Religious Pluralism & Universalism – Part II

  • Last week we began our critique of Religious Pluralism and Universalism by considering the biblical testimony related to these issues. We saw clearly that God’s word refutes both of these notions.
  • Today we want to begin looking at some of the philosophic arguments that can be raised against these philosophies. We’ll begin with an argument from the discipline of Logic known as the Law of Non-Contradiction.
  • The Law of Non-Contradiction says that, “A cannot be non-A”. In other words, as the philosopher Aristotle explained, “One cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time.”
  • When this Law of Non-Contradiction is applied to the claims of the world’s religions, it quickly becomes apparent that all religions cannot be equally true. Why? Because all of the religions of the world make mutually exclusive and contradictory truth claims about essential matters like the nature of God and the way to salvation.
  • For example, Hinduism says that God is an impersonal force, while Christianity teaches that God is a personal being. Well, which is it? Is God an impersonal force or is He a personal being? These fundamental claims about the nature of God cannot both be true as this would be a violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction: A (God is personal) cannot be non-A (God is impersonal).
  • Another example, Islam teaches that salvation is based on works (keeping the Five Pillars of Islam), while Christianity teaches that salvation is a gift of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Again, which is it? Is salvation based on works or is it a free gift of grace? It cannot be both, because again, this would be a violation of the Law of Non-Contradiction: A (salvation is a gift of grace) cannot be non-A (salvation is based on works).
  • What you come to discover when applying the Law of Non-Contradiction to the truth claims of the world’s religions is this, either one of these religions is true and the rest are false, or they’re all false, but they cannot all be true according to the Law of Non-Contradiction.
  • This argument from logic can be a helpful tool in getting someone to reconsider the validity of the claim that all religions are equally valid paths to God. Once a person is willing to reconsider the notion of religious pluralism, it is then possible to begin a conversation about the possibility that maybe Jesus really is the one true way to salvation.

For more helpful arguments against the philosophy of Religious Pluralism, please check out The Apologetics Study Bible for Students, available in our online store.