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August 22, 2020 1:00 am
Christianity claims to be the only way, but so do some other religions. How do you know which one is true? What makes Christ different from other religions figures? This week on Let My People Think, RZIM's Founder, the late Ravi Zacharias, examines these questions as he explores the uniqueness of Christ in world religions.
How does one really never come to grips with. If it is not in contrast with conflicting truth claims. What do you do when there are things truth claims. Welcome to let my people think turnover needs to be treated in that way, does Jesus really stand above other religious figures such as Buddha, the homage of the Dalai Lama think is have little problem creeping Jesus alongside other religious leaders naming him as a QT chat or enlightens any data. Some even going to call him a prophet but to acknowledge him.
His deity is going to fall for Christ declarations about himself allowed to know. He claimed to be the only way for God to how does his claims stand up for going to find out and fast path. The message from Ozzie IMs found at the late Ravi Zacharias entitled the uniqueness of Christ in wild religion is Robbie. I have a difficult us.
This is not an easy subject that is been assigned to me. Although my field of study is philosophy of religion and I doing off a lot of lecturing on the theme around the world. I also want to be very very sensitive because it is easy to bring offense when you're dealing with something like this.
It is easy to trample under foot truths and ideas that others greatly treasure and none of us wants that done that which we believe and why end up doing it to what someone else believes that is the positive and the noble aesthetic side of it, but the counterpoint is how does one really ever come to grips with truth, if it is not put in contrast with conflicting truth claims. What do you do when there are conflicting truth claims and therefore what I would like to do. Ladies and gentlemen, as I introduce my message is first of all, set the foundation for the laws of logic that do contradictory statements.
Both cannot be true only one of them may be true both of them may be false, but both of them not be true unless the laws of logic do not apply to reality and if one denies that the laws of logic apply to reality.
How do we ever even converse the moment you open your mouth.
You assume a meaningful statement is about to be made and if somebody challenges that statement. How do you anchor anything in reality, I mean, a scientist cannot possibly take two conflicting measurements for the same thing. A pilot listening to the guidance that is coming from the tower is not going to take two opposite numbers both to be true unless in one sense, one of them becomes qualified asserting something else. So what I'd like to do is first established, the laws of logic. Some of you may be familiar with that argument, but many of you may not be in, so I'd like for you to hear that, but the second thing I want to do is deal with the major attacks that Christianity has had to face, particularly from Islam. So I'm not going to deal with Islamic doctrine.
I'm not going to try and debunk any of the doctrines I'm just going to try to present to you. What is the problem the Christian faces in trying to communicate somebody to hold to Muslim worldview. What is the difficulty the Christian faces in communication and I can assure you I will do that as sensitively as I can for at least a couple of reasons, not date as possible. The proper thing to do, but I have the privilege by many Islamic governments around the world to be in that country and lecture and dialogue and this year is no exception.
I will be in three Muslim countries speaking and their kind enough to host me. I want to be respectful of the fact that they're willing to give us a hearing and the other thing is I have serviced some of the greatest respectful wanted to find Islamic scholars around the world today, particularly one by the name of Jamal by the way, in the United States who is a very fine gentleman and makes dialogue much easier as we talk I will highlight the tensions that I have presented in such situations and they realize it, but it is important to know that having sub. The logical base, then having sub the greatest tension in a dialogue with the other monotheistic worldview that is principally trying to in some way undermine the Christian faith is not explicitly implicitly then I will move on to the uniqueness of Christ in world religions.
I won't have time to deal with the pantheistic worldviews that other Eastern beliefs are dear to those of you are interested. We have a lot of material where you analyze pantheism again within itself rather than just in a comparison of the two JND Anderson, who now rights under the name of Norman Anderson is written very heavily in the field of comparative religions. One of the finest books.
