Christianity 101: Exclusivity

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I have had several conversations and encounters in recent months that have made me worried about the extent to which the world—including Christians—does not understand what Christianity really means. In June I attended a panel discussion on the film A Mighty Heart, which featured representatives from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim backgrounds. The major theme throughout the discussion was the increasingly popular sentiment of collective goodwill/hope: that all major religions—regardless of who is being worshipped—are chiefly about love and peace. We must stop viewing each other as different or wrong… just diverse paths to a similar end.

More recently (this weekend), I attended a screening of a new documentary produced by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me). The film, entitled What Would Jesus Buy?, uses the forms and traditions of Christianity to mount an argument against out-of-control consumerism, though it never really offers Christianity or Christ as an alternative or solution. The film (which I will write about in more depth soon) follows “Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping”—a performance art/activist group that looks like a gospel choir but makes no claims of believing in the gospel. Following the screening of the film, I interviewed Spurlock and asked him about how Christianity fits into the message of the film. He said that the film’s theme reflects the true meaning of Christmas—the arrival of a man who would revolutionize the world and shake things up through his radical message of peace, love, and equality.

But Christians, as I pointed out to Spurlock, would argue that Christmas represents more than peace and goodwill and love. It represents the Answer to our dissatisfaction in the arrival of a person who becomes a savior. True satisfaction, the Christian argues, comes not simply from the message of Jesus Christ (which if it is only peace/love/equality is not unique to him), but through his person. The sacrificial death and resurrection of Jesus—and through that alone—provides our redemption and ultimate happiness. Spurlock (who was incredibly nice and easy to talk to) responded by saying that yes, happiness can be found in Jesus Christ, but also in Allah or Buddha or whoever it might be. All of us are essentially about the same business: which is to try to make a change in the world.

It seems that the Christianity being invoked in What Would Jesus Buy?—and which is cooperating ecumenically for social justice and political causes (a good thing)—is increasingly being stripped of its claims of exclusivity. It is pretty clear in the scriptures that Jesus Christ was not of the mind that his way was just “one of many.” Rather, he said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). C.S. Lewis articulates the vital importance of Christ’s claims of exclusivity also in his famous “Lord, liar, or lunatic” reasoning in Mere Christianity:

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said
would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic –
on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.

In other words, Jesus Christ cannot merely be a teacher, or prophet, or rhetorical genius (all of which he is). His message of love/peace/equality is great, yes, but part of his message is also that “my way is the only way.” Thus, to accept him as a peace advocate or political revolutionary but reject his claims of divinity is to undermine his whole legacy and legitimacy.

Christians today are struggling with the exclusive nature of our faith. It’s the hardest thing for people to get past, for sure. We don’t want to come across as condemnatory of every other religion. We hate having to tell others that our faith necessarily excludes other faiths as valid alternatives. We want to work together with Jews, Muslims, Hindus, etc without judgment or tension. And we can.

It is possible to live and work amongst other faiths, because we do have some common ground and shared concerns for peace and justice and a better world. But ultimately we cannot equate ourselves, because the final solution, in Christianity’s view, is none other than Jesus Christ himself. Not just the general, social reform causes he championed, but Jesus Christ the man: God incarnate. He offers himself to all—no matter where you were born or what you have done—and in that way he is the most inclusive.

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42 responses to “Christianity 101: Exclusivity

  1. Very good article – I think it shows great insight and maturity.
    Thank you.

  2. Brett,
    I found your article through Jeffrey Overstreet’s excellent blog. Thanks SO much for a very clear and succinct explanation of the exclusivity of Christ. I hope to borrow and steal much of it for the difficult conversations I have with folks. Hope you don’t mind. ;)
    I also enjoyed your post on Christian music. I was deep into that world back in the late 80′s, and I won’t tell you with who, since there’s no way in heck they would be on your list…I think we’re probably mired somewhere in the “horrific bilge”…

  3. This is great. It’s good to know there are “relevant” Christians who also are not afraid to bring up the whole exclusivity thing. Not very commercial, not very PC… but very true. If only more Christians were this ballsy.

  4. Our faith is personally constructed based on a narrow view of experience, history, and culture. As we begin to understand the bigger picture, we become humbled. We need to be open to understanding and questioning all truth claims (especially those of the powerful) to discover which are culturally constructed ideas and which are not. Even wise Christians like C.S. Lewis were trapped within a small island of time and history.

