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The Conversation Continues: Reader's Comments
Readers respond to John R. Franke's "Still the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Displaying 1–36 of 36 comments


December 11, 2009  8:29am

Paul, Christ is quite present in the Old Testament. Why would we assume that He is not the way for OT believers when we have evidence of His presence in the OT. John 1:1 and following at least, and the theophanies, if you accept them. Christ is frequently referred to in the Psalms as well. You equate John 14:6 with "accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour."


December 09, 2009  5:57pm

Jesus used "the", not "a"... the Way, the Truth, the Light. If you cannot accept this, you are not a follower of Christ.


December 09, 2009  3:55pm

Paul here's something to consider in response to your statement about past Jews like moses. God exists outside of time, therefore if God is timeless than Jesus Christs sacrifice is timeless. We know from Isaiah that the Jews new about the savior and believed in him but he just hadn't come yet. I am not a theologian so I can say nothing for sure but it is quite a thought to think that because God is timeless his forgiveness which was gained by the cross, and only the cross, might also extend to those of the old testiment such as Moses.


December 09, 2009  10:14am

I have often asked people who quote John 14:6 "the Way and the Truth and the Life, no one comes to the father but by me" why Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are excluded from the Kingdom of God as are Moses, Elijah, David and Enoch who never "accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour" I have never received a good answer that excludes the possiblity that God in His infinite wisdom might have other ways for us to know Him in all His Triune glory

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December 08, 2009  9:13pm

The author has a few good points, but seems to be timid about clearly stating what these "Christian" teachers who hold to plurality really are...false teachers of deception. I also noticed the cart came before the horse a few times. True Christians begin living a life of love because they are changed, they do not live a life of love so they can be changed. Same thing with living in the Spirit and walking with God. This happens through the reconciliation between our sinful selves and God, and is only accomplished thru the Cross of Christ. The love...the walk...these are all signs of true conversion, not things that facilitate it. I am, however, glad to see that someone is still bold enough to point out that Jesus was very exclusive. He is the only way, and trying to twist that statement to mean anything else is a clear sign of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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December 08, 2009  6:53am

A very thoughtful essay. Franke does what many evangelicals do seem to be able to do; he holds together the particular and the universal. In other words, he is able to see that the "Word mad flesh" in Jesus Christ must be seen in light of the Word God speaks in creation, history, cultures, and even other religions. This is much more along the lines of classic Trinitariansim, and is the kind of thoughfulness we need in our day. Many of the responses to his essay demonstrate how much we need to recover the theological/metaphysical roots of this Trinitarian vision of reality; a vision that is much larger than post WWII, American evangelicalsim had to offer.

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John CF

December 07, 2009  3:22pm

This article is very verbose but disappointingly poor in the substance of Jesus exclusive uniqueness as Savior God. Scripture is clear in declaring that every human being is under the sentence of death because of original and personal sin and sinfulness; that Jesus was God in the flesh, born of a virgin, lived a sinless, righteous life on earth; that he went to the cross to bear the penalty for our sin, died and rose again on the third day (demonstrating vindication) and ascending to the Father, and; that he will return to take his saints to be with him. He is therefore the only hope for guilty sinners to receive forgiveness through repentance and faith, be reconciled to God and be clothe with the righteousness of God. He does not merely give us instructions or an example on how to live and love (the heresy of Peter Abelard), rather he makes us alive (Eph. 2:1-10) indwelling us by the Holy Spirit. Settling for less than his unique Gospel perilously misses out on "so great a salvation."

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Christian Student

December 07, 2009  2:14pm

Actually Johann, Protestant churches don't have "vastly differing and contradictory theologies." As you can see from the many posts, we all have at least one belief in common, despite the many differences in our doctrines. We all accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, and the ONLY WAY to God and Heaven. At the end of the day, that's what matters the most. Teaching salvation through anything else is false.

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December 07, 2009  10:39am

Actually, polls have shown that large percentages of "Christians", even evangelical born-again Christians, do not believe that Christ is the only way, truth and life. Yet another fruit of the Protestant Reformation. If you can believe that 30,000 Protestant sects, many of which teach vastly differing and contradictory theologies, are all Christians and all saved, then it's not a big leap to seeing the truth in non-Christian religions and their own unique path to salvation.

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December 07, 2009  10:23am

JM, we're not consigning people of other faiths anywhere. But if they are on a path to hell, isn't it more loving to tell them, rather than be politically correct?

