Geisler, Norman Vol. 3
“The Exclusivity of
Defining our Terms
Pluralism: The belief that every religion is true. Each
provides a genuine encounter with the Ultimate, and
while one may be better than others, all are adequate
Relativism: Claims that every religion is true for the one
adhering to it. If there is no objective religious truth,
then there are no criteria by which we can discern that
one religion is true or better than another.
Inclusivism: Maintains that one religion is explicitly
true, and all others are implicitly true.
Exclusivism: Holds that only one religion is true and
that what is opposed to it in other religions is false.
Christianity is Exclusivistic
The unparalleled saving work of Christ is the
only means of salvation. This one of the
great principles of Protestantism. Along
with “Scripture alone” (Lat. sola scriptura)
and “faith alone” (Lat. sola fidei), “salvation
by grace alone” stands at the heart of
Exclusive Soteriological Claims of Christ
John 3:18—Whoever believes in [me] is not condemned, but whoever does
not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in
the name of God’s one and only son.
John 3:36—Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever
rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.
John 10:1, 9—I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep
pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a
robber. . . . I am the gate; whoever enter through me will be saved. He
will come in and go out, and find pasture.
John 8:24—If you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will
indeed die in your sins.
John 14:6—I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through me.
Exclusive Soteriological Claims of Scripture
Acts 4:12—Salvation is found in no one else, for
there is no other name under heaven given to men
by which we must be saved.
1 Tim. 2:5—There is one God and one mediator
between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
Heb. 10:12, 14—[W]hen [Christ] had offered for all
time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right
hand of God . . . Because by one sacrifice he has
made perfect forever those who are being made
The Philosophical Problem with Pluralism
As someone who has had to deal with the argument
from the pluralists that it is impossible to claim that
Christianity is the only way for salvation, I’ve found
that the quickest way to end the argument is to point
out the logical fallacy of the pluralist argument. If
they claim all religions are right and represent
different ways to God, then Christianity is right in
saying that Jesus is the only way, therefore,
according to the pluralists’ own argument, all others