  5. Beautifully summarized. I will definitely keep this insight in mind.

  6. Beautifully and boldly spoken, Brett.

  7. What we share in common with all people, regardless of religion and culture:

    We are all created by God as rational animals, whose final end rests in God alone.

    Each person’s rational nature allows him or her to discover truths from experience and contemplation.

    Ways to govern and order our actions (natural moral laws) are discoverable through reason’s reflection on experience, and this much is shared (to varying degrees) with other religions, cultures, etc. More accurately stated, they are shared with other PEOPLE.

    Furthermore, the final end for all people rests in God. While a created happiness is possible on earth, truest happiness comes only in the beatific vision, in heaven, in union with God.

    Our natural encounter with beauty, goodness, and truth in this world along with our undeniable need for relationship with God yields religious expression in different cultures.

    However, Christianity is not a culture expression of our encounter with the divine. It is God’s Church, founded by Christ of which Christ is the head.

    In the end, all people at least potentially share knowledge of what can be known without God’s revelation, including many moral truths. But God has revealed and gifted more than can be known naturally.

    At most other religions help someone express their natural truths and longings. Christianity saves.

    So while all other religions are at most a means of expressing our natural (i.e. supernatural) ends, Christ’s Church is the only actual MEANS to the FULFILLMENT of our highest end.

    Instead of scaring us, I hope this compels us to share our faith out of love.

  8. Another “exclusivity” that can be a tripping point with non-believers is hell and all it encompasses. How could a “loving” God create a place for permanent torture and punishment? You mean even if I’m good and don’t sin I’m still condemned to hell? How about a second chance, once I’ve found out the truth?

    We can give the John 14:6 verse, as you did, but until the Holy Spirit can do his work in the heart of a non-believer, then they will prefer the life they have and not worry about what comes after. Having to acknowledge the truth of Jesus can be life changing!

  9. Brett, you’re making the same mistake again; making broad, bold statements about “Christianity” when what you really mean is “evangelicalism,” or “theologically conservative Christianity”, which is one of many subtypes of Christianity. For many christians, historically and currently, exclusivism is not a tenable position. There’s a huge body of theological work surrounding this issue and to claim that someone is moving away from Christianity just because he/she is coming from a non-evangelical perspective betrays (no offense) a somewhat narrow, insular perspective.

    C.S. Lewis’ famous trillemma is cited over and over again, but it’s irrelevant to a lot of christians who don’t share Lewis’ presuppositions and hermeneutics. Lewis was, of course, a writer of apologetics, not theology, and not really respected as a thinker by his peers…but that’s another story.

    So, the issue is not that people “don’t understand what Christianity really means.” It’s that they don’t agree with you, or with CS Lewis, about what Christianity really means.

  10. Kevin,
    then for those “many christians”, their problem is not with Brett, CS Lewis, or evangelicalism.. it’s with Jesus Himself. If God means what He says, any disagreement or difference of opinion with what He says is not some innocent “let’s agree to disagree” thing or “whatever works for you” thing, it’s going directly Against Jesus and in no way supporting Him.

  11. Brett,
    Thank you for this article, because while I grew up Christian, lately I have been wrestling with exclusivity. Although, I’m far from understanding it, I’ve had a hard time finding things supporting exclusivity with this kind of tone.

  12. Bevan, I’m not sure what you’re point is.

    Brett, thanks for this! I ran across your journal in a strange way, via a hipsters blog that referenced you in a negative way a “right-wing fundamentalist Xian”. It’s a sad state when the world thinks that evangelical = fundamentalist(read: fanatic with supremacist fantasies).

    I completely agree with you on exclusivity. I also think that you are right to rebuke Spurlock for his universalist claims about Xianity. However, I am not sure if you intended to be spurious about ethical-mindedness or about the anti-consumerist message which, I do think, is inherant in Christ’s salvific plans. Is that me simply reading too much into your writing?

  13. Oh, it’s also just plain wrong to say that exclusivity is the “one thing that makes christianity unique”, as some practioners of most religions argue that their tradition has exclusive claims to some truth.