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Tony Richie

December 07, 2009  9:16am

This article calls attention to an important issue for our times. Of course Jesus is unique--uniquely unique, if we will, i.e., incomparable (Acts 4:12). Further, Jesus is uniquely the way, truth, & life (John 14:6). However, rather than being so defensive and negative, it would have been significantly stronger if it had addressed how this reality actually can empower interreligious undersanding and relations, including dialogue and cooperation, by committed Christians. The Lordship of Jesus Christ is a lot larger than some seem to suppose (see John 1:1-18). The genuineness of God's love for the whole world (John 3:16) and the expansive scope of Christ's atoning work (Rom 5:12-17) should never be underestimated. Thus, the name of Jesus Christ announces salvation for those dwelling under heaven (Acts 4:12) who will respond postively to the presence of God's Spirit (Ps 139:7; John 3:16-21). That may include some surprises (Ps 87:4). Yet always, Jesus alone is Lord (Rom 10:9-10)!

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December 07, 2009  8:58am

Nothing tired about the truth. There is not enough room here to explain why Hell is necessary. But the scripture states clearly the all who seek Christ will find Him. No one will be in Hell who seeks the Lord.

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December 06, 2009  8:35pm

I was hoping to read something besides the same tired theology, something that really engaged the issue: how to get along with the neighbors? How do we live amiably with people of other faiths without consigning them to hell, without dismissing their view of being as false?

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December 06, 2009  9:28am

Did Mr. Frank mention that Jesus is the only way or did I miss it? Jesus passionately petitioned God the Father for another way (Father if there be another way.......), but eventually submitted to God's will. As far as the uniqueness of Jesus, I did see anything about attonement. Isn't that the single unique thing about Jesus?

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December 05, 2009  8:57pm

the only scandal that people tried to create apart from God is that Jesus is still in the tomb. there is overwhelming evidence that Jesus rose again from the dead! 1) 500 ppl saw him after the Resurrection, as predicted in the Old Testament that Jesus would rise again if one studies the Jewish festivals 2) women were the first to see Jesus. If this was a made up story, why would the authors of the Gospels claim and write that women, whose testimonies were not even counted in the Roman/Jewish courts at the time, were the first ones to see Him risen from the grave? Obviously it has to be a true story, not a made up one 3) James, Jesus very own younger brother, calls Him Lord and Savior in the book of James, which has overwhelming historical evidence that James actually wrote the letter (epistle), after the resurrection 4) Saul, a persecutor of the Church and killer of Christians, becomes Paul and serves the Lord after encountering Him on the road to Damascus. He ends up being behead

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Written Alone?

December 05, 2009  5:45pm

Most christians are hypocritial. They claim Jesus is THE way, truth, life - singular version of truth. Then proceed to form multiple denominations with OPPOSING and CONTRARY doctrines based on "THEIR OWN" truth - or rather, their own interpretation of scripture. I find it increduluous, one would believe Christs words that he would found a church, the believe he would found something with multiple versions of doctrine and truth. This is the great scandal of Christianity

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December 05, 2009  5:04pm

Nobody else's tomb is empty except Yeshua's. If people would just read the Bible from cover to cover, their lives and faith would be transformed. However, most people do not want to make that commitment, though it would only take them 18 months if they did 2 chapters per day.

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December 05, 2009  4:12pm

If we believe the Scripture to be the inspired, inerrant, infallible word of God, we will see that God is perfectly loving and just. He could have condemned everyone, but chose to save some, even though none deserve his love. He showed us his love and mercy in the death of Christ, and his resurrection. If we choose to exchange the gospel for some fabricated religion of human thinking then we are liars. John Franke has based and supported his article on Scripture, and has presented the biblical historical orthodox faith handed down to us from Jesus and the apostles of his church. Listen to our brother Paul: "But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to what we have preached to you, he is to be accursed! . . . For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ" (Galatians 1:8,10; see also Jn6:29ff, 44, 65;10;Rom1:18-20;3:10ff;10:17).

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December 05, 2009  1:47pm

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact. -AMEN

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Ephrem Hagos

December 05, 2009  8:34am

"I Am Who I Am" or self-sufficient life (Ibid, 8: 21-28) and "the Way, the Truth and the Life" (John 14:6) are synonymous expressions uniquely defined in the perfect and diacritical/transfigurative death of Jesus Christ on the cross according to all Scriptures. Without firsthand and personal experience of the divine life of Christ, faith is no more than a misnomer (John 1: 47-51).

