CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Evangelical scholar and Southern Evangelical Seminary co-founder Norman Geisler spoke on the pluralistic aspect of Christianity at the school's 20th annual Christian Apologetics conference last weekend and answered the question of whether there are several ways to God.
Religious pluralism is the belief that all religions are true and that all faith-based roads lead to heaven. Geisler focused his message on the Biblical passage of Acts 4:1, which states that salvation is only found in Jesus Christ and no one else.
"Jesus is the only way because the Bible says it to be true," said Geisler. "Why? Because only He can bridge the gap between God and man, there's no other way."
He said that although it seems narrow to suggest that Jesus is the only way, the notion holds true while adding that it is logically possible, historically probable, Biblically necessary and morally justifiable that He is the only way to heaven.
"All views can't be true because all views are opposite, this is the logical aspect. For example, Islam says we are good in nature, Christianity says we are born in sin. Islam says God is a man, Christianity says He is more than a man, He is God, all truths can't be the same," said Geilser.
Historically speaking, Geisler said Jesus is proven to be the only way to God because Christianity is a form of exclusivism, meaning the belief that only one religion is true and others opposed to it are false. He emphasized that the Bible has been the world's bestselling book, and that Jesus has the most followers in the world compared to other religious figure. In addition, he noted that Jesus' principles have been admired by people, including non-Christians, for many years.
"Only Jesus has prophecies made hundreds of years in advance made literally true, only He did miracles, only His immediate followers claimed He died and rose from the dead so in comparison, He comes out superior to other great religious leaders," said Geisler.
The SES co-founder also said that any person that believes in the Bible, needs to believe that Jesus is the only way because the Bible itself mandates all of God's followers to uphold its teachings.
Regarding moralism, he said there are several moral objections that exist regarding Jesus as the only way to God, including the view that Christianity as an exclusive religion is unjust. However, Giesler said everyone has the light of God, the general revelation in nature and in conscience, to know that His truth is morally righteous.
"Pluralism is denied logically, inclusivism is denied scripturally and that leaves us with exclusivism…you have to know that Jesus died and believe in it in order to be saved," said Giesler.