Christianity’s Superior Exclusivity

“Christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity”

Rough Transcript

another text question is says if all religions claim to be truth then how can Christianity make that claim and think that it is correct appreciate that question and it’s a question that has the assumption that is very correct oftentimes the Christian takes the hit that he or she was a follower of Jesus Christ is the only one who lays claim to exclusivity that is not true Gautama Buddha was born a Hindu and he renounced to the fundamental doctrines of Hinduism the authority of the Vedas and the caste system he could not accept those two went on his own journey in search of enlightenment and came of course with the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path and the ultimate extinguishing of desire in his nirvanic pursuit so he turned his belief away from the religion of his birth in order to find a different answer Islam is also exclusive istic in its claim how in all of its precepts and its five pillars and so on what about these contradictions the first thing we need to know is there are distinctions there are fundamental differences at best there are superficial similarities I often hear the question posed wrongly they’ll say are all really aren’t all religions fundamentally the same and superficially different no they are fundamentally different and at best they are superficially similar what are the fundamental claims for example in Buddhism the goal is to extinguish hunger extinguished desire I remember talking to the first woman monk who was from Thailand to be ordained into the Buddhist priests hood but Thai Buddhists do not ordain women so she went to Sri Lanka to be ordained and she has a PhD in philosophy from McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario and Waterloo I guess Ontario and McMaster to the University there got her PhD in philosophy and she gave me the first interview we chatted for well over an hour one-on-one and I sort of angled into some questions because I didn’t want to be too discourteous and one of the things I said to her is I hear you’re married and she said yes I said you have children she said yes I said but you’re living in a temple by yourself she said yes I said you not see your children she started crying she said I have a car I said you have a car she said he said ok so she drove herself because she can’t allow a man to drive her she said so she has to drive herself and she says every evening at the end of the day I try and meet up with one of my children she said this is the hardest part of my life I said so you are on the journey to extinguishing the desire to be with your children is that right said a fair assessment she kept quiet and then I said this I said the Dalai Lama has primary pursuit now the freedom of Tibet she said that’s right I said why does he desire that she looked at me and she said we try not to get into these philosophical questions let’s just say that he chooses to you take a look at other world religions hmm and see where these 4 questions are dealt with origin meaning morality and destiny these 4 questions have to be answered in two ways follow me please every particular answer has to correspond to truth either through empirical form of measurement or through the logical reasoning process and when those four answers are put together they must go here and not be incoherent so the two tests correspondence and coherence I guarantee you only in the judeo-christian worldview will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and with the coherence of a worldview let me take just one example and I don’t say this too slight but this is a fact and we have to deal with it I’ve been invited in many many Islamic countries and I have open forums there and going to go to one of the toughest Islamic countries with the next weeks they’ve hosted mean many parts there and we’ve had dialogues I want to give to you two things in the ‘quran it is the only historical acclaimed document that denies that Jesus Christ was actually crucified or died on the cross denies them the Greek historians say he died on the cross Roman historians say that pagan historians say that Jewish historians say that and Christian historians say that Islamic the Quran is the only one that says it appeared to him that he died but he didn’t actually die on the cross so historically it is making affirmation that is really historically untrue I got into a discussion with shaykh hussein of the leading Shiite cleric in damascus series a real gentleman for over three hours we talked with an interpreter between us and an audience listening and I was allowed to ask him one question about his faith and he was allowed to ask me one question but mine there was nothing no rancor no adversarial stance just a perspective and counter perspective and back and forth it’s the best way to do it really at the end of it Sheikh Hussein looked at me was very respectful to the whole time always referred to me as professor professor zacharias professor zacharias and then at the end he looked at me leaned over and he said you know professor I think the time has come for us in the Islamic world to stop asking if Jesus Christ died and to start asking why I said to him may I quote you on that sir he said yes you may I’m hopefully going to go there before long and I hope we can meet up again origin meaning morality and destiny the judeo-christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity but it’s the only one that takes those four questions with corresponding answers that are truthful and coherent answers that stand the test time and the ultimate answer of the resurrection from the dead that gives you hope and meaning I see we have one more question left and that’s the sign here I’ll be happy to take that to that very very quickly because the question comes also in this in this fashion have you studied all the religions in the world in order for you to know that your religion is right could could it not be possible that you have missed something now that sounds like a very daunting question but it’s really not that difficult to deal with because all the worldviews in existence all the worldviews that exists can actually be grouped at a very basic level though you could spend an eternity maybe studying if just one of these regions but all the world views in existence can be grouped under only three categories or the world views the first category is the view that only the universe exists the other category is only God exists of course you find naturalism and atheism on the on the left side only the universe exists but when you movement some eastern regions who tell you only God exists and that’s cashed out in different ways I’m just using the name the what God just to make it easy for us to grasp these concepts then in the middle you have the view that both God and the universe exist both gotten the universe exists and that you have Judaism Christianity and Islam so it’s not difficult to apply the test that Robbie was talking about to these systems well as a whole without having to study each particular you just need to know what the basic ideas what the basic thoughts are for these views then you can critique all of them without having to be an expert in every core view that’s out there so it’s important for us to know that it is not this this is not so difficult to do we are not making it up in trying to come up with an answer to this kind of a question just gentlemen very humble guy and I we didn’t want to give another University too much of advertising here lest we be thrown out tea is just finishing up his PhD work at the University of Georgia and I’m going to carry the work out boys all right we do have time for one more question I’m sorry for those of you it’s been standing so long in line but we need to move on but let me invite you to come to the tables out front afterwards to continue the conversation