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bernie kopfer

December 05, 2009  8:32am

Those of us who were fortunate (or predestined?) to have heard of Jesus get to go to heaven. Those who by accident of birthplace, time, or lack of christian "witness" have to go to hell. That is the essence of much that we christians believe and teach these days. If you don't know or accept Jesus you get to be in eternal punishment. I think i am beginning to see why atheism is catching on, and why we are becoming irrelevant to the world. Yes the bible teaches that Jesus is way to God. But to say that all nonexposed and nonbelievers are eternally going to "fry" is not about a God of love. I would not do that to any stranger or even to my enemies, let alone to my children. And don't we say that everyone born is child of God? Is God really such and ogre that only the bloody death of his "only begotten" keeps him from annihilating humanity? Please fellow christians, think thru this picture of God we present. Perhaps the time has come for a new way of thinking and understanding atonement

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December 05, 2009  1:58am

One of the best articles that I have read in some time. Would that many church leaders in our day would understand that Christianity is not "relative" to what society has become. I'm not sure that some read the whole piece as it was pretty clear to me that the fundamental truths of the Trinity were expressed as nearly as we humans are able to explain it and that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to the Father. It is peculiar that anyone would interpret from this article that what was being said was that Jesus was "merely a moral teacher." As a matter of fact I believe that the whole point was to describe that He was much more than that, i.e. the Trinity, and in Philippians that he humbled himself even unto death. Great article. Too few like it.

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Enoch Era

December 05, 2009  12:30am

As someone coming from a pluralistic nation - I think John R. Franke has done a masterly job in trying to capture the meaning of John 14:4. I wonder how one could miss it that he is affirming the exclusive claims of Christ. One of the major problems with postmodern mindset is that we do not distinguish between - an opinion, a belief, knowledge and truth. We tend to think that all these are just synonyms,which they are not. Secondly most people today do not understand that any truth claim has got to be exclusive, if this is not granted then nothing can be claimed as true or right and wrong. Truth by its nature has got to be absolute and exclusive. In our desire to be tolerant we tend to jettison this cardinal characteristic about truth. We talk of tolerance only in contest of a deviation. And tolerance must be shown to those who we do not agree with but truth itself has got to be affirmed as exclusive and non-negotiable. Truth as personal and relational as presented here is beautiful.

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Dr. Andrew Straubel

December 04, 2009  11:18pm

Dr. Franke, you forgot the rest of John 14:6. While Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, it also says,"no one comes to the Father EXCEPT through me" (emphasis mine). If you are going to talk about exclusivity than by all means do so. Acts 4:12 says, "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we MUST be saved." John 3:3 and 7 also speak to the subject when Jesus said, "You MUST be born again." And who would forget 1 Timothy 2:4-5 when it says that "there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus who gave himself as a ransom for all men." These are exclusive claims! Perhaps as Christians we should be more concerned about the exclusive claims of the Jesus and the gospel than attempting to make Jesus palatable to outsiders.

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Karl Anderson

December 04, 2009  5:45pm

The author tries to replace one misconception about Jesus with another one. To answer that Jesus as the Way means He merely came demonstrate the Father to us ignores the problems of sin and the depravity of man. It appears to suggest that our problem with God is merely a lack of knowledge. Yet the clear teaching of the New Testament reveals that we are separated from God, not by a lack of knowledge, but rather by sin. We don't have the wherewithal within us to come to Him. In fact it describes those outside of Christ as enemies, hostile towards God. The blood of Christ is required to pay the debt of our sin and reconcile us with the Father. To present Jesus as merely a moral teacher denies the distinction between our savior and the other religious figures from throughout history. All the others presented a plan of salvation by works with moral instructions about how to live. Only Jesus presented a way to overcome failure so we may be reconciled with our creator even though we sin.

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December 04, 2009  5:23pm

The high number who believe that Jesus might be one amongst many rather than unique shows just how few Christians have a deep experiential prayer life. They do not communicate with Jesus in deep reverential prayer and so have not seen firsthand that Jesus is wonderful, counselor, Almighty God. They therefore cannot be witnesses. Witnesses to be honest have to be firsthand witnesses. Otherwise it's just hearsay. This article as well intentioned as it is, is hearsay. Let us who know Jesus personally proclaim his majesty firsthand so that doubters can hear honesty.

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Jeffrey L. Whitledge

December 04, 2009  3:59pm

As an atheist, I find this article very encouraging. It shows a trend toward peace and tolerance. It is especially encouraging to see mainstream Christianity downplaying and hiding the notion that those who don't believe in Jesus will be tortured in hell for all eternity. I was raised to believe that when Jesus said he was the "way, truth, and life" he meant that those who didn't accept him were going to burn in the lake of fire. This is a ghastly notion, and those who believe it are susceptible (in my opinion) to dehumanizing those with other views. If this positive trend continues, as I hope it does, then maybe American Christians will soften their hearts toward those who don't believe, and evils like capital punishment, torturing enemy combatants, etc. will find less appeal among even the most conservative elements.

