Four Common (and Unhelpful) Responses to the Exclusivity of Christ

Four Common (and Unhelpful) Responses to the Exclusivity of Christ

When Christians claim Christ is the only way, we’re expressing a vital detail of our worldview. This is not intolerance, arrogance, or narrow-mindedness. And it’s more than just our opinion. We could be wrong, but only reasoned arguments could reveal that.

The most offensive part of the gospel, and the most common objection to Christianity proper, is the idea that there is only one way to God: Jesus. It’s offensive because it seems arrogant, bigoted, and narrow-minded. The claim is often met with one of four common and unhelpful responses. They might sound legitimate, but they aren’t. Here’s why.

“It’s intolerant or arrogant to think you’re right.”

Believing you’re right doesn’t make you intolerant. A simple illustration makes this clear. Imagine you have a friend who goes to the doctor. The doctor tells your friend, “You have cancer, and you need an operation.” And your friend responds, “You’re mean!”

What would you think of your friend if she ignored her doctor’s advice because she thought the doctor was mean to say she had cancer? You’d probably think your friend’s comment was silly, even foolish. It’s silly because it isn’t mean to give a diagnosis someone doesn’t like. It’s foolish because even if the doctor is mean, he could still be right. Your friend could still have a deadly disease.

The response “You’re intolerant” or “You’re arrogant” to the claim that Jesus is the only way amounts to the same thing: “You’re mean.” And it’s also silly and foolish. Just because someone doesn’t like the spiritual diagnosis, that doesn’t mean the Christian has a character flaw, and there’s always the outside possibility the Christian might be right. The “intolerant” challenge is just a way of ignoring or dismissing the claim by attacking the Christian. Whenever the challenge is about the person, not the view, you know it’s aiming at the wrong target. This is an ad hominem fallacy, and it’s not a valid response.

Christians think that people are dying of the disease of sin and that radical surgery must be performed by Jesus. This doesn’t mean we’re right, but it does show that simply dismissing our claims on the grounds of alleged intolerance or arrogance misses the point.

Read More

Scroll to top