Jesus, the ONLY Way of Salvation

Why Jesus? Why is Jesus the 
way of Salvation?


So, we come now to one of the most common and urgent questions of our day. Why do Christians claim that Jesus is the 


way of salvation? 

Mind you, there are many Christians who claim that He is not the only way of salvation. Some Christians claim that God somehow saves people through Jesus, even though those people don’t pledge commitment to Jesus, or even know Jesus. God applies the salvation Jesus won, but the people don’t have to profess salvation in Jesus. They would argue that God did this for all people who lived before Jesus’ time on earth, such as Abraham. They would also argue that people who never had opportunity to hear about Jesus could also be saved based on their faith in God of what they did know. Others (many!) would argue that Jesus is a path of salvation for some, but not for everyone. There are other paths of salvation, but for Christians it is Jesus.

Standard and historical Christianity (what we call “orthodoxy”) asserts that salvation only comes through Jesus. Acts 4:12 says about Jesus, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (NIV). Or again, Jesus plainly says, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6).

For me, there are four arguments that validate this orthodox Christian position that Salvation comes only through professed faith in Jesus Christ.


Jesus: Liar, Lord, or Lunatic?

I continue answering the question:
Well, if there is a God, then why should someone believe that Jesus is the only way?
In my last blog, I tackled the inherent weakness of spiritual relativism. We have to separate tolerance from acceptance. But even the words tolerance and acceptance are not very helpful. I can tolerate my kid’s bad behavior, but I act to stop them. I may accept my friend’s choices, but I don’t have to approve.
Perhaps a different starting point is more helpful. Rather than starting from the belief or action, we can start with the person. After all, our primary desire with others is to love them. So, rather than tolerate or accept, I love. Sometimes this love means tolerating. Sometimes it means accepting. But tolerating or accepting are never ends in themselves. This is the key difference with our modern culture. Our culture puts acceptance as the core value. It is not for Christians. Love is. Above all, I pledge to love others. This may mean there are times I must not tolerate or accept their beliefs or actions. Yet, even when I don’t, I still uphold my commitment to love them.
To love others also means to strongly commit to my own beliefs. I do not compromise on what I belief in order to accept others. I accept others based on my love for them, not on their beliefs. So, I can accept people and not accept their beliefs. Now we’re digging deeply into love. Do you see how again it is less about reason and information, and more about relationships? So, because I hold strongly to my beliefs, and I love others enough not to say they are okay no matter what they believe, and because I love them more than I want to insist that I am right, I enter into relationship with them to talk with them as a friend. This changes the conversation!


Spiritual Relativism

This summer I’ve been blogging about how we can know that God exists. This came from discussions I’ve had with youth this spring who are asking critical questions about their faith. In my previous blog I took a break from the more rational arguments and told my own story of how I came to put my trust in God. A crucial question that I wrestled with is a question I have been asked recently as well. I’ll try to offer my response here (and yes, again, it will be longer than one blog!).

Question: Well, if there is a God, then why should someone believe that Jesus is the only way? Is there any evidence?
In our culture of relativism today, this one is so often discussed, and so often compromised by the Church. We love to be tolerant, understanding and sympathetic. It is so much more politically correct to say that each faith expression has validity and meaning, and it is right for those who believe it. No one faith has priority over the other, and no one is right over and above the others. We all generally acknowledge a Higher Being, but we all prefer if everyone believes whatever he or she may wish. Added to this the fact that religion has divided the world since the beginning, and many wars have been fought over it. Certainly this cannot be godly, no matter what you believe. The bloodshed spilled over rightness of one belief system over another should prompt us more educated folk to steer away from such dogmatic claims of “I’m right and you’re wrong.” A much kinder, gentler approach is “live and let live.” Still further (the argument I never not hear) is that Christianity is the religion of the West. If we lived in another part of the world, we would be equally devout Muslims, or Hindus, or Buddhists, or such. Certainly the majority of the world could not have been wrong throughout history! (When you consider history, more people have lived and died as “other” than those who have accepted the Judaeo-Christian faith tradition).


Christ My Co-Pilot

I’ve been sharing a lot about the rational arguments for God in my recent posts. Yet for me, ultimately, putting my trust in God was not a rational decision. It was a leap of faith.

There came a point in my personal life that I had to make a personal surrender to Jesus. Even though I have shared so much learning in my previous blogs this summer, when it comes right down to it, God is not something you learn. Jesus is not simply a cognitive idea. Faith is far more than a set of beliefs. God is a person, someone you learn to live 

with and for

, someone you experience and grow with. I have come to experience personally that our God is not an idea that merely engages the mind, but that He is a real being who engages your whole person. This God I keep talking about is someone I have personally met, and have experienced vividly in my own life, and is someone with whom I have a personal, ongoing relationship.
Let me tell you I came to know Him.