  14. Kevin-
    What I was going for in that line (“the one thing that makes it unique among the cacophony of contemporary spiritual voices…”) was not to say that no other RELIGIONS claim exclusivity (which, of course, many others do)… just that of all the faddish pop spirituality and religio-commodities being bandied about today, none are so bold as to claim anything near exclusivity. That is, it comes as a shock to the spiritual “seeker” when something is presented not as a mere “answer” but as THE Answer. It’s very arrogant, unseemly, and uncommercial in our pluralistic “marketplace of ideas.” In any case, my wording is oblique there, so I’ll excise that line.

    As to some of your earlier points, I think your placement of exclusivity within a strictly evangelical, theologically conservative “brand” of Christianity is problematic (C.S. Lewis–an ardent exclusivist–would NEVER call himself evangelical or even particularly conservative). Certainly not EVERY type of Christian agrees with exclusive claims to the same extent, but the universalist perspective is the minority, not the norm. The “Christianity” I invoke here (admittedly a loaded word with multitudinous modern meanings) refers to the historically orthodox, creedal Christianity (particularly the Nicene and Athanasius definitions) that is anything but soft on the “one Lord, Jesus Christ” idea.

  15. And Shanana-
    NO, I definitely did not mean to come across as spurious about “ethical-mindedness or about the anti-consumerist message” … Which you are right to point out are essential to Christ’s ultimate message. If all the secular world gets from Christ is his message of love/peace/equality and calls to social reform, that is great. The world is better for that… But beyond–behind, really–those ideas is a deeper ontological claim that drives and legitimizes his radical social and cultural “platforms.” Thus, I applaud Spurlock and others for following the example of Christ in some respects; my problem comes when this “respect” for Christ turns into a subtle reduction of Him–to simply a very helpful, prescient moral teacher/prophet.

  16. Historically speaking, though, you’re still wrong. Look into what N.T. Wright says about Lewis’ trillema.

  17. Kevin,

    Bishop Wright, however, is still an exclusivist and nowhere *near* a universalist. He may be a Federalist, but that still requires covenantal understanding, which is, by definition, exclusive.

  18. Shanana, you’re misunderstanding me. I’m not arguing for my personal theological position. (if you think it’s relevant [i don't], i’m neither an exclusivist nor a universalist myself) I’m simply making a socio-historical observation that identification of christiainity with exclusivism is historically false–and that Lewis’s trillema is founded wrongly on presuppositions that deny the diversity of christian practice.

  19. So Kevin, you’re upset because an exclusivist definition of Christianity excludes non-exclusivists? Isn’t that a bit like getting mad at green because it’s not orange?

  20. Kevin,

    “a socio-historical observation that identification of christiainity with exclusivism is historically false”

    Don’t know what Historical Christianity you’re referring to, but before the Great Schism of 1054 the Church was pretty exclusive. Anybody straying from the creed put in place by the early ecumenical councils was questioned as heretical. Even after the split between east and west, both parts of the Church were still holding to the creed previously used (with one or two differences) and were still exclusive. Bringing us up to today’s Church with its many, many splinters and fractions following the Reformation, the majority of Christianity still seems pretty exclusive, even when the historical creed is not stated liturgically.

    Yes, I have been using the word “Church” and not “Christianity.” I would suggest that historically speaking (and spiritually speaking, too, I guess), the Church that Christ founded is the protector of Christianity (ask an Orthodox or Catholic about this), and as such maintains pretty exclusive claims, claims taken from Christ himself.

    We are assuming a lot if we cite that the “diversity of Christian practice” over history includes a majority of non-exclusive beliefs. Is there a record of this majority? Seems like the biggest record of Christian practice and belief has been kept by the historical Church. Haven’t those who believed and practiced differently called themselves something other than Christian?

    Fortunately, we are not responsible to judge where Christ’s truth has and has not taken hold. We do not see all that clearly, even looking at histroy.

    And Brett, isn’t it a bit of an assumption to say that Lewis would NEVER have called himself evangelical or conservaitive? How can we know, unless he has already said so?

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  22. mrmando, I’m frustrated with the tendency to dress up theological arguments as if they are sociohistorical.