He is written ahead is called Christianity and world religions. So Norman Anderson operating out of England was our scholars, a scholar still writing, although in his senior year is very much an authority in history, philosophy and law, and in his book Christianity and world religions. He gives three major distinctives that come under the category of a unique proclamation a unique salvation and a unique disclosure, I greatly encourage you to get a hold of that. It is very succinct and very well done by a fine contemporary thinker. Here is the law of logic as it applies to reality. I remember speaking. Please bear with me for those of you familiar with this illustration, but it is the most incisive one that I can give to you I were speaking in one of the United States Western cities when one of the professors was attending the lectureship and asked me to speak against an Eastern religion which I said I would not do. He said I'm an American, I belong to that other Eastern religion.
Let's just call it X and he said that and I have taught this X religion in my lectures and so on. I want you to speak on the subject.
Why you do not subscribe to the dogma religion X and my students will take you apart after your lecture. I said no I really don't want to do that.
I said I've learned when you throw mud at others not only do you get your hands dirty. But you also lose a lot of ground and he accepted that I said but I will tell you why I am a Christian. I will speak on that subject at the end of the talk. He was quite vociferous in his denunciation of what I'd said and he basically took me to task at the front of the lecture room attacking the fact that I didn't understand logic and so on. I said look, when were going to get anywhere let's go out for lunch. You pay and I'll pray and we'll get together so we got together for lunch any restart.he brought a professor of psychology with him and the psychologist and I finished our lunch while the philosopher hadn't even started his his food had become congealed in front of him and he had taken off these paper placemats of all the tables to draw out his argument and basically what he was trying to say was this that there are two kinds of logic. Actually he was wrong. There are more and he said there are two kinds of logic. One is the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction means of something is true. The opposite of it is false. If something is true. The opposite of it is false. It is called an either or logic.
If I say to you, for example, there is a red car parked immediately outside the steps. There, if that statement is true. The opposite of it is false. I'm not at the same time saying that red car is not part out there. It is either true or false. I just given you a simple illustration if it is a then it is not known at the same time you basically establish the either or dogma, and he says Robbie that is the law of non-contradiction that is either or. That is a western way of thinking Westerners think either are. I said I disagree with the last statement. Why did you rub it off he wouldn't do it. So then he moved to the Eastern way of thinking.
He said in the East you do both and it is a dialectic you don't say either this or that is a both this and that Karl Marx use the dialectical system. It was not either the employer or the employee you put them together and you find a classless society both employer and employee going to get unclassified funny thing they never show you one for that talk about it that there is a boat and dogma in the dialectic tuples of an argument. There and he says you see Robbie.
He said that dialectical system is Eastern.
The dialectical system is Eastern and I said why don't you cross out the last line because I don't agree with you, but he refused to cross it out what was trying to say was this I had talked about the many contradictions in certain pantheistic worldviews very strong contradictions and he said you see Robbie if you took the dialectical system to be true. Any time you came into a contradiction. You won't be puzzled by the sadness of the way they think they make opposite statements on both of them are right. So if you ask one follower religion X is God personally says yes to us a second follower religion X is God personally says no you go to the third person say which of these two is right and he says both of them. He says that so Eastern way of thinking. So you got ego got the either or, which is Western the bread sandwich is Eastern and he was waxing eloquent on this going on and on and on. Finally I said can I say something to you, sir. He said yes and he picked up his knife and fork and started to cut into squares morsel of food and as he was coming in the morsel of food I said, here's what you've told me there is an either or, which is Western. There is a both sandwiches, Eastern, and you want me to study religion X right now. Here's my question to Dr. are you telling me when I'm studying religion X.
I either use the boat on system or nothing else. Is that right that I either use the boat on system or nothing else. Is that right you know what he did. He put his knife and fork down and with a very nervous expression. I wish I had the cameras that the filament he says to me the either or does seem to emerge, doesn't it.
I said yes, in fact, I got some shocking news for you, even in India will look both ways before we crossed the street.
It is either the boss or may not do you see what he was doing he was using the either all hard with this to prove the boat he was telling me I either use the system or nothing else and he was staggered to realize that he used it every day so was not got nothing to do. Whether it's Western or whether it's Eastern it's got everything to do with that which best reflects reality.
And when Jesus says I am the way the truth and the life no man comes under the father but by me. It is a most reasonable statement. The question is, is it true.
