This leads to the next question of if reason/logic can be used in matters of religion. Some say this isn’t possible, but the question is – why not? The truth is, logic is vital when examining spiritual claims because it helps you understand why some claims should be excluded and others embraced. Logic is absolutely critical in dismantling pluralism (which says that all truth claims, even those that oppose each other, are equal and valid).
For example, Islam and Judaism claim that Jesus is not God, whereas Christianity claims He is. One of the core laws of logic is the law of non-contradiction, which says something cannot be both “A” and “Non-A” at the same time and in the same sense. So applying this law to the claims Judaism, Islam, and Christianity means that someone is right and someone is wrong. Jesus can’t be both God and not God. Used properly, logic is a potent weapon against pluralism because it clearly demonstrates contrary truth claims cannot both be true. This understanding topples the whole “true for you but not for me” mindset; for example, Jesus can’t be God to one person and not God to another – He either is or He is not, period.
Logic also dispels the whole “all roads lead to the top of the mountain” analogy that pluralists use. Logic shows that each belief system has its own set of signs that point to radically different locations in the end. Rather than the “mountain” analogy, logic shows that the proper illustration of a search for spiritual truth is that it’s more like a maze – one path makes it through to truth, while all others arrive at dead ends.
When it comes to Jesus, one finds a very curious thing about Him – He claimed to be God in the flesh. Jesus own words (e.g. “Before Abraham was born I AM”), His actions (e.g. forgiving sins, accepting worship nine times), His sinless and miraculous life (which He used to prove His truth claims over opposing claims), and His resurrection (which He claimed He would accomplish) all back up His claims to be God.
In addition, the New Testament writers also confirm in their work that they believe Jesus to be God. Now here is something to consider – if Jesus is God, then what He says must be true. And if Jesus said that the Bible is inerrant and true in everything it says (which He did), this must mean that the Bible is true in what it proclaims. And because Step 2 taught that two competing truth claims can’t both be right, anything in the Islamic Koran or writings of Judaism that contradict the Bible can’t be true. In fact, both Islam and Judaism fall down as they both say that Jesus is not the Son of God, but the evidence says otherwise.
And because we can indeed know God (because He has revealed Himself to man, both in His written Word and in the face of Christ), all forms of agnosticism are refuted. For a detailed defense of the deity of Jesus Christ, see the Resources section of this website.
Finally, the same Bible that teaches Christ is God proclaims that God cares deeply for mankind and wishes all to intimately know Him. In fact, He cares so much that He became a man to show His creation exactly what God is like. There are many men who have sought to be God, but only one God who sought to be man so He could save those He deeply loves from an eternity of separation from Him. Each person has been designed by God for a purpose and each has a destiny that awaits them – one of eternal life with God or eternal separation from Him. Also note that this conclusion (and the point of God becoming Man in Christ) refutes Deism, which says God is not interested in the affairs of mankind.
In the end, we see that ultimate truth about God can be found and the worldview maze successfully navigated when one adheres to a framework for testing various truth claims and systematically works through a method to push aside falsehoods so that only the truth remains. Using the tests of logical consistency, empirical adequacy, and existential relevancy coupled with asking the right questions yields truthful and reasonable conclusions about religion and God.
In the end, everyone should agree that the only reason to believe something is because it’s true; nothing more. But sadly, true belief is a matter of the will and no matter how much logical evidence is presented, some will still choose to deny the God who is there.
Do all religions lead to God? Actually they do. All but one leads to His judgment, and only one leads to His forgiveness and eternal life - Christianity. The decision to embrace the truth about God is an important one for a simple reason: eternity is an awfully long time to be wrong. This is why right thinking about God is so critical.
For articles, presentations, and podcasts on the Six Steps, please see the Resources section of this site.
Is there anything more important than knowing the truth about God? Does God exist? Does it even matter to me? And maybe the most important question of all: How do I know which religion -- if any -- is true? Those questions are too important for idle guesses, emotions, or even tradition. We believe that you CAN know the truth about God, and surprisingly, it's not very different than how you know the truth about anything. The only good reason to believe in something is because it is TRUE, and Christianity is no different.
