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Beyond Teachable Moments
After quite a break from posting – it was summer after all – here is a sequel post to my last one that looked at Christianity in a World of Religions.
First, a question. How would you answer this?
What are the major aspects of Christianity that make it stand out from all other major religions?
One of my all-time favorite lectures on Christianity and religious pluralism was by Craig Hazen of Biola University. In it, he sets out some deceptive simple ideas that most Christians do not have a clue about. What he does is paint the picture of Christianity that we all know, but juxtaposes it against other religions in a way that is startling. You are left realizing that Christians rarely appreciate what we have.
Here is one no brainer fact of about Christian doctrine that you may not have thought about but which make it stand apart from all of the other major world religions.
Salvation is free
Okay, you know this. We all ‘know’ that Christian salvation is free, even if we sometimes don’t act like it is. My guess is that many of us are so used to the idea of having to ‘earn’ favour or friendship or respect that we have a difficult time really accepting that our salvation is actually free in the sense of being unearned. But if you understand Christian doctrine accurately, salvation is free, and that in itself is freeing.
Consider this. Under Islam, salvation is earned. Your good deeds must outweigh your bad ones and you are never quite sure – not even Mohammad was sure – of your eternal destination. I have heard numerous Muslim converts shake their heads at how easily Christians overlook this aspect of their faith. They say that the weight of uncertainty about their salvation under Islam was pure bondage.
Under Buddhism and Hinduism, salvation is earned through your own effort, but it can take millions of lifetimes to achieve it…
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