It is a most reasonable statement because truth by definition is exclusive. The moment you affirm something you exclude anything that challenges that and the way you prove the law of non-contradiction is that by just talking and if anyone else stands up and challenges you against it by challenging you be approving you right that it is the what you're saying about their say of the Eastern understands this malady.
That's why the easterners says when the market opens all our foods, but the problem is his mouth opens to tell us that our is one of the famous mystic said he who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know well did he speak, and if he spoke, then he does not know, and if he does not know doesn't really matter if he spoke, the law of non-contradiction must apply to reality. If you deny the law of non-contradiction, you may as well talk about a one ended stick.
It cannot even be pictured leave alone stated because the opposite poles are very much in your mind of an either or their now.
It is therefore more logically possible that all the religions in the world are wrong but it is not logically sensible to say that all the religions in the world are right, it just can't be the pantheist affirm something very different to the theist, the theist affirm something very different to the atheist and you go on and on and write down the line and you find out that two contradictory systems cannot really be true. Now this is really the fundamental problem that I find as a Christian lecturer and a philosopher dealing with the Islamic worldview I find at least four basic challenges that they give to us that are impossible to meet that are absolutely impossible to meet because in the process of demonstrating those arguments against Christianity. Those arguments end up in a sense, self-destructing, and by the way, I have debated some of the best of them and the other part of the world. They are not. They have never really responded to this challenge. I'm not talking about their fundamental doctrines. I'm talking about their philosophical assumptions. The first problem I find is this to see if their profit is espoused by them which he is as being a prophet to the world.
He is espoused by them as being a prophet to the world, not just to Arabia or to the Middle East. He is the last and the final prophet to the world and he they say performed. No miracles because there was no need for it. The Koran is in itself a miracle. But here's the problem. The Koran is an Arabic and I do not. I am not given the privilege of even challenging its word usage. Please remember this is vital because you see when you take words or changes in the Koran which they will tell you have never been made. Although some great scholars like Ali dusty from it on challenge that assumption. The fact of the matter is, unless I know the language, I cannot perceive the miracle unless I know the language. I cannot perceive the miracle which basically means there are millions of people in the world to whom the language in which the Scriptures are written will ever remain completely foreign and the miracle becomes purely one of found by those who know the language it can never be tested in your experience because the English translations, they tell you and any other translations are not accurate X of the original as given in the original language.
How does one deal with the miracle that is not recognizable by the masses in society that presents a first problem there is a second problem it presents.
To me they abolish our authority, which is the Scriptures without an original with which to condemn ours so we are told by the scholars representing that view that the Bible we have is not the original Bible given.
It is a corrupt Bible that there are many contradictions in it. It is not an accurate reflection of Jesus Christ. For example, they espouse that Jesus never really died on the cross and therefore the resurrection was clearly a fabrication of later collectors of the ideas. Now let me ask you this, how does one never knows something to be truthful if there is not a unit by which to measure. There is no point of reference. If I were presented with an original. That clearly debunks what we do have, then the dialogue can begin.
But if I'm told. What I have is error-prone and wrong on the basis of something they have never shown to me.
How does one begin to dialogue to see the problem. It is like talking about the moon being so far away from here but saying we have no way to measure it, but take my word for it. That's authority. It is destroyed.
Our original authority and told us we have no authority now therefore the Bible has been taken away from the Christian and the Christian's got nothing left to defend because he does not have the original Bible. How does one begin a dialogue with that.
Thirdly, and very importantly here now, as you know, the Koran was written about six centuries after Jesus Christ. Now there problem was that what is happened is that the original absolute, which was given has been lost not remember that belief in a sovereign God of very sovereign God, but the original revelation is given and what they call the NGU. The Gospels has been lost. Now 600 years later, comes the latest and the greatest and the final revelation which means being succeeds in a 600 years later and be overruled say because a is lost and what we believe is now false that will be has to overrule a question if that is the way an absolute can be overruled. What is to keep see from coming in six centuries from now, and overruling the and after all isn't that what Joseph Smith really didn't in the founding of Mormonism is precisely what Joseph Smith did. He said all the religions of the world coming centuries after Islam. For example, Mormonism said all of the revelations of all become corrupt. Now he has come out the last of the greatest, and so on. Absolute sleep overruling absolute without any point of reference for the previous absolute just philosophically on arguably you cannot talk about it because there is no more possibility of discussing absolute, that is number three and number four this is a sad one, but it is true.
