Is christianity the
only true Religion?
Here’s a short answer and a
there are lots of religions in the world, as perhaps you’ve noticed. So how can Christians presume our religion is the only right one? The short answer is we shouldn’t. Our religion isn’t the only right
one – if by “the only right one” we mean everything our
religion says is right and everything every other religion
says is wrong.
If we assert such a strict either/or, we are denying
one of the fundamental claims of our own religion –
Furthermore, Christianity obviously
has a lot in common with both Judaism
and Islam – we can’t ignore that. In fact,
Christianity has at least a few teachings
and practices in common with pretty much
every other religion in the world. Christian
missionaries have been building on those
common features for centuries.
Admittedly, that short answer leaves
a lot of loose ends. To help with some of
those, let’s try out a way of thinking about
religions that uses ideas from geography and maps. (Like
any metaphor, this one has important limitations, the
most important of which is that it doesn’t foreground
the Christian conviction that what matters most is our
personal relationship with Christ. So let’s consider it with
Religions, we can say, offer us maps of reality and some
directions on how to best negotiate that reality.
As such, religions that fail to describe reality with
any kind of accuracy (or to tell us how to negotiate it effectively) eventually fall out of use in favour of religions
that do a better job.
Thus it follows that religions that do work, at least
somewhat, will make assertions about reality that overlap with assertions made on other maps that work, at
For example, if we’re trying to walk from one side of
Venice to the other, any effective map is going to include
a description of the Grand Canal and at least one of the
very few bridges that cross it.
has a lot in
and Islam –
JoHn StAcKHoUSe teaches at Regent College,
Vancouver, and is the author of Humble Apologetics:
Defending the Faith Today (Oxford, 2006).