Question: "Are all religions the same?"Recommended Resource:
The English writer and poet Steve Turner, in his short work called “The Creed,” answers the question of whether all religions are equivalent in this way:
“We believe that all religions are basically the same
At least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation, sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.”
As Turner points out, every religion differs from others in its foundational teachings. Beyond that, they also differ in their overall approach to finding spiritual truth.
Some religions, like Buddhism, take an epistemological approach: “If I just learn something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.”
Others, like Islam, take a pragmatic path: “If I just do something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.”
Still others, such as many New Age religions, try an existential method: “If I just experience something, I’ll find spiritual meaning and truth.”
Christianity differs from all other religions in that it is the only one that is ontological in its approach to finding spiritual truth; i.e., it rests completely on the person of Jesus Christ. In addition, Christianity subsumes the approaches found in other religions and pours them into the person of Christ.
For example, knowledge is gained through words. To that end, the Gospel of John starts off by saying, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1, 14, NASB). Jesus is the knowledge of God personified.
When it comes to pragmatism (i.e., works), the people once asked Jesus, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works [plural] of God?” Jesus answer to them was, “This is the work [singular] of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent” (John 6:28–29, NASB).
Existentialism and experience are fundamentally concerned with life. To that end, Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
So, Christianity differs from all other religions in that it is built upon the person of Christ, who embodies all approaches to spiritual truth. Paul acknowledges this unique and ontological nature of Christianity when he exclaims, “I know whom [not what] I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12) and “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6).
Are all religions the same?
Encountering World Religions by Irving Hexham
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