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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 21–30 of 36 comments.

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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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