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Marianne Miller

December 04, 2009  3:55pm

This topic is too important to be handled so clumsily. How can so many words say so little?

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Michael D. Tharp

December 04, 2009  3:54pm

In answer to the individual who asked how we know that the Bible is the Word of God: the Bible consists of hundreds of fulfilled prophecies. This alone is very strong evidence of divine inspiration of the Bible. The Bible's perfect track record of fulfilled prophecies cannot be found in any other books (religious or otherwise) of either past or present. These are not vague or ambiguous prophecies. Instead, they are specific and detailed, often made hundreds of years in advance. That is how I know that the Bible is the Word of God.

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December 04, 2009  3:37pm

"He was with God "in the beginning" and was sent into the world not only to tell us about God but also to demonstrate how God wants us to live." I really don't agree with this statement..I mean it's true that Jesus shows us how we should live but that's not the reason he was sent into the world. Jesus came into the world to reconcile the whole world to God. To do that he overcame death and hell. That's so much more than a 12 step program on how to live good lives. Nothing we do saves us, his death and resurrection alone do that. I think C.S Lewis had it right when he said it was Grace that made Christianity unique among other religions. Everything else flows from that. Now I believe that God is truthful so I believe that he will indeed reconcile the whole world to himself through Christ. Just how he does that may not be how I expect but I will not limit God to my idea of how it should be done.

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John P. Davis

December 04, 2009  3:36pm

I am amazed how one can talk about the exclusivity of Jesus Christ and avoid the cross and the atonement. This article is more about Jesus modeling the way, than His being the way. The religious world objects to the cross and penal atonement and that is why they will have little to object to in this article.

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Garbage in, garbage out

December 04, 2009  3:14pm

"More people than ever doubt that anyone has a corner on truth. So why do Christians keep insisting on the incomparable uniqueness of Christ?" 6 pages of verbiage to answer a poorly worded question. The real question to answer is: Why should any non-Christian believe in the claims of Christianity? I can't find any good reason, because Christian reasoning is circular: I believe in the uniqueness of Christ because the Jesus tells me it is so in the Bible. But why should I believe the Bible? Because it is the word of God. But how do I know that it is the word of God? Because the Bible says so... Alas...

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December 04, 2009  2:50pm

"When we claim Jesus is unique, we mean that he is in an altogether different category from Moses, Buddha, Muhammad, or whomever. " Moses is in a different category here than the others. Jesus is the fulfillment of a prophecy delivered through Moses. Jesus is the fulfillment of what God started with Abraham and through Moses. Minor point, but one I thought should be made.

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David Fredrickson

December 04, 2009  2:46pm

For most devoted believers it is alarming to hear that such a large percentage of Christians believe that non-Christian "faiths" can lead to eternal life. Yet when one considers that ever since Constantine married Christianity to the state it has progressively grown into a religious system much like any other. The important exception is that conservatives still uphold vital doctrinal truths that unfortunately are often understood intellectually rather than experientially. This decline in genuine faith coincides with the tendency of any religious system to turn relationship into ritual and worship into duty. Thus, church has become a building where one attends an event once or twice a week rather than a community of believers that function as the church all week long. To quote what John G. Lake: The world does not know what true Christianity is. Is it any wonder, then, that at least half of all professing Christians are really not converted?

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December 04, 2009  2:38pm

Well, I will say after what I have read in this article that the number of Christians who believe that other religions lead to heaven is astonishing. I am a devout believer in Christ and no, I do not believe that all other religions lead to heaven. For one, every one is not a son or daughter of Christ that is clearly portrayed in the Bible. The bible clearly states that those who love God and are obedient to his word are the sons and daughters of men. There are plenty of scriptures that will tell you the benefits of believing in the Lord and why he is the way, truth, and light without a shadow of a doubt. I also know that in the last days even the very elite will be deceived. Christians are the only religious people who doubt what they believe in yet, other religions don't that is why we get stumped on questions that ask us is Jesus the most unique man who ever live. To me he is because he died for our sins, no other religion can say that. God's Love.

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December 04, 2009  2:34pm

When will people see the truth that there is only one way to the Father and that is through His Son, Jesus Christ? There are plenty of religions that believe in God, god, gods, but the Bible clearly states, that although they are not "anti God", they are antichrist if they don't believe in the necessity of a personal savior, Jesus Christ. See I John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and II John 1:7. Without Christ, there is no relationship or eternity with the one true God.

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