That's what Six Steps to Ultimate Spiritual Truth is all about. Using a question/answer framework, it systematically walks a person through the various tests for truth and religious options to arrive at a right end result about God. The steps used are the following:
First you need to know if absolute truth exists. If it doesn’t, then you really can’t be sure of anything (spiritual or not) and you end up either an agnostic, not knowing if you can really know anything, or as a pluralist and therefore accept every position because you’re really not sure which one, if any, is right.
Absolute truth is defined as that which matches reality; that which corresponds to its object; telling it like it is. Some say there is no such thing as absolute truth, but taking such a position becomes self-defeating. For example, the relativist says, “All truth is relative”, yet one must ask: is that statement an absolute truth? If so, then absolute truth exists; if not, then why consider it? Postmodernism affirms no truth, yet it affirms at least one absolute truth: that postmodernism is true. If anyone says to you "There is no truth", they are in essence asking you not to believe them. So don't.
Further – and this is important to understand – absolute truth is naturally narrow and excludes its opposite. Two plus two equals four and only four, with no other answer being possible. This point becomes critical as different belief systems and worldviews are compared. If one belief system has components that are proven true, then any competing belief system with contrary claims must be false.
Next comes the big question: does God exist or not? If not, then you end up an atheist and a naturalist (someone who does not embrace anything supernatural or beyond this physical world and universe). While volumes have been written and debates have raged throughout history on this question, it is actually not difficult to answer.
To give it proper attention, you must first ask the question: Why do we have something rather than nothing at all? In other words, how did you and everything around you get here? Jonathan Edwards, one of the great preachers of the Great Awakening, posed the answer in this way:
- Something exists.
You can’t deny you exist because you have to exist to deny your own existence (which is self-defeating) so the first premise above is true. No one believes you can get something from nothing (i.e. that "nothing" produced the universe), so the second premise is true. Therefore, the third premise must be true – an eternal Being must exist.
This is a position no thinking atheist denies; they just claim that the universe is that eternal being. However, the problem with that stance is that all scientific evidence points to the conclusion that the universe had a beginning (the "big bang"). And everything that has a beginning must have a cause, therefore the universe had a cause and is not eternal. Now, because the only two sources of eternality are an eternal universe (which has been proven to not be true) and an eternal Creator, the only logical conclusion to reach is that God exists. And note that answering the question of if God exists in the affirmative rules out atheism as a valid belief system.
Now this conclusion says nothing about what kind of God exists, but amazingly enough, it does do one sweeping thing: it rules out every pantheistic religion that exists. All pantheistic worldviews say that the universe is God and is eternal. And this assertion is false. So although it sounds dismissive, it really is not to say that faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and others of the same ilk are all ruled out as valid belief systems.
Further, we learn some interesting things about this God who created the universe. We learn that He is:
• Supernatural in nature (as He exists outside of His creation)
This Being exhibits very similar characteristics to the God of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, which interestingly enough, are the only core faiths left standing once atheism and pantheism have been eliminated.
This then leads to the next question: can we know God? At this point, the need for religion is replaced by something more important – the need for revelation. If mankind is to know this God well, then it is up to God to reveal Himself to His creation. Judaism, Islam, and Christianity all claim to have a book that is God’s revelation to man, but the question is: which (if any) is actually true?
Pushing aside minor differences, the two core areas of dispute are (1) The New Testament of the Bible (2) The person of Jesus Christ. Islam and Judaism both claim the New Testament of the Bible is untrue in what it claims, and both deny that Jesus is the Son of God, while Christianity affirms both to be true. The evidence for the truthful historicity of the Bible is enormous; a proof for it cannot be done justice in this brief space. You can find more on this subject in the Resources section of this website .
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1. Does Absolute Truth Exist?
2. Do Reason and Religion Mix?
3. Does God Exist?
4. Can I Know God?
5. Is Jesus God?
6. Does God Care About Me?