20. Which Religion, if any, holds the truth?

 

 

1. INTRODUCTION

 

What is truth? Probably the most famous passage of literature in which this question was asked is found in the New Testament. It was at the trial of Jesus.

 

Pilate asked him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.' Pilate asked him, 'What is truth?' After he had said this, he went out to the Jews again and told them, 'I find no case against him. (John 18:37-38)

 

Pilate was sceptical. As in today's society, he too was surrounded by a confusing variety of thoughts and opinions. He found himself tossed about by waves of materialism, idealism, superstition and atheism. The poor man had been confronted with too much 'truth.' Many philosophies, religions, and other worldviews claim to be possessing the truth. Pilate knew that in his world of Roman politics and power struggles truth was not what mattered most. However, to many people the question of truth is still of paramount importance. What is truth anyway? The Hebrew word for 'truth' is 'Emeth', which translated means 'firmness, stability.' The Greek word 'Aletheia' can be rendered 'the unveiled reality lying at the basis of and agreeing with an appearance.' ('The Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, edited by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., AMG Publishers, Chattanoga, TN 37422, U.S.A., 1990) The kind of Truth discussed on the following pages is by its very nature exclusive. Seekers of Truth will be able to find it.

 

 

2. FORMULATING AND APPLYING A TRUTH TEST

 

Let us consider briefly those tests for truth, which have been set forth over the years. As shall be seen they are helpful in some respects but none of them can establish one worldview, one systematic analysis and critical examination of life, over another.

 

A. Rationalism It is the view that knowledge is independent of sense experience. Whatever is knowable or demonstrable by human reason is supposed to be true. Since there is no way to logically prove the laws of thought which are used to prove things, this test already comes to an end in the beginning. It is circular reasoning to use logic as basis for proving logic. Even in the weak form, that of noncontradictoriness, rationalism is insufficient. The fact that something does not contradict itself does not mean it is true. It only means that it is consistent within its framework of thought.

 

B. Fideism In this view truth can not be established by reason but must be accepted on faith. Since contrary beliefs are possible it is not really a test but more a claim for truth.

 

C. Experientialism According to this view what can be experienced is true. Since all worldviews claim to be able to have special experiences it is also inadequate to establish truth.

 

D. Evidentialism It is the view that what can be verified as a fact is true. While this test, like others, offers some significant contribution, the interpretation of facts depends on the perspective of a worldview. If facts gain their meaning by the context, then they can not be used to determine the truth of the context. Evidentialism too leads us into circular reasoning and can therefore not be used to establish the truth of a worldview.

 

E. Combinationalism, known as systematic consistency It involves a combination of some of the previously evaluated and found to be inadequate tests for truth between different worldviews. In the same way that one defective car will not bring us any further than two defective cars, it will not be helpful in our search for truth.

 

F. Pragmatism It holds that truth can not be thought or felt but it can be discovered by attempting to live it. Truth, according to this school of thought, is not what is consistent or adequate but what is experimentally workable. However, since some things seem to work well, such as lying, but are nevertheless wrong, pragmatism, at best, manifests only the application but not the justification of a worldview. As a test for truth it needs to be discarded.

 

G. Scepticism / Agnosticism It is the view that, in the light of the above, truth can not be known. Complete scepticism by itself is a statement of truth. As such it is self-defeating. Truth can not be denied unless some truth is being confirmed. In the limited form, namely that only some truths can not be known, it is unsuccessful because it does not eliminate the possibility that the truth of a world view can be known.

 

H. Undeniability and Unafirmability Whatever is undeniable is true, whether it is definitionally or existentially undeniable. If one view is undeniable, then conversely the other alternative views must be untrue since they are unaffirmable. As an example, a triangle, theoretically, by definition, must have three sides. If we find an existing triangle then it must actually have three sides. We shall now apply this only valid test for truth to the five main worldviews in order to establish the one that is true.

 

Deism It holds that a god made the world but does not intervene in it in miraculous ways. The deistic position is inadequate because it is undeniable that if he has miraculously created the world then the strong possibility of him performing other miracles follows necessarily. It is unaffirmable to state that a god is concerned enough for man to create him but that he would later not intervene on his behalf.