  23. Hm. Well, Kevin, it would appear that the Spurlock film considers Christianity from a purely sociohistorical point of view, and Brett is here trying to argue that there is more to Christianity than that — i.e., there are theological ideas within Christianity that contradict what might be inferred from a purely sociohistorical perspective. I don’t see any place in Brett’s post where he pretends his argument is sociohistorical.

    You might be right in pointing out that Brett is coming from an evangelical perspective, but then again, it’s only within certain recent strains of Protestantism that we see people trying to be both non-exclusivist and Christian. So your “sociohistorical” perspective encompasses a tiny bit of Christianity that Brett’s leaves out — but, as someone else has already observed, you also ignore the first 1,500 years of Christian history.

    What Wright said about Lewis’ trilemma was that it misses key points about the context of first-century Judaism. Of course Lewis wasn’t speaking to first-century Jews, but to 20th-century Brits with radios. And even if we wish to become better informed about what Jesus’ words meant in his own historical context (Wright), we’re still left with the question of what they mean in our own context (Lewis).

  24. Really? Christ was exclusive? It seems to me that Jesus’ message was the most inclusive message there is. The message that everyone is welcome, no matter who they are.

    We need to stop looking at this from our perspective, because then it is exclusive. With our perspective, that Jesus is the only way, we present a very exclusive image of Jesus. However, if we look at it from God’s perspective, that he came down himself to all mankind, then it is a very inclusive message.

    God desires that no one would perish. Do people perish? Yes, but not because God is not inclusive. People still have a choice whether to be included or not.

    Just me thinking aloud.

    Pat

  25. Pat,

    It is certainly wrong to say that God is exclusive in the sense that there are certain human beings God does not love or does not wish to be holy and be in communion with Him.

    In this way, we say that union with God is the final/ highest end for all people as human. The greatest fulfillment of every human being, no matter cultural differences, is union with the one God.

    This truth necessitates a kind of exclusivity in Christianity, for it simply states this truth: All people are created by God to be in communion with Him.

    Moreover, God revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the Second Person of the Trinity.

    If someone says, “Jesus is not God” or deny any other truth fundamental to Christianity, we do exclude him or her; this person excludes him or her self.

    The exclusion comes down to this: If you disagree that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, then you are wrong.

    Now, it is another question entirely whether a person’s failure to assent to this truth and live in accordance with its consequences excludes a him or her from union with God. I dare say it is virtually impossible to say specifically who will obtain union with God.

    But no matter who or how many, whether it be just a few or virtually all of mankind, we must assert the following:

    Anyone to whom salvation is extended, receives it from and through Jesus Christ.

    Anyone who says different is wrong.

  26. The problem I think Kevin is trying to point out is that even though the statement ‘Christ is Lord’ is always an exclusive statement, it has not always been the used (abused) the way it is today. The fact that most people commenting on this post view as some sort of litmus test for faith is crap. Even the title of the post pulls the claim from its context: Christianity 101. The early Christians viewed this as a school you were trained in and not simple logical fact (thanks Mr. Lewis). Exclusivity wasn’t a simple thought that just made logical sense, and wasn’t an evangelism tool, but rather allowed for altering of reality, that changed the way the world was (hey, it made them scorn war, so I hope all the people arguing from history as pacificists). On top of that how you answer this question is shaped by a multitude of theological questions that no else is asking about (hence the abuse of this claim.) If you want to talk history how about the fact that most of atonement, justification, sanctification, creation, and communion that would have been heresy during the first 1500 years of the faith. So of course the claim to follow Christ is exclusive (and it sounds like Morgan didn’t even fight that) but because we have an escapism view of the faith ,exclusivity has become false God that replaced the living Christ. But if reality is just summed up in ‘us’ going to heaven, and ‘those’ going to hell, then a blog post like this makes perfect sense, and I will inspire us to think more about pointless and abstract theology, rather than worshipping and being transformed by the living God.

  27. Well, I can’t argue with Pat, because after all Pat has stopped looking at things from his own perspective and now looks at them from God’s. Pat, while you’re up there, can you take some rain out of Mexico and send it up to Atlanta? And I can’t argue with Matt because I don’t know what his point is (and I don’t think he knows it either).

