A Ball of Confusion

Over the last few years, I spent several hours engaging in some very deep and at times heated debate over the nature of Scripture, its role in the life of the believer, and of course around the person and divinity of Christ. The arguments against Jesus as “the only way? were particularly offensive to them. Of course, some of the ones most offended were professing Christians.

If the world is confused about Jesus Christ, then it is because a great number of those claiming to know Him are as well. I have heard a number of scholars attempt to dismiss verses where the exclusivity of Christ is fairly clear with a lot of exegetical gerrymandering.

But if Scripture informs Scripture, then I should also find the same central teachings throughout the New Testament.

It makes little sense to me to claim that Jesus isn’t the only way of salvation for humanity when His mission from the start was to save humanity (Matt. 1:21; Luke 2:25-32). In addition, John 3:16 underscores Jesus’ salvific concern for “the world? and not merely for those specific persons who would follow Him. Peter makes the issue even clearer in Acts 4:12 that there is salvation “in no one else? (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15).

If we’re not getting the story right amongst ourselves, then it makes perfect sense that the world would be confused about who Jesus is. Then again, taking Jesus seriously would also require one take Scripture seriously and perhaps that is the problem right there.

But in the end, the one thing that I walked away from the numerous discussions I had with my friends was my own need as a preacher/teacher to hold fast to the Living Word Himself, to Scripture with an open ear and a clear understanding of my own frailties. Jesus alone knows who belongs to Him and who does not.  One of the reasons the early church was so effective was because of the collective commitment to disciple and train others in the faith and not assume that they understand everything about the faith.  And I’m stressing agreement on the essentials of the faith, not on what clothes you wear, how long your hair is or what you eat.  Discipleship–which takes time, patience, prayer, tears, and toughness–are what is needed here.

Solo Christo

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