I am reading John Piper’s “Jesus: The Only Way to God: Must You Hear the Gospel to be Saved?”

The scandal of particularity continues to be at the root of the Christian movement. Jesus alone is the savior of the world. Unpacking this takes some work and some sophistication. Still, the simple answer is yes.

Each generation must face this question, and I find that it is as much, if not even more, an issue today in evangelicalism than it was in the 60s when I was in college. InterVarsity Press regularly spun out books to answer that question. But the answer apparently has never been convincing enough to relieve each generation from having to answer it on its own.

We must work for cultural space for religions to demand exclusivity. Stephen Prothero’s God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World–and Why Their Differences Matter is a type of book that I hope sets in motion a new appreciation for the exclusive allegiance each religion must demand for it to be a belief system.

When we ask Muslims to dial it down a couple of notches, what are asking? Are we actually asking for it not to be Islam? I, for one, want the real claims of Islam to be put on the table. But as soon as Islam or any other religion changes its belief system to be more acceptable, it ipso facto recognizes that there is a higher claim at operation than its own belief system. It is hard to have a discussion about truth claims when each ideology bows to the god of moderation. No real dialogue gets done in that atmosphere and all religions become a pale shadow of each other. I am not sure how much different a moderate version of Islam is from a moderate version of Christianity.

Piper, Packer, Stott and company face up to the claim of Christ to be exclusive. I think this conversation will deepen in intensity as long as those like McLaren are welcomed into the evangelical community.

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