Chapter Nine: The Problem of Exclusivity

My Problem With God Is…

Sunday, October 20

Christianity claims that Jesus Christ alone connects humankind back to God, and that no other religion or worldview can provide the things we are looking for. Clark acknowledges how many people hedge their bets by supporting “any” possible path to God. Our culture today assumes if someone’s beliefs are different or critical of someone else’s, that they cannot not tolerate one another. But the reality is we can coexist with whom we disagree, while still defending their rights to that belief and work toward common goals in the world. The concept of exclusivity exists in many religions, not just Christianity. And it is illogical to accept that multiple religions are true, when they directly contradict one another. Clark asks for people to weigh facts and ideas