This winter I started taking classes at Bethel – finishing up my mdiv. One of the classes that I am taking this semester is World Religions. It’ s a great class and it brings up a lot of good discussions. Last night during a break, a woman from the class asked a bunch of us sitting around some tables, “How many of you believe that Christianity is the only way.” Much to my surprise, the group of students was just about split down the middle – about half of them said that they did NOT believe that Jesus is the only way.
Relativism in seminary
I was surprised at the response, but I wasn’t surprised at the way they tried to justify their reasoning. All of the reasons were based on emotion and not on a Biblical hermeneutic. When asked what they would do with Jesus quote in the garden when he said, Father if there is another way, let’s do it that way.” The response from my fellow seminarians was, “God’s grace must be bigger than that.” God’s grace bigger that the blood of Christ? Think about that statement. What showing of grace could be bigger than the sacrifice of a son? That act, in fact, defines grace.
I fully expect to encounter these views when I go and talk to people on college campuses, but I didn’t expect that at Seminary. I think of Paul’s response in Galatians when he says, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you and kept you from obeying the truth? That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you.”
What I realized last night, was that those who contend that Jesus is the only way will continue to fall more and more into the minority – not only out in the world, but also in the church and even in Seminary. My hope is that there would be a resurgence of people who are committed to a theology based on solid Biblical interpretation… not based on our emotions.