The logical steps that inevitably make the claim that God revealed His Will in Jesus Christ into an unconditional and exclusive truth claim are fairly simple:
(a) Christianity says that the universe was created by God, and that this universe is the perfect embodiment of His will or plan;
(b) Furthermore, it claims that this God has revealed His Will to humankind, and that this revelation is the Christian doctrine as it is ’embodied’ in Jesus Christ;
(c) This Divine Will is governing the entire universe including humankind, i.e., it governs everything that has ever existed, that exists, and that will exist;
From (b) and (c) it follows (d) that the Christian doctrine must claim a universal and unconditional truth as the revelation of God.
Why? Well, firstly, there can only be ONE WILL that truly governs the entire universe. Secondly, there can only be ONE TRUE DOCTRINE that conveys this one will to the humankind. Therefore, this doctrine MUST BE intolerant towards all traditions it sees as rivaling doctrines that convey the will or plan of God. As I said, it has to construe these doctrinal rivals either as the corruptions of the devil of the true doctrine in the worst case or as pale and erring variants of its own doctrine (which might contain some ‘rays of light’, that is, traces of divine revelation) in the best case. From this, we can conclude (1) that Christianity cannot but be intolerant towards the traditions it construes as religious rivals, and (2) that Christianity has an intrinsic drive to spread its doctrine among those who are not yet aware that God has completed His revelation in Jesus Christ. This either/or zero sum game characterizes Christianity and its monotheistic rivals, Judaism and Islam. As I said, when you negate this exclusive aspect, you simply deny that Christianity is the message in which God reveals His plan for the universe, and that would amount to a denial of the existence of Christianity itself. Exclusivity or self-denial are the only two options for Christianity, whether Eastern or Western, Protestant or Catholic, Orthodox or Baptist, Pentecostal or Seventh-Day Adventist. This is not because of historical developments, but because of the intrinsic structure of the Christian religion (Please see Balagangadhara’s book for further explanation).
- Professional Competence
- Atheism: a secularized theism—Jakob de Roover