping off a 10-story building? Of course not, because that truth—the law of gravity—exists, no matter what anyone thinks.
Christians believe Christ is sort of like gravity: He's real and he's the truth, no matter what anyone else thinks.
You say other religions seem like "good options," probably because you see good people, living good lives, doing good things. Most world religions include principles of living in harmony, and that kind of living will bring some fulfillment. But does it bring peace with God? Does it bring eternal life?
Most religions require you to do good things to earn your way into heaven. But who can be good enough? By contrast, Christianity is the only major religion where you're saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). You're saved by putting your faith in something God has done, not something you can do.
Ultimately, that's what it comes down to: Faith. I can't prove to you that Jesus Christ is God. That takes faith. But if you take a close look at the evidence for Christ's life, death and resurrection, you'll see that Christianity is hardly a blind faith. If you're convinced Jesus rose from the dead, it's not hard to believe he's the only way.
I encourage you to do some further research into the evidence for Christ's claims. I suggest two books by Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict and More Than a Carpenter, and two by Paul Little, Know What You Believe and Know Why You Believe.
May the truth set you free.
Dawson McAllister is a popular youth speaker with Shepherd Ministries. He also has a live, nationally syndicated radio call-in program for students ("Dawson McAllister Live"), at 8 p.m. (EST) every Sunday night. Call your local Christian radio station to find the show in your area. You can also check out his site on the Internet (http://christianradio.com/dmlive/).
Got a question about the Christian faith? Send it to "Dear Dawson," Campus Life, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188. You can also reach "Dear Dawson" via fax (630-260-0114).
Copyright © 1997 by Christianity Today/CAMPUS LIFE magazine.