In this section we will explore some of the things in the first section a bit more clearly and deal with some more of the reasons why Christianity is unique.
As was said in the previous section, there are a vast number of world religions and viewpoints. The fact that no nation has lived without some belief in God would suggest that God wants man's worship, and man needs to worship God. However, to many He remains the unknown God. There is only so far a person can get by inference and then no further - one must meet Him, hear from Him or both. A central Christian belief that matches the experience of many people is that humans cannot discover their Creator unless He chooses to disclose Himself. Christianity, as already stated, believes that this is what God did when He came down in the form of Jesus Christ - He showed us what He was like and enabled us to get to know Him (John 14v7-9). Without this, how can a man possibly know God a s all religions strive for? It is rare to find people from other religions claiming that they PERSONALLY know God, here and now as a personal friend and Lord, and are sure of their salvation, but this exactly what Christianity claims (Luke 1v1-4; John 5v2 4, 6v47; 1 Peter 1v8-9; 2 Thess 1v10; Phil 3v8, etc.)
Another difference between Christianity and other religions is
the understanding about the character and nature of God. The God
of Hinduism is plural and impersonal, of Islam is singular and
personal, of Buddhism is not personal and not creative. God in
Christianity is a personal Creator, a single Being but with three
distinct persons called the Trinity. It is hard to see how such
different characters could in actual fact be the same Being.
Christianity makes three distinct claims with which no other religions agree:
1. That Jesus is actually God (John 1v8)
2. That the Bible is the Word of God so has final authority (2 Timothy 3v16)
3. That salvation is by grace through faith and not works, as was previously discussed (Ephesians 2v8)
Given the New Testament's unequivocal claim that Jesus was God, we cannot say that He was merely a great moral teacher, since a great moral teacher would not lie about His identity (and be killed for it). So if Jesus isn't a liar, then He was either a lunatic, a legend or, as He in fact claimed, the Lord.
Lunatic? If He
was a lunatic, deluded in believing Himself to be God, He could
not have done the marvellous work He did and gathered the support
Legend? If He was merely a nice man whose disciples distorted and exaggerated the things He said and did (a legend), then firstly, they would have concocted an elaborate lie and died for it and secondly, this would not match up with the experiences of thousands of people since who claim to have met Him and found life in Him.
Lord! The conclusion for many is that Jesus is and was in fact who He claimed to be - the Lord God.
One of the biggest factors of proof for Jesus being God was the resurrection (Romans 1v4). The resurrection has been examined historically by many people and there is not space here to include their conclusions. Suffice to say that it is one of the surest facts that can be historically analysed and one which some lawyers believe they could prove in a court of law based on it's strong evidence. It is possible to visit the tombs of many great political and religious leaders, but Jesus tomb is empty, proving that He is alive and has power over death and life.
There have been many things discussed in this debate, some of which you may disagree with or agree with and would like to discuss more. For example, some people may wonder what will happen to so many people from other religions who have never heard about Jesus, or have questions about the Trinity or resurrection or maybe just want to hear more about how Jesus' death and resurrection can provide salvation for a person. If you have any comments or questions, a completely confidential e-mail address is provided below to which you can write and ask further quest ions and we will endeavour to provide an adequate answer. Or, if you would like to talk to someone, again please feel free to write to the e-mail address to try and arrange a time to meet.