  28. Brett,
    Thank you for proclaiming that the Christian’s hope is in Jesus. I have been lamenting recent discussions (http://blog.beliefnet.com/godspolitics/2007/10/a-word-of-hope-between-us-and.html#preview) that indicate our tendency to reach so hard for ‘peace’ and ‘justice’ that we set our own agenda for it and lean on our own devices rather than trusting and believing that only Jesus can bring the peace and justice that we (and Muslims and Buddhists) long for. Jesus can and has been a puppet for many to get what they want (bigger house, new car, etc.). We can’t make the same error by making him our puppet for various social justice causes. I strongly believe that peace and justice are in the heart and plans of God. Yet we cannot get in front of Jesus on this. We need to allow him to do this in his way and in his timing. Our task is simply to listen to his voice and obey. Thus, our message and work is always Jesus. If we speak and move apart from Jesus then we have become just one more voice in the religious marketplace. Our voice and actions will then never instill faith and hope in God but in systems of thought and the potential of man. The good news of Jesus is that the throne and kingdom of God has been established forever. This is something that no human can begin to do. And so we affirm that the only way to partake in true peace and justice is to surrender to Jesus. And we affirm that the only way to enact peace and justice is to be a vessel of Jesus Christ. All other attempts at peace and justice apart from Jesus will fail. When Jesus said ‘the kingdom of God is at hand, repent and believe the good news’ – he was clearly indicating that the kingdom of God is only good news in the context of repentance. Until we repent of seeking peace and justice apart from Jesus, the exclusivity of Jesus will always threaten us. When we repent of our own notions of self-sufficiency, the exclusivity of Jesus instills hope as we see that only he is capable of delivering what we are longing for.

    Jesus is able,

  29. Jeremy, I think you’ve summed it up quite well.

    It’s just as wrong to say that Jesus primarily came to champion our pet social cause as it is to say he came to get me a new house and a BMW.

    Christianity’s exclusivity is something I’ve struggled with as a person living in the 20th century. But logic and the scripture is pretty inescapable on this issue.

  30. Levi ,

    It’s like when Paul asked the Galatians, ‘Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?’

    So God reveals to us his mission of enacting justice in the world and so we shift our eyes from Jesus to justice and begin attempting to bring it about in our own way and in our own strength.

    Let’s keep seeking Jesus and he will teach us to trust in his ways.

  31. It is certainly wrong to say that God is exclusive in the sense that there are certain human beings God does not love or does not wish to be holy and be in communion with Him.

    In this way, we say that union with God is the final/ highest end for all people as human. The greatest fulfillment of every human being, no matter cultural differences, is union with the one God.

    This truth necessitates a kind of exclusivity in Christianity, for it simply states this truth: All people are created by God to be in communion with Him.

    Moreover, God revealed Himself in the person of Jesus Christ, who is the Second Person of the Trinity.

    If someone says, “Jesus is not God” or deny any other truth fundamental to Christianity, we do exclude him or her; this person excludes him or her self.

    The exclusion comes down to this: If you disagree that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, then you are wrong.

    Now, it is another question entirely whether a person’s failure to assent to this truth and live in accordance with its consequences excludes a him or her from union with God. I dare say it is virtually impossible to say specifically who will obtain union with God.

    But no matter who or how many, whether it be just a few or virtually all of mankind, we must assert the following:

    Anyone to whom salvation is extended, receives it from and through Jesus Christ.

    Anyone who says different is wrong.

  32. After a thought-provoking conversation with a friend, I’d like to ask a few questions and share a few thoughts.

    From John 10:

    “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me — just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

    (I’ve added the bold print.)

    Christ sometimes appeared to people in ways they did not recognize, and ministered to them.

    He shared communion with two discouraged fellows who believed him to be dead and cold in the ground. It wasn’t until afterward that their doubts were disspelled and they recognized him.

    He tells us that many who come to the Lord in Jesus name are sent away from the Kingdom: “Depart from me. I never knew you.”

    And he warns those who grow smug in their belief that they can tell the difference between the saved in the unsaved. He cautions us with the mysterious revelation that he has “sheep in other pastures.”

    Do I claim to know what that means? No. I just know that Christ was very, very clear about some things, and… at least with what’s available in Scripture… not so clear about others.

