A Brief Word on Christ’s Resurrection and Religious Pluralism
guest blog by Austin Gravley*
To date, the undisputed number 1 post on Another Ascending Lark would be my post on 9/11 and Religious Pluralism. This post alone gets at least 75 views a day, and this post has single-handedly boosted my all time view count to 26,000 views since this blog began in August 2010. Given that today is a holy day for people all over the world, why not revisit the question of religious pluralism again?
The truth of Christianity hinges on whether or not Jesus Christ rose from the dead (1 Cor. 15). If this claim is true, then Jesus is God. If Jesus is God, then any religion where Jesus is not God is necessarily false (the law of non-contradiction). You cannot affirm that Christianity (the religion where Jesus is God) is true alongside any of it’s contradicting belief systems. And yet so many people do this. Why?
As I write this post, I remember a conversation that took place during Beach Reach with one of the girls who was with us. We had just picked up a group of girls and were taking them across the island, and the girl who was assigned to our van began striking up dialog with them. One of them in particular was very talkative and her friends retreated into silence as this one talkative passenger began talking carrying on a conversation with the female missionary. Eventually, the conversation turned to what the passenger’s spiritual beliefs were. She said something to the effect of, "I used to be a Christian, but now I guess I could say that I am a Christian Buddhist. I think the teachings of Christ are similar to the teachings of Buddha so I believe both of them are true." I was unable to join this conversation (let’s just say this girl was hardly dressed and I wasn’t in a position where looking at just her face was an option), but to our missionary’s credit, she handled things very well. Unfortunately, this path of the conversation was ending as we reached our destination.
People who profess Christianity alongside another religion (or many other religions) are usually completely ignorant of the worldview, history, and finer teachings of each religion they hold to, usually believing in pop-level pseudo-doctrines of each religion that allows for them to coexist equally in muddy waters. If practitioners of religious pluralism were well-educated on the teachings of each religion, they would see how it is impossible to reconcile them together. Consider what I mentioned earlier about Christ and his resurrection. You cannot claim to be an adherent of Christianity, which claims Christ rose from the dead, while being an adherent of any religion that says Christ didn’t rise from the dead (which is the claim of every other competing major world religion), because that would result in a contradiction. Contradictions are not, have not been, nor ever will be true. Therefore, if you believe in many different religions, what you believe is a contradiction, and contradictions are not true. Therefore, your beliefs are not true.
Religious Pluralists need to hear the good news that the angels proclaimed to Mary at the tomb: "He is not here, but has risen" (Luke 24:6a). An articulate understanding, presentation, and defense of the Gospel of the Risen Messiah is the only way to effectively and meaningfully combat the lie of religious pluralism. From a philosophical standpoint, religious pluralism is dead on arrival, but philosophy does not lead to everlasting life. Faith in Christ is the only thing that leads to everlasting life and all it’s incomprehensible joys. He is risen, he is risen indeed!
*Austin Gravley can be described as a Reformed Christian, apologist and philosopher, music nutcase, and sarcastic sage. Austin writes at his blog, Another Ascending Lark.