Many scholars of that school of thought reserve the right to impugn and debunk foods that we hold about our Lord.
But you cannot do the same with the names that are precious to them to follow what I'm saying. I can be told in the Koran that Jesus never died, which is what it is said out there and I can have people look at me and say that.
This is a blasphemy.
Jesus never claimed to be the son of God, which is completely wrong. He does claim to be the son of God, that the all kinds of concepts that are treasured truths.
The very cross and the empty tomb are so precious to us and the very person of Christ so precious to us.
How does one dialogue with two people talking while it reserves the right to impugn what B is defending but be is not given the same privilege of closely scrutinizing what a is defending these points of tension make meaningful dialogue very, very difficult with all respect for the scholarship. That's all I want to say to you about that system and I believe it is a hot and in the heart of that system because it philosophically does not really cohere in its fundamental assumptions. I have several others.
And I've got hours of material on that I just leave that with you so we've established the law of non-contradiction, that the laws of logic applied to reality we've established the fact that we have been attacked by one principle of the philosophy around a belief system around today, but that belief system self-destructs in its philosophical assumptions. So let me take the person of Christ and his uniqueness in the religions of the world and if you bear long enough, you will see how marvelously the applications move from one mind to another, each with its distinctive strength. First is Jesus's description on the reality of human nature. The reality of human nature.
He knew what was in the hearts of men and women many times as he talked to his antagonist or as he talked to those who had bitter questions about him or against him when he applied to them.
The Bible says he knew what was in the heart of man, and he faced the temptations that Satan cost his way. Also, without sending himself, but he showed us the reality of the human nature with which we all live.
I have not gone into a detailed study of this hellish act that is taken place recently that little two-year-old child so brutalized and savagely murdered by 210-year-olds.
How do you in England. How do you explain that Wayne is on this come from one did why Christians are person. It's about the singularity of that faith or if you believe in looking to onto the pluralists in your life. This message is quite worthwhile. If you'd like to order a copy of this message for yourself or someone you know Kulas at 1-800-448-6766 and owed at the uniqueness of Christ in world religions.
A number again is 1-800-448-6766. We can order firstname.lastname@example.org or is that I am.ca for days in Canada slicing infinity with Ravi Zacharias. The Bible tells us that no one can quote see God in this lifetime and live for his presence is overwhelming. Anyone in the Bible who has had that encounter felt quite overwhelmed yet. We read how Moses cried out that he would not cross over into the promised land unless God revealed to him his glory. God gave him a fascinating answer. There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock when my glory passes by. I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by then I will remove my hand and you will see my back, but my face said God must not be seen how life-changing that was for Moses. He merely saw the aftereffects of God's presence and that was enough. Although we may not be able to see God with our physical lives. We are certainly able to seek him with all of our heart and to know him in our innermost being the words of the great preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon surely applied to every seeker is what he says the highest signs the loftiest speculation. The mightiest philosophy which can engage the attention of a child of God is the name of the nature of the person, the doings and the existence of the great God, there is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the divinity. It is a subject so vast that all our thoughts are lost in its immensity so deep that our pride is drowned in its infinity. Other subjects we can comprehend and grapple with in them.
We feel a kind of self contentment and go on our way with a thought, behold, I'm wise, but when we come to this monster science finding that a plumb line cannot sound this depth and that our Eagle eye cannot see its height.
We turn away with a thought. I am but of yesterday and know nothing." The prayer of Moses was not unreasonable. He wanted a glimpse of God's presence.
Interestingly, the Hebrew word for glorious cover load which literally means weight or relatedness. The truth is that when we get a glimpse of God we see the hollowness of our own lives and the fullness of knowing him, even on aftereffect of God's presence, which is what Moses got sufficient to move him with fresh strength, friend. I sincerely hope that you will make a glimpse of the glory of God the most important prayer of your life.
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