The One and Only Savior

by Bill Denton

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Proclaiming the message of eternal salvation in Christ alone unquestionably evidences undiluted arrogance, gross insensitivity, and religious bigotry—unless the message is true. Then, proclamation of the only true hope is the most important and loving message that a person can communicate, and failure to do so evidences incomparable callousness, gross negligence, and religious selfishness."

—Brian Chapell,
Preaching to a Shifting Culture

Pluralism is a philosophy that basically says there isn't one truth, but many. When applied to religion, it insists that one religion is as good as another, and no one can make exclusive claims. One definition of "religious pluralism" reads this way: "The theory that there are more than one or more than two kinds of ultimate reality and/or truth; and that therefore more than one religion can be said to have the truth (way to God, salvation, etc.)—even if their essential doctrines are mutually exclusive." (See

If all religions are equal, then the concept of religious pluralism is something we all ought to accept and promote. However, if all religions are not equal, then religious pluralism is not just a faulty concept, it is among the most dangerous ideas ever suggested. This, of course, is at the heart of the conflict between at least three of the world's major religions.

At the heart of each is a rejection of pluralism. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam do not fit into a pluralistic mold. If it were just a matter of getting along with one another, and allowing freedom to worship as one chooses, we might find room in each religion to allow for peaceful co-existence. But pluralism is not satisfied with peaceful co-existence.

For example, true biblically-based Christianity cannot accept the idea that salvation is in anyone (or anything, for that matter) other than Jesus Christ. In John 14:6 Jesus said  "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me." One may try to explain that statement in words and thoughts other than what you find in the text, but if you do, you run the great risk of changing what Jesus said. If you accept His words as we find them, you are forced to accept an exclusive view

If anyone desires to know the way to the Father (God), Jesus is it; He is the only way. He is THE way, THE truth, THE life, and NO ONE comes to the Father but through Jesus. That is simply not a pluralistic view of anything.

Christians are bombarded with pluralistic philosophy at every turn. We are chastised and criticized for exclusive views that make Jesus the only Savior and Christianity the only valid religion. But truth trumps pluralism. We must decide what we believe about Jesus. He was either right or wrong. If He was right, there is only one Savior—and He is that Savior.

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