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What makes Christianity different or true? Part 3

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

Christianity vs other major religions

We now consider the major differences between Christianity and other religions.

1. The Trinity

The very nature of God in Christianity is different from all the other religions.

The other major religions have various approaches to the nature of God and can be either polytheistic with several gods or monotheistic having one God. Others are non-theistic and have no significant god outside of themselves. Christianity is monotheistic but with a key difference: Christians believe in God who is One in essence but with three distinct personalities [1] namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This means that God has always existed in community shared by His three personalities. The Christian God has always been about relationship and has extended this to humankind though Jesus Christ.

2. The Gospel

The Gospel is the good news that Father God has provided a way for sinful people to be able to come to Him via the cross of Jesus Christ. This salvation is a free gift from God[2]. No law keeping, achievement, moral living, or performing religious rituals can save your soul. Jesus Christ, God the Son, became a man and died in the place of fallen humankind, but rose again from the dead to conquer sin and death.

Certain religions whilst agreeing that a person cannot provide their own salvation, but instead by trusting a human leader, they may be able to achieve some form of rebirth. Christianity is not a religion, but through faith in Jesus Christ, it is a relationship with God.

John 17:3 “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”

We also note that no other faith except Christianity follows a leader who claimed to be God and who also rose from the dead.

3. The Bible is authoritative and has repeatedly been proven to be true.

Historians and archaeologists have repeatedly confirmed the authenticity of the Bible. Ancient historians confirm both the person of Jesus as described in the Bible and the major events presented in the New Testament.

The Bible today is the same as what was originally written. The Dead Sea Scrolls confirmed the accuracy of the Old Testament, and original writings of the New Testament authors are preserved better than any other ancient manuscript. The early church accepted the New Testament books almost immediately, and that the writers were either associates of Jesus or His original followers.

The Bible claims that it is God’s Word (see 2 Timothy 3:16 and 2 Peter 1:21). Jesus also viewed Scripture as authoritative (see John 10:35 and Matthew 22:29). The New Testament authors believed what they were writing was in fact God’s Word (see 1 Corinthians 14:37, 1 Thessalonians 2:13).

Insights into the differences between Christianity and other Religions [3].

Narnia author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis comments that all religions do have some truth in them, and Lewis thinks that is what you would expect. Lewis thought that If you are a Christian, you do not have to believe that all the other religions are simply wrong all through.

However, if you are an atheist you do have to believe that the main point in all the religions of the entire world is simply one huge mistake.

Lewis felt it was atheism that wrote off all religious claims as false, while he was free to affirm truth wherever it was found. He accepted truths in other religions. He recognised the similarities – as well as the significant differences between religions. For Lewis, a commitment to Christ does not necessitate the denial of truth in other religions.

However, what makes Christianity unique is the incarnation, when God entered a specific historical place and time in the person of Jesus Christ.

This is utterly unique and is either true or false.

Lewis is quoted as saying [4], "If you had gone to Buddha and asked him 'Are you the son of Brahma?' he would have said, 'My son, you are still in the vale of illusion.' If you had gone to Socrates and asked, 'Are you Zeus?' he would have laughed at you. If you had gone to Mohammad and asked, 'Are you Allah?' he would first have rent his clothes then cut your head off. If you had asked Confucius, 'Are you Heaven?' I think he would have probably replied, 'Remarks which are not in accordance with nature are in bad taste.' The idea of a great moral teacher saying what Christ said is out of the question. In my opinion, the only person who can say that sort of thing is either God or a complete lunatic suffering from that form of delusion which undermines the whole mind of man."

[1] Athanasian creed. [2] See Ephesians 2:8. [3] See C.S. Lewis - Objection #10: Other Religions - Mark Conner [4] God in the dock C.S. Lewis

In Part 4 we consider the significant changes that belief in Christianity brings to a believer's life.

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