Exclusive and Inclusive (updated)

I’ve heard that there are as many ways to God as there are people on the planet; that it is wrong to say that there is only one way to God. After all, how can there only be one way to such a great God when he’s created so many different people?

That there is only one God does not bother most people. It is when you say there is only one way to God that ruffles the feathers. God is One. And He has ordained One way.

John 14:1-7
1“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” 5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. 6How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.

If you want to know God, then you must know His Son, Jesus. It’s not Jesus and something else. Just Jesus. In that sense, the way to God is exclusive.

His call to come and know him, however, is inclusive. No one who turns to him is sent away. His call is for all people, all nationalities, all languages, all cultures, all races, all intellects, all ages.

John 1:12
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

John 6:37
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.

The gospel of Jesus is radically inclusive for those who aren’t offended by its exclusivity.

And I am hoping to write more, firstly, as an appeal to people to forsake their own ideas and turn to Jesus as the only way, and secondly, to give the Christian women who read this blog some words to use in conversation with their friends who disagree that Jesus is the only way.

Update: Justin Taylor has written, One More Way to God than I Deserve.
Instead of an in-depth theological explanation of exclusivism (which would be very valuable), I’m going to suggest some ways of engaging the issue with those who challenge your Christian beliefs with the pluralist objection.
He also includes this powerful seven-minute video of R.C. Sproul, which I’m including here now. If you pay attention, by the end your heart will erupt in praise to our great, holy God and Savior.

Part 2

4 Comments on “Exclusive and Inclusive (updated)

  1. Good post. But really, do you think that those whose feathers are ruffled will be convinced by scripture?Keep up the good work.


  2. Perhaps not, John, but it’s the truth and I really don’t have anything else to offer. 🙂 Who knows what God will do with his word? Thanks for the encouragement.


  3. Right. We don’t have anything else to offer – that’s why I said “keep up the good work.” I’ve added a link to this blog under a new category – “Reformed Sisters.” It will really benefit my wife, who is about your age, soon to be mother of three, and wanting to homeschool but very nervous about it.Thanks for visiting my blog.


  4. Thank you Leslie for this post. It is very powerful.Thank you John for asking the hard questions.Linda


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