Is There Only One Way to Heaven?
Is there more than one way to God? It is a recurring question in our culture, and even within the Church. Many claim that while they admire Jesus, they simply cannot stomach his claims that there is only one way to Heaven.
A couple years ago, one of my reading projects was to slog (yes, that is the word) through select portions of a 400-page tome on religious pluralism by the well-known philosopher of religion, John Hick. The book is entitled, An Interpretation of Religion, and is published by Yale Press. It is the tour de force of Hick’s career. Hick, who died in 2012, was one of the foremost advocates of a view called “religious pluralism.” In simple terms, this is the view that there are multiple ways to “Heaven” and that Jesus is only one path among many.
Hick makes no bones about his beliefs: 1) There is no personal God, and 2) The Ultimate “The Real” is indescribable in human language. This last assertion may seem a bit odd given the fact that he wrote a 400-page book, in English, describing ultimate reality! While Hick is convinced that Christians, Muslims, and Hindus get it all wrong about the universe, he is solidly convinced in his own ability to figure it all out.
The issue really boils down to this: who do you believe, John Hick or Jesus of Nazareth? In John 14:6 Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (NIV). Jesus did not allow for fence sitting. The issue is not whether Jesus’ words are emotionally comfortable, but whether or not they are true. If they are true, then all of the arguments against them are wrong. Period. Given the sinful rebellion of the human race, I’m just thankful there is any way to God! That a holy God would offer reconciliation to sinful human beings is mercy, grace, and love to the extreme. Something worth chewing on.
by Jay Childs, Senior Pastor