God in Three Persons?

Anyone who takes their faith seriously struggles with many aspects of belief in God.  Anyone who reads the Bible with thoughtfulness will often run into confusion.  It’s what happens when a finite mind tries to comprehend the infinite God.  Among the most confusing doctrines Christianity has to offer is that of the Trinity.  God as three-in-one.  One God, three persons. 

“So you worship three Gods?”

No, no, God is one, there is only one God. 

“So Jesus was not really God then?” 

No, no, Jesus was and is God, and the Holy Spirit is God and there is still only one God. 


Is God Real? Spiritual Arguments

In my last blog, I presented some logical arguments for God’s existence. This time I will make this more personal, and give some of my own spiritual arguments for why I believe God is real.

Another proof that is powerful for me is my experience of spiritual reality. I have come to know that what is perceived empirically is not all that is real. I have experienced things that cannot be explained using science. Even science documents things it must conclude are real. For example, medical healings are documented well above the accepted range of error. X-rays, CAT scans, MRIs show tumors, fractures, ruptures, lesions, illnesses, blindness, cripplings, etc. that are there one day and not the next. Doctors have shared with me how they have become believers because during practice too many of their patients had been healed!! Medicine even has terms for the changes brought on by prayer, healings and other unexplainable outcomes. It is way too high to be simply accounted within the realm of error.

I have also personally felt the reality of the spiritual realm. God has given me, on occasion, perception of a spiritual sense. I can’t explain it, but it is as real as what I can see or touch. Others may say I’m loopy, but I myself know better (especially how I am usually so rational). 


Is God Real? Logical Arguments

I continue my response to questions I’ve been asked by youth exploring faith issues. In the previous two blogs I try to explain my balance between thinking rationally about my spiritual beliefs, and taking spiritual things by faith. I now, with this balance as my perspective, take up the first specific question. It is, “How can I know God exists?”
Is God real? Well, there are a lot of rational arguments for and against. There are many famous proofs for God’s existence, and any good book will lay them out. They are all good and helpful, at least to a certain extent. The Scholastics, of whom Thomas Aquinas is the champion, asserted 5 classic
a posteriori (based on observable facts) arguments for God’s existence. In his Summa Theologica
(see I:2:3; Cont. Gent., I, xiii), he lays them out as these (I stole this summary from a Catholic web site): 
1. Motion, i.e. the passing from power to act, as it takes place in the universe implies a first unmoved Mover (
primum movens immobile


Extra Room

Have you ever wanted to feel guilty about the state of your immediate surroundings?
Do you think contentment should remain an unreachable ideal?
Does a part of you prefer to spend time with finicky, whiny people?
How about money? Do you want to get rid of yours?
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, simply change the channel to HGTV where you will be inundated with creative, smiley people buying, selling, fixing and upgrading other people’s homes.  Each episode is a journey into a litany of the homeowner’s desires and the creative output of the designer.  The transformations are amazing and the show always ends with the emotional reveal in which people cover their gaping mouths and wipe away tears of joy.  Smiles and hugs all around.


Apologetics 2 Christian Faith – A Leap

This blog continues the previous blog. I am committing to a summer of apologetics, responding to questions young adults have asked me. Before I tackle individual questions, I lay a foundation for why Christian faith, although reasonable, ultimately does not rest on logical explanations of faith. To continue, then . . .
Of course what I have been explaining is taught in Scripture (or else I wouldn’t have bothered!). Jesus comes to the first disciples and says to them “follow me.” Their decision indeed included critical thinking, but I believe that if that were all they used, they would have reasoned it best NOT to follow. Instead they each took a leap of commitment and placed their allegiance to Jesus. Notice that this was well before they had any real or deep understanding of Jesus or His plan of salvation. Their commitment was a personal commitment to Jesus–not to any ideas or beliefs or understandings, but to a person. Or look at the people of whom Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven.” Each of these people didn’t profess any understanding, but instead demonstrated a trust. Look closely at Scripture wherever it says that people must believe in Jesus to be saved (obvious example, John 


Apologetics 1

Apologetics 1: Faith Is Not Critical Thinking


I have been talking with students this spring, and they are asking some pretty good questions about the Christian faith. I’m going to attempt, in my blogs over the summer, to address some of these questions in written response. This is called, in Christian history, as 


 It doesn’t mean that we apologize for our faith. It means that we offer reasonable defense of our faith that explains to non-Christians why we believe what we believe. Although there are so many better Christian apologists available to folks, I will offer my perspective. Yet I will begin with my belief that faith, although supported by critical thinking, is still a commitment of the will. I will write in the first person, as if I am speaking to someone about this. To God be the glory!



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