Transcript Time Stamp

00:00 another text question is says if all
00:05 religions claim to be truth then how can
00:08 Christianity make that claim and think
00:10 that it is correct
00:20 appreciate that question and it’s a
00:23 question that has the assumption that is
00:25 very correct oftentimes the Christian
00:28 takes the hit that he or she was a
00:30 follower of Jesus Christ is the only one
00:33 who lays claim to exclusivity that is
00:35 not true
00:36 Gautama Buddha was born a Hindu and he
00:39 renounced to the fundamental doctrines
00:40 of Hinduism the authority of the Vedas
00:43 and the caste system he could not accept
00:45 those two went on his own journey in
00:48 search of enlightenment and came of
00:50 course with the Four Noble Truths and
00:52 the Eightfold Path and the ultimate
00:54 extinguishing of desire in his nirvanic
00:57 pursuit so he turned his belief away
01:01 from the religion of his birth in order
01:03 to find a different answer Islam is also
01:06 exclusive istic in its claim how in all
01:09 of its precepts and its five pillars and
01:11 so on what about these contradictions
01:15 the first thing we need to know is there
01:19 are distinctions there are fundamental
01:21 differences at best there are
01:24 superficial similarities I often hear
01:27 the question posed wrongly they’ll say
01:30 are all really aren’t all religions
01:31 fundamentally the same and superficially
01:34 different no they are fundamentally
01:36 different and at best they are
01:38 superficially similar what are the
01:40 fundamental claims for example in
01:42 Buddhism the goal is to extinguish
01:45 hunger extinguished desire I remember
01:50 talking to the first woman monk who was
01:53 from Thailand to be ordained into the
01:56 Buddhist priests hood but Thai Buddhists
01:58 do not ordain women so she went to Sri
02:01 Lanka to be ordained and she has a PhD
02:03 in philosophy from McMaster University
02:05 in Hamilton Ontario and Waterloo I guess
02:09 Ontario and McMaster to the University
02:12 there got her PhD in philosophy and she
02:14 gave me the first interview we chatted
02:17 for well over an hour one-on-one and I
02:21 sort of angled into some questions
02:23 because I didn’t want to be too
02:25 discourteous and one of the things I
02:28 said to her is I hear you’re married and
02:30 she said yes
02:31 I said you have children she said yes I
02:34 said but you’re living in a temple by
02:37 yourself she said yes I said you not see
02:40 your children she started crying she
02:44 said I have a car I said you have a car
02:47 she said he said ok so she drove herself
02:51 because she can’t allow a man to drive
02:54 her she said so she has to drive herself
02:56 and she says every evening at the end of
02:59 the day I try and meet up with one of my
03:00 children she said this is the hardest
03:02 part of my life I said so you are on the
03:05 journey to extinguishing the desire to
03:07 be with your children is that right said
03:10 a fair assessment she kept quiet and
03:14 then I said this I said the Dalai Lama
03:17 has primary pursuit now the freedom of
03:22 Tibet she said that’s right I said why
03:26 does he desire that she looked at me and
03:32 she said we try not to get into these
03:34 philosophical questions let’s just say
03:36 that he chooses to you take a look at
03:41 other world religions hmm and see where
03:43 these 4 questions are dealt with origin
03:46 meaning morality and destiny these 4
03:50 questions have to be answered in two
03:52 ways
03:53 follow me please every particular answer
03:56 has to correspond to truth either
03:58 through empirical form of measurement or
04:01 through the logical reasoning process
04:02 and when those four answers are put
04:05 together they must go here and not be
04:08 incoherent so the two tests
04:10 correspondence and coherence I guarantee
04:14 you only in the judeo-christian
04:17 worldview will you find these four
04:19 questions answered with corresponding
04:21 truthfulness and with the coherence of a
04:24 worldview let me take just one example
04:26 and I don’t say this too slight but this
04:30 is a fact and we have to deal with it
04:34 I’ve been invited in many many Islamic
04:37 countries and I have open forums there
04:39 and going to go to one of the toughest
04:41 Islamic countries with the next
04:42 weeks they’ve hosted mean many parts
04:45 there and we’ve had dialogues I want to
04:48 give to you two things in the ‘quran it
04:53 is the only historical acclaimed
04:56 document that denies that Jesus Christ
04:59 was actually crucified or died on the
