Questioning Authority: – A Necessary Step for Us All

By Gregory Koukl

As children grow, they shouldn’t believe that Jesus is the only way of salvation simply because their pastor says so or because their parents raised them that way.

I recently spoke with a father who told me about his son who had gone away to a Christian college and was confronted by a professor who denied that Jesus was the only way for salvation. This professor then went on to say that there are many roads to God, and that if you didn’t think there were, that meant you were narrow-minded.

Some of you who have been around for a while already see what’s wrong with this challenge. The professor is disagreeing with Jesus on that point, and with those who Jesus taught to take the message after Him.  He is also disagreeing with almost every other religion in the world, except for Baha’i, because every religion holds that it’s the only way, and the other religions are mistaken. 

What’s ironic is the professor, thinking he’s taking the tolerant, broad-minded road, is actually disrespecting all the other religions of the world. Many of you have never thought of it that way before. But He’s just as narrow-minded, if that’s narrow-mindedness, as anyone else.

If he thinks that “all roads lead to Rome,” somebody ought to ask him a question, and that question is, How does he know that?

This is the second Columbo question–a very important one. The first one is, What do you mean by that?  The second is, How do you know that?  Did God tell him that? Is this the deliverance of a line of rational thinking that can’t be gainsaid? 

If he’s going to make the claim, he’s got to support the claim. He who makes the claim bears the burden of proof. He can’t just say it. It’s controversial. He’s got to say why he’s right. The student has no obligation to answer him, defend his view because it’s the professor’s obligation to defend his view.

Secondly, why is somebody narrow-minded if they think that their view is correct over and against somebody else’s? Does the professor think his view is correct over and against the student’s view? Of course he does. That’s why he disagreed with him.  But that doesn’t make him narrow-minded. You see, this professor doesn’t know what “narrow-minded” is…

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Stand to Reason: Questioning Authority – A Necessary Step for Us All

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