    Yes, he is the way, the truth, and the life. But how does that play out? Does that mean that only those who call themselves Christians will find their way into heaven? Or might some follow a stranger they do not recognize and cannot identify? Might they live under another banner, without realizing that the spirit is coaxing them along to follow a mystery of light and love without realizing that it is Jesus Christ… not until the very end, at the gate?

    C.S. Lewis had such a deep respect for God’s authority in deciding who is, or isn’t, kingdom-bound that he planted a scene of tantalyzing mystery in The Chronicles of Narnia. At the gates of his kingdom, Aslan welcomes a boy from another faith. The boy is terrified, believing that he is condemned for following a false god. But Aslan assures him that, because of the nature of his humble service, he was following the way of Aslan, even though he believed he was serving a god called Tash.

    Yes, Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. But do I understand that completely? Am I ready to say that you must have had a conversion moment, where you “asked Jesus into your heart” to be saved? Am I ready to claim that I am like God, and that I can make a definitive claim about who falls on one side of the “salvation line” and who stands on the other?

    Thank God… I can leave that to the Almighty. I believe in Jesus. I believe in his power and mercy. And I believe he is capable of welcoming and forgiving even those I find it difficult to welcome and forgive.

    I fear being the one to whom Jesus turns and says, “Who are you to tell me who has or hasn’t followed me? Who are you to tell me what kind of Membership Qualifications are necessary for a pass into the kingdom? Did I not make it a regular practice of appearing in disguise?”

    In the end, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. I’m not sure what that means exactly. But it suggests to me that there might be more to it than “Becoming a Christian” in our days of walking on the earth. And why, after all, did Jesus descend into hell to proclaim himself to those who were not saints, not Christians? Why bother, if they’ve already failed the test?

    These are just a few questions that keep me humble, and make me pause before drawing up any definitive answers about what God will or will not do regarding the kingdom.

    Christianity is not a club with a clear-cut application form for membership. It is the belief that Christ is one with the father, and that God is sovereign, all-wise and all-knowing regarding the kingdom… and who “gets in.”

  33. Jeffrey-
    Thanks for these great, profound reflections. Eloquently put. I agree with all the questions you raise. We–after all–are not the ones who know or can ever know the full breadth of God’s salvific mystery. As you say:

    “Am I ready to claim that I am like God, and that I can make a definitive claim about who falls on one side of the “salvation line” and who stands on the other? Thank God… I can leave that to the Almighty.”

    Thank God indeed. I hope that when we emphasize the “exclusivity” of God it is nothing but a deferent reminder that God IS God, and He alone–through the very real historical person known as Jesus Christ–is the way. Which isn’t to say that OUR way is the only way, or that WE could every understand the extent of His grace… Only that humans need redemption, Jesus Christ offers it freely, and all we have to do is accept that gift. It is how this acceptance looks (is it a one-time conversion experience? A lifelong process? ) that we cannot be definite about. As you say, “Christianity is not a club with a clear-cut application form for membership.”

    The only reason I even bring up exclusivity is that I feel that many today have a pretty weak and reductionist view of Jesus Christ and Christianity. Christ’s gospel is not weak and not merely a set of nice-sounding proverbs and platitudes. Rather, it is a complex, paradoxical message that is both aggressively inclusive (in that Christ offers salvation to ALL) and ardently exclusive (in that salvation is in Christ ALONE). It is the last half of the equation that gets watered down, and which we (Christians) must assert both confidently and humbly. We shouldn’t bang people over the head with exclusivity, but neither should we shy away from the truth of it. And we should NEVER equate exclusivity with an “in/out” club mentality, because the fact is it has nothing to do with US and our qualifications… It has everything to do with Christ.

  34. I’ve enjoyed your thoughts on culture, and now respect your theology too.

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  36. Interesting Post. And interesting comments!
    I just did a short piece on how people (sometimes) view Jesus. You can check it out at http://justinlessard.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/jesus-not-the-peacemaker-you-thought/
    Thanks!

  37. No one comes to the Father but by Christ – the Christing – filling of the Holy Spirit – whether called Buddahood, Samadhi, Satorti, Enlightenment, being Born Again…or whatever term used in the cultural and spiritual tradition of the speaker to speak to our awakening to our divinity and experiential knowledge of a God of Love. The very form of God is Love, not exclusivity. Claims to exclusivity, no matter how buffered, are the genesis of war.

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