05:01 cross denies them the Greek historians
05:04 say he died on the cross Roman
05:06 historians say that pagan historians say
05:09 that Jewish historians say that and
05:11 Christian historians say that Islamic
05:14 the Quran is the only one that says it
05:16 appeared to him that he died but he
05:17 didn’t actually die on the cross so
05:20 historically it is making affirmation
05:23 that is really historically untrue I got
05:28 into a discussion with shaykh hussein of
05:32 the leading Shiite cleric in damascus
05:37 series a real gentleman for over three
05:39 hours we talked with an interpreter
05:41 between us and an audience listening and
05:45 I was allowed to ask him one question
05:46 about his faith and he was allowed to
05:47 ask me one question but mine there was
05:49 nothing no rancor no adversarial stance
05:52 just a perspective and counter
05:54 perspective and back and forth it’s the
05:56 best way to do it really at the end of
05:59 it Sheikh Hussein looked at me was very
06:00 respectful to the whole time always
06:02 referred to me as professor professor
06:03 zacharias professor zacharias and then
06:06 at the end he looked at me leaned over
06:08 and he said you know professor I think
06:11 the time has come for us in the Islamic
06:14 world to stop asking if Jesus Christ
06:16 died and to start asking why I said to
06:25 him may I quote you on that sir he said
06:31 yes you may I’m hopefully going to go
06:34 there before long and I hope we can meet
06:36 up again origin meaning morality and
06:40 destiny the judeo-christian worldview is
06:42 not the only one that claims exclusivity
06:44 but it’s the only one that takes those
06:47 four questions with corresponding
06:48 answers that are truthful and coherent
06:50 answers that stand the test
06:53 time and the ultimate answer of the
06:55 resurrection from the dead that gives
06:57 you hope and meaning I see we have one
07:00 more question left and that’s the sign
07:03 here I’ll be happy to take that to that
07:08 very very quickly because the question
07:10 comes also in this in this fashion have
07:13 you studied all the religions in the
07:15 world in order for you to know that your
07:17 religion is right could could it not be
07:19 possible that you have missed something
07:22 now that sounds like a very daunting
07:25 question but it’s really not that
07:27 difficult to deal with because all the
07:29 worldviews in existence all the
07:32 worldviews that exists can actually be
07:33 grouped at a very basic level though you
07:36 could spend an eternity maybe studying
07:39 if just one of these regions but all the
07:42 world views in existence can be grouped
07:44 under only three categories or the world
07:46 views the first category is the view
07:49 that only the universe exists the other
07:53 category is only God exists
07:57 of course you find naturalism and
07:58 atheism on the on the left side only the
08:01 universe exists but when you movement
08:04 some eastern regions who tell you only
08:06 God exists and that’s cashed out in
08:09 different ways I’m just using the name
08:10 the what God just to make it easy for us
08:13 to grasp these concepts then in the
08:15 middle you have the view that both God
08:18 and the universe exist both gotten the
08:22 universe exists and that you have
08:23 Judaism Christianity and Islam so it’s
08:28 not difficult to apply the test that
08:30 Robbie was talking about to these
08:31 systems well as a whole without having
08:35 to study each particular you just need
08:36 to know what the basic ideas what the
08:39 basic thoughts are for these views then
08:41 you can critique all of them without
08:43 having to be an expert in every core
08:47 view that’s out there so it’s important
08:48 for us to know that it is not this this
08:51 is not so difficult to do we are not
08:53 making it up in trying to come up with
08:55 an answer to this kind of a question
08:56 just gentlemen very humble guy and I we
09:01 didn’t want to give another University
09:03 too much of advertising here lest we be
09:05 thrown out
09:06 tea is just finishing up his PhD work at
09:08 the University of Georgia and I’m going
09:10 to carry the work out boys all right we
09:17 do have time for one more question I’m
09:19 sorry for those of you it’s been
09:21 standing so long in line but we need to
09:24 move on but let me invite you to come to
09:26 the tables out front afterwards to
09:29 continue the conversation

About Robert Coss

I was made in America by God. I hope you will see the quality of that workmanship.
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