 

Pantheism (as found in Hinduism and New Age) It generally holds that God and the universe are ultimately absolutely identical. Pantheism is not affirmable by man because according to this concept he is not really different from God and therefore can not say, 'God is but I am not,' since one must exist in order to affirm that one does not exist. If we would be part of God, religious experience and indeed any other meaningful experience which has to be based on something or someone other than one self is impossible. Even those pantheists who allow for some reality to finite man will have to admit that this is a denial of the way man experiences himself. It is self-defeating to claim that individual finite selves are less than real because then even statements such as, 'pantheism is true' would be impossible.

 

Panentheism It is believed that God and the universe are one but that he is, at the same time, greater than the universe. The world is supposedly in God but he also exists beyond the world. God is absolute, eternal, and infinite only in potentiality. However, he is relative and finite in actuality. This bipolar concept of God poses a problem that cannot be solved. How should God be able to actualize his own potentialities? In the same way that this article is not going to be written by itself, an author is needed, someone outside God would be needed to actualize God's potentialities. Panentheism falls to the ground because a finite, changing God would need a infinite, unchanging basis for change since the relative always presupposes the absolute.

 

Atheism (as found in Confucianism and Buddhism)

 

In the light of God being the undeniable source of religion, atheism (Greek: 'atheos', 'a', without and 'theos', god), the belief that there is no God or supernatural power, is wrong. As truth it does not measure up because he who says that the world has come into being by mere chance can only make this statement in the overall context of design. That apparently contradictionary statement is explained as follows: There is no meaningful way to speak of a completely random universe as Atheists do. Chance makes sense only on the backdrop of design, as meaninglessness can be understood only in the overall context of meaning. Likewise, there is no way to even express the state of complete randomness without implying that there exist such characteristics of design as relatability, or even intelligibility. That is why the argument for atheism from chance is self defeating; it presupposes design and a designer. In other words one must assume God in order to disprove God. For example, to say that God does not exist because of all the evil in this world is to presuppose the equivalent of God by way of an ultimate standard of justice. Also it would take absolute knowledge to absolutely eliminate God. But absolute knowledge can only be derived from God. To be an atheist in the absolute sense, one would have to assume God in order to disprove God. Furthermore, contrary to reason, Atheists are forced to believe that something finite, changing and dependent comes from nothing, that matter generated mind and that potentials actualize themselves. Those scientists who claim that matter has always existed are making a very unscientific statement because there is absolutely no scientific proof, that matter has always existed.

 

Moreover, biological organisms (including humans) act in accordance with their nature. The fact that all human civilizations at all times and places have, by and large, looked for meaning beyond themselves indicates that it is in the nature of man to go looking for something 'out there' which then raises the question of why this is in man's nature. Is it there because God put it there, or is it there because it evolved? And what would be the evolutionary purpose of such a desire? Darwin teaches that living things evolve traits that benefit them; what would be the benefit of a desire for God if no God exists?

 

Lastly, science is inherently unable to answer certain questions. Science cannot account for things like heroism, self-sacrifice for the sake of others, romantic love -- those are all things beyond the reach of science. Faith in God is the same. Those who find him tugging at their heart, may not be able to offer a scientific explanation, but they are absolutely certain of it.

 

Theism (As found in Judaism, Christianity and Islam) This only remaining view affirms the existence of one transcendent and personal God who created and is involved with the world from which he is distinct. By the process of elimination Theism would be true since it is the only remaining noncontradictory worldview. It also passes the test for truth for the following undeniable positive reasons: It is undeniable that some things do exist. My non-existence is logically possible since it is not absolutely necessary. Whatever has the potential not to exist must be caused to exist by another. This process of cause and effect can not go on forever because what receives existence from another cannot be the ultimate cause of another's existence. In the beginning it must be based on something independent, a necessary being with pure actuality and no potentiality. If it was not so then even that cause would in reality only be an effect. Therefore a first uncaused cause of my existence exists. This uncaused cause must be infinite and perfect since nothing that is limited can cause itself. This infinitely perfect Being is correctly called 'God,' the one who is worthy of worship, of an ultimate commitment. Therefore God indeed exists and we do live in a theistic universe. (For a more detailed reasoning please refer to "Christian Apologetics" by Norman Geisler, Baker Book House, Michigan, 1976, ch 1-13)

 

 

3. THE ORIGIN OF RELIGIONS

 

Further evidence is support for Theism is found by studying the origin of religions. Anthropologists and historians believe that some form of religion has been practiced since people first appeared on the earth. Many think that religion arouse out of fear and wonder about natural events like storms and earthquakes, birth and death. Human beings therefore are thought to have attached spirits to these phenomena. If follows that these beings were then worshipped. This, however, is impossible for three reasons:

 

A) In all religions we find the experience of the Numinous. The word is derived from the Latin 'numen' meaning 'deity'. The feeling accompanying it is more than fear, it has to do with an awe inspired by a presence of divinity. It has come into a widespread existence and does not disappear with the growth of knowledge and civilization. An example may help to understand this concept. Suppose you were told in your living room was a bomb. Surely you would be afraid, after all it is common knowledge that it might go off at any time. A different kind of fear would come into you if you were made to believe that a ghost was occupying your house. Since you have heard of the horrible things others went through having been in the same position, you too would be filled with dread because of the uncanny, frightening, rather than dangerous situation. To be told and to believe that an Almighty Being fills each room of your property would make you feel totally inadequate, ready to prostrate and worship in awe. That is exactly how others before you have lived through such an event. (Gen 28:17, Eze 1:18) The point is that the step from fear to dread and to awe can only be made on the basis of interpretation and understanding of previous experience. Fear of danger arises by assessing physical facts known to be harmful and a logical deduction from them. Fear, however, does not produce dread and awe naturally, especially since the latter does still occur even in the mind at its fullest development. No factual description of any human environment could include the uncanny and the Numinous or even hint at them. These different categories can only be arrived at if they have previously been encountered. In religion the experience of the supernatural which causes awe is properly called revelation, God's disclosure or manifestation to humanity of himself or of his will.

 

B) The second element in religion is the acknowledgment of some kind of approved and disobeyed morality in all human beings. Everyone is conscious of a moral law that makes them feel guilty at times, knowing that they ought or ought not to have done something. Again, this fact can not be logically concluded from the environment or any physical experience. If we did not bring it to a situation we could not find it there. It can only have been revealed to us. Any other explanation presupposes the very morality people are trying to explain.

 

C) The third stage in religious development arises when the numinous power is made the guardian of the morality to which people feel obligation. The fact that a lot of non-moral religion and non-religious morality exists shows that the combination of the numinous and the moral experience is not logical. After all, the behavior of the universe of which an unpredictable God is in charge, bears no resemblence to the behaviour which the moral law demands of us. The one seems wasteful, ruthless, cruel and unjust, the other demands of us the opposite qualities. Why would anybody want to have a master who seems to contradict his own commandments? Once more, only revelation justifies such a step. The origin of religion therefore must be supernatural. However, that raises he following questions: Why are there so many different religions also known as worldviews? Do these understandings of the world and of life all present different ways that lead eventually to the same God? That is impossible because they often contradict each other substantially. God doesn't contradict himself. He reveals a kind of truth which by its very nature is exclusive and leads to true freedom. The lack of absolute truth opens the door for manipulation. Therefore, the right beginnings must have been distorted by men. The only contestants left in the race for truth are the theistic religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

 

 

4. CHRISTIANITY COMPARED WITH JUDAISM

 

Let us begin by defining religion. The actual word is most probably derived from the Latin 'religare' meaning 'to bind back' or 'to bind together.' It could refer to the collecting of beliefs, conducts and rituals of a particular persuasion. Today the definition of religion in the western world is often understood in the way the 16th-century German reformer Martin Luther stated. He said that to have a god was to 'have something in which the heart trusts completely,' whether such a god was a supernatural being or something in the world like wealth, power, career, or pleasure. That kind of religion does not necessarily have to be involved with shrines, mosques, temples, churches, or synagogues. It does not need complex doctrines or clergy. It can be anything that is of ultimate concern to people, that fills their lives with meaning. By logical application of the test of truth we have already eliminated all religions and worldviews except the theistic one. Therefore we will be primarily concerned with the first, traditional description of Religion as belief in and worship of one God who is separate from his creation. This is only true for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. They, like most systems of beliefs, attempt to give answers to basic questions such as, 'what is the meaning of life, what happens after death, why is there evil, how should people behave, how can we get eternal life in heaven?' In order to judge between the different truth claims of these three religions we need to formulate another test for truth: Whatever is systematically consistent in that it explains most facts in the best way, not contradicting itself and in a manner that fits with the overall system will be true. The test for truth within a world view will therefore not be based on undeniability as was the argument used to establish the truth between different world views. Rather, it will be based on a degree of probability. Before we can compare the two religions we have to ask the question whether the Bible is still reliable. Today's translations of the Jewish Scriptures, known as the Old Testament, are based on the Masoretic text the standard edition of the Hebrew Old Testament. It was prepared by Jewish scholars, called Masoretes, mainly from 500 to the 950 AD (See, "The World Book Encyclopaedia", Volume 2, 1982, USA, page 222b) Furthermore the translators compared it with a number of other sources still in existence today, the most important of which is:

