Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

In the next fifty years, the greatest theological challenge that evangelicals will face will be the increasing pressure to compromise the exclusive gospel for a pluralistic world. So asserts a recent study by Christianity Today, in response to discussions with various evangelical theologians. Ironically, the same study asserts that one of the greatest missiological issues that evangelicals will face in the next fifty years will be increasing persecution as the gospel is proclaimed around the world.

The two are not entirely unrelated. When facing persecution and opposition, the temptation to deny the exclusive claims of Christ is inevitable. It has been this way since the time of the Roman persecutions. In the western world, sadly, theologians and missiologists will deny these claims not in fear of physical suffering or imprisonment but in fear of being perceived as being intellectually narrow or conservative. The threatened loss of academic respect and the desire to be seen as theologically progressive or innovative have led to a weakening of the theological foundations of many who call themselves evangelical scholars.

The call is to return to a biblical understanding of tradition which views as suspect theological innovation that goes beyond what the Church has always understood as being apostolic teaching, as revealed in Scripture. It is not the call of the theologian to be innovative.
A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled "Is Jesus Really the Only Way?" in which I address the various ramifications of denying the exclusive claims of Christ. I have recently updated it. You can download it from our website at

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