One of the most watched videos from the RZIM team is on the topic, “How do you know that Christianity is the one true worldview?” See it here:
The answers that Ravi and John provide are both kind and insightful.
In their response, they clarify that:
- Any point of view is exclusive of all other points of view.
- The real question is which point of view is true.
- We can fairly test the major worldview by examining how well they answer four questions:
- The answer to each question must meet two criteria:
A. It must correspond to the truth - matching empirical evidence or the tests of reason
B. It must fit together with the answers to the three other questions - coherence.
- Finally, there are really only three fundamental worldviews:
A. Only the universe exists (e.g., naturalism).
B. Only God exists.
C. Both God and the universe exist (e.g., Judaism, Christianity, and Islam).
I encourage you to take some time to reflect on their answers. Are they right? Have they missed something?
If you agree with their answer, why not ask your friends to consider these questions with you? Ask them, “Where do you think we came from?” “What’s the point of life?” “How do you decide what is right and wrong?” “What happens when we die?” And listen. These questions can open up the door to great conversations.
Rough transcript for "How do you know that Christianity is the one true worldview?"
Question: If all religions claim to be truth, then how can Christianity make that claim and think it is correct?
I appreciate the question.
I appreciate the assumption in the question.
Oftentimes the Christian takes the hit that he or she who is a follower of Jesus Christ is the only one who lays claim to exclusivity. Not true.
Buddha rejected two claims of Hinduism: the authority of Vedas and the caste system. He came up with the four noble truths, the eightfold path, and the extinguishment of desire in the pursuit of nirvana.
Islam is also exclusive.
The first thing we need to know is, there are distinctions, there are fundamental differences. At best there are superficial similarities.
I often hear the question posed wrongly. Aren’t all religions fundamentally the same, and superficially different? No! They are fundamentally different and superficially similar.
In Buddhism, the goal is to extinguish hunger, desire.
I remember talking to the first woman monk who was from Thailand to be ordained into the Buddhist priesthood. She had to do this in Sri Lanka.
We talked for an hour. I angled into some questions. I asked if she was married, and had children. Yes, yes. But you live in a temple by yourself? Yes. Do you not see your children? She started crying. She said she had a car. She drove herself to see one of her children every evening. So Ravi asked, “So you are on a journey to extinguish the desire to be with your children, is that right?” She kept quiet.
Then I said, “The Dalai Lama has as his primary pursuit the freedom of Tibet.” She said, that’s right. I said, “Why does he desire that?” She looked at me and said, “We try not to get into these philosophical questions; let’s just say that he chooses to.”
You take a look at other world religions and see where these four questions are dealt with:
They have to be answered in two ways:
- Correspondence. Every answer must correspond to truth (empirical or logic)
- Coherence. When the four answers are put together, they must cohere and not be incoherent.
I guarantee you only in the Judeo-Christian worldview will you find these four questions answered with corresponding truthfulness and the coherence of a worldview.
I’ve been invited to many Islamic countries and held Open Forums there. We have dialogues.
In the Qur’an, it is the only historically claimed document that denies that Jesus was actually crucified or died on the cross. The Greek historians, the Roman historians, pagan historians, Jewish historians, and Christian historians say that he did. The Qur’an say it appeared that he did, but he didn’t. Historically, it is making an affirmation that is untrue.
I got into a discussion with Sheikh Hussein, the leading Shi’ite cleric in Damascus, Syria. For three hours we talked with an interpreter in front of a live audience. No rancor, just perspective and counter-perspective. At the end of it, he leaned over and said, “I think the time has come in the Islamic world to stop asking if Jesus Christ died, and to start asking why. “
The Judeo-Christian worldview is not the only one that claims exclusivity, but it is the only one that takes those four questions with corresponding answers that are truthful and coherent answers that stand the test of time. The ultimate answer is that of the resurrection from the dead, that gives you hope and meaning.
This question also comes in this version: have you studied all the religions of the world, in order to know that your religion is right? Could you have missed something?
That sounds like a very daunting question, but it is actually not that difficult to deal with, because all the worldviews in existence can be grouped at a very basic level, under only three categories.
- Only the universe exists. Naturalism and atheism.
- Only God exists.
- Both God and the universe exist. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
It is not difficult to apply the test that Ravi has provided to these systems as a whole.