 

The Dead Sea Scrolls, written in Hebrew at about 100 BC, discovered in the late 1940's and early 1950's in Palestine. Among the fragments discovered are complete copies or parts of every Old Testament book except Esther, and the variations in the text after a thousand years of copying are minimal.

 

The manuscript evidence for the Christian Scriptures, known as the New Testament (NT), is equally strong. Approximately 5500 partial or complete copies of it are still in existence. That is by far the most we have of any ancient work. Further witness to the reliability of the New Testament include:

 

-About 18000 copies of NT translations into different languages at an early date.

-About 86000 citations of different parts of the NT in the writings of early Church Fathers within 250 years of its composition.

 

The oldest known copies of almost half of the New Testament that are still in existence, are dated about 200 AD, that is 130-174 years after they were originally written. It is important to realise that all the main Christian doctrines are therein contained! The oldest copy of the complete New Testament (Gospel) which still exists today is dated around 350 AD, that is 280-324 years after it was first written down. This time span is minimal when compared to most ancient works. No wonder that Sir Frederic Kenyon, former director and principal librarian of the British Museum, a leading expert on ancient manuscripts, wrote: '...the last foundation for any doubt that the Scriptures have come down to us substantially as they were written has now been removed. Both the authenticity and the general integrity of the books of the New Testament may be regarded as finally established.' (Cited in "Answers to Tough Questions", by J. Mc Dowell and Don Stewart, 1980, USA page 6) For an in-depth study of the matter please see: www.domini.org

 

Christianity has got its roots firmly established in the Jewish teachings of the Old Testament and agrees in principal with the following areas: God reveals his plans for the redemption of the whole world in the Jewish Scriptures also known as Torah and Zabur by Muslims. There we learn that a sovereign Creator chooses people, families, tribes, and eventually the Jewish nation out of which the Messiah was to come, to bless the whole world. In no case the selection took place according to their goodness alone, but because they respond to God's love by faith, a simple trust that what he said he would do.

 

Consider Abraham: 'He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' (quote from Gen 15:6) Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: 'All nations will be blessed through you.' (quote from Gen. 12:3, 18:18, 22:18) So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

 

Galatians 3:6-9

The law was not given to the Jews so that they could become God's chosen people by keeping its commandments. Rather it was to enable them to express their gratitude towards God for the fact that they were already chosen. The law taught them about God's perfect and holy standards and at the same time created an awareness of their own sinfulness. The moral part of it, mainly expressed in the 10 commandments (Exo 20) kept them away from descending into the detestable practices of the surrounding nations. Furthermore, the ceremonial part of the law, the regulations regarding sacrifices, offerings, washings and food separated the Jews from all the other nations of idol worshippers. Most importantly it reminded them that salvation was not based on what human beings do but on God's ultimate provision in terms of the animals to be sacrificed in a unique, divinely ordained way. The writings of the prophets also contained in the Old Testament make it clear that the ceremonial law was only a shadow (Heb 9:1-10) of things to come:

 

'You have no desire for an offering or I would give it; you have no delight in burned offerings. The offerings of God are a broken spirit; a broken and sorrowing heart, O God, you will not put from you.' (Psa 51:16-17, see also 1 Sam 15:22, Hos 6:6, Isa, 1:11-15, Mic 6:8)

 

The prophet Isaiah announced that sacrifices and offerings for sins pointed to the coming Messiah, the redeemer:

'Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed..... For he was cut off from the land of the living....He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence,... After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light [of life] and be satisfied;...' (parts from Isa 53:4-11)

Once the Messiah had come, the ceremonial law which had granted exclusive access to God for the Jewish nation only would become fulfilled in him. From that time onwards the way to the temple, symbolizing God's presence, would be granted to all nations by faith:

 

'This is what Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: In the last days the mountain of the LORD'S temple will be established as chief among the mountains; it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. Many peoples will come and say, 'Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.' The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.' (Isa 2:1-3)

 

The identity of the Messiah (Hebrew 'anointed one', Greek 'Christ') is the only area of disagreement between the two faiths. While the Jews are still waiting for the one who according to the Bible would deliver Israel from its enemies and eventually establish a worldwide kingdom, the Christians have accepted him in Jesus. We can find out which position is more systematically consistent by looking at the following facts. They are verified on www.biblicalchristianity.freeserve.co.uk and are found in the articles mentioned in brackets hereafter. Alternatively, these articles can also be ordered free of charge at the end of this booklet.

