OK, another interruption on our travels though the book of Colossians. But I wanted to let you know about a short book that I just published, Is Jesus the Only Way?, available here in the Kindle store at amazon.com. (It is also available here as a pdf file.) My goal is to not only answer that exact question, but to draw us back to the heart of the gospel message. In my opinion, we have added a lot of baggage to the gospel over the years in connecting Christianity with legalism, political activism, creationism, capitalism, materialism, and a host of isms.
Now with a new generation coming into church leadership, many are quick to throw these connections over the side of the ship. And I agree wholeheartedly that this baggage needs to be tossed and that we need to listen to a greater variety of voices in the church on issues such as social justice, creation care, faith and science, worship styles, politics, styles of evangelism, and asking honest questions. But could we be lightening the load too much? That is, in our efforts to throw off the trappings of the past, are we abandoning the core message of the gospel?
As the church goes through this transformative time, I believe there is one place we need to draw a line in the sand. And it is at the divine identity of Jesus Christ. My goal in this book is to let Jesus speak for himself in answering the question in the title. To do that I have essentially taken a verse-by-verse approach in explaining what Jesus said about himself in the gospel of John chapters 5, 6, and 7.
I believe in this age of universalism and salad bar religion, we need to keep the central message of the identity of Jesus Christ in front of our family and friends as the core issue of what makes Christianity CHRISTianity. While we can have honest questions about the biblical position on these ancillary issues, the heart of the gospel remains the answer to this question, “Is Jesus the Only Way?”
Please share this message with your high school or college student. Please help your kids understand as they head into or back to college that there is plenty of room in the Scripture and the church for asking honest questions. Help them navigate as well as teach them to explore for themselves how their faith intersects with the new world they are stepping into. Help them understand, accept, and celebrate the diversity in the church. But teach them that there in a core message to the gospel that makes us who we are as believers. And it all has to do with the identity of our Savior, Jesus Christ.