 

The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is not doubted by any serious historian today. (See, 'Death and Resurrection of Jesus explained to Muslims')


He fulfilled numerous prophecies in remarkable details. (See 'What the Bible says about your future.' It also explains in detail why the Jews rejected Jesus.)


The claims Jesus made to be equal with God, to forgive other people's sins, etc., are outrageous and shocking, especially in the light of Jewish thought. Either they were given by a complete lunatic or by someone who indeed spoke the truth. There is no middle way. To think that he was just a good moral teacher is simply no option. The records we have of him make the first hypothesis unacceptable. (See, 'Jesus - God! An explanation for Muslims')
As for the moral aspect of the law, Jesus explained the full meaning of it. (see Matt 5-7) These perfect commandments are still valid but can only truly be observed through the help and forgiveness of Jesus who ultimately fulfilled every aspect of them.

 


6. CHRISTIANITY COMPARED WITH ISLAM

 

We are left only with either Christianity or Islam in the quest to find the one true religion. The above mentioned test for systematic consistency, for the highest degree of probability, will now be applied to them in five crucial areas where Christians and Muslims are of a different opinion.

 

A) History

It is systematically consistent with God's revealed nature in the Bible and the Quran, the books of Christianity and Islam, that he will not contradict history. As mentioned before, the cornerstone of Christianity (1 Cor 15:1-14), the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, is verified by secular, as well as Biblical history. However, along comes the religion of Islam and flatly denies this fact about six hundred years later (Surah 4, Al Nisa, 157). Numerous other historical contradictions are found in it, such as:

 

Alexander the Great, known in history as a licentious, belligerent, idolatrous man is according to many Muslim commentators, referred to as righteous and good in the Quran (Surah 18, Al Kahf, 83-98)
Dirhams, small silver coins, are mentioned in the Quran (Surah Yusuf, 12:20) where Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers about 1700 BC. Yet that currency was only introduced in about 600 BC. (For more details see, www.answering-islam.org)


The Bible does not contradict history. Many archaeological discoveries have confirmed its content. (See, 'A Tour of Biblical Evidence in the British Museum', by Dr. P. Masters, published in 'Sword and Trowel', issues 1996 no.4, 1997 nos. 1 and 2)


B) Science

Science is impartial fact-finding, the objective and unprejudiced weighing of evidence. That kind of objective science is what makes technology possible, and where it can be employed it is indeed the most reliable way of determining the facts. Christianity and Islam teach that God who gave the laws of creation is not normally going against them. While the Biblical records confirm this truth the Quran does not. Here are a few examples:

Contrary to Geology, Surah 16, An Nahl, verse 15 teaches that mountains prevent earth quakes.
In Surah 27, Al Naml, verses 18-19, Solomon overhears a conversation of ants. The fact is that ants do not use sound but smell to communicate.


In Surah 4, Al Nisa, verses 11-12 the Qur'anic law on inheritance doesn't add up. Here is an example: A husband dies and leaves his wife with three daughters and two parents. According to the Surah in question she must divide up his inheritance: Verse 11 = "If there are only two daughters, two or more, their share is two-thirds of the inheritance... For parents a sixth share of the inheritance each (i.e. the two totaling one-third). Verse 12 = "...their (your wives) share...if you leave a child, they get an eighth of that which you leave..." Thus if all is added up one gets 2/3 + 1/6 + 1/6 + 1/8 = 1 and 1/8!! This is mathematically impossible!


The Qur'an teaches that there are seven heavens one above the other (Surah 67, Al Mulk, verse 3; 71, Nuh, verse 15]) and that the stars are in the lower heaven (67, verse 5) The moon is depicted as being inside the seven heavens (71, verse 16), even though in reality the stars are much further away from the earth than the moon. (For more details see, www.answering-islam.org)


C) Purpose of life

God created mankind for a purpose. The Quran quotes Allah as saying:

 

'I have only created Jinns and men, that they may serve me.' (Surah 51, Al Dhariyat, verse 56)

 

The word 'serve', is a translation of the Arabic 'Ibadah', commonly rendered as, 'worship'. In this verse it means total obedience to Allah's commands. Muslims find their purpose in life by obeying the commands of Allah. ('Islam, Beliefs and Teachings' by Ghulam Sarwar, the Muslim Educational Trust, London, 1984, page 15)

 

According to the Westminster Catechism the purpose of life for Christians is, 'to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.' This statement is based on verses such as:

 

'... every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.' (Isa 43:7)

'Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.' (Psa 37:4)

 

Whereas Christianity agrees with Islam in so far that one should obey God and in so doing one brings glory, honour to him, the aspect of fellowship with the Almighty is unique only to the God of the Bible! What a wonderful prospect Christians find expressed in the last book of the Bible describing their state in eternity:

 

'Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.' And he who sat upon the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' ....He who overcomes shall have this heritage, and I will be his God and he shall be my son.' (Rev 21:3-5,7)

 

These comforting words are contrasted sharply in the picture the Quran conveys about paradise he created. There it is a place overflowing with sensual delights, material riches but where Allah is absent since he is distinct from his creation. (See Surah 55, Al Rahman, 54-60) The Quranic view of paradise is already met here on earth by the rich and famous. However, experience shows that they are still not satisfied. The richest man in the world was once asked, 'You have got everything one could wish for, is there still something you desire?' 'Yes, I want more,' was his sad reply. The real worth of material riches and beauty is only learned in the midst of their abundance. That is why Switzerland, often lovingly called 'heaven on earth,' has the highest rate of people committing suicide in proportion to the population of all other countries of the world. Money does not make one happy, as the sad saying goes. The Bible does not speak against possessions and that which is aesthetically impressive. (See Gen 2:9, Exo 25-28, Rev 21) The love of money is the root of all evil not money by itself. (1 Tim 6:10, Heb 13:5) Anything we consider worthy and valuable is to be used in a way that honours God and it is to point us to Him who is the maximum expression of value and beauty.

 

The greatest need human beings have to live deeply fulfilling lives is never found in sensual delights and materialism but in love that expresses itself in fellowship. There alone are our longings for love that takes and gives being fulfilled. At the very root of love that behaves in such a way is worship, found in the essence of our being. Worship urges us to appreciate, to gaze and hold our breath, not for what someone does for US, but for the very sake of their existence. To a certain extent the heart felt need of love can be met in marriage, family and other relationships. However, since human beings are inclined to selfishness our ultimate need is only met in an imperfect way. Only a personal relationship with God in heaven, as offered in the Bible, can truly satisfy both, our need for love and also its cause, the vocation to worship. In this fundamental issue, the search for the purpose of life, Christianity is far more systematically consistent then Islam. According to the former, the meaning of life is not only reflected in men's deepest need but also met eventually by God himself in heaven. The booklet 'You are a winner' (see order form) compares the two faiths in the area of sin, salvation and suffering. There too Christianity comes out as the clear winner.

 

 

6. CONCLUSION

 

In the search for truth we have formulated and applied a test which identified Christianity as taught in the Bible as the truth among all other world views. It explains the facts in the best way, not contradicting itself and in a manner that fits with the overall system. It therefore must be true. This does not mean that there is no truth in the Quran. After all, about 75% of it has originated from the Bible even though many of the facts have changed quite considerably. The point is that the Bible alone contains all truth necessary for our salvation and it alone gives the reader instruction on how to live his life in a way pleasing to God. That way is called Jesus who says about himself: 'I am the way, the truth and the life. No-one comes to the Father except through me.' (John 14:6)

To find out more about him have a look at the offers below.

 

Bibliography:

-'Christian Apologetics' by Norman Geisler, Baker Book House, Michigan, 1976, chapters 1-13.

-'Just thinking,' Communiqué of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Norcross, GA, USA, Winter 1998, 'Unobservable Aesthetics: The point of beauty,' by Manuel Zarate, pages 9-10.

-'Cries of the Heart,' by Ravi Zacharias, Word Publishing, London, 1998, ch. 6, pages 153-180.

-'International Journal of Frontier Mission,' Volume 14, number 1, January- March 1997, El Paso TX, USA, 'One's Future in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam,' by Dr. Daniel P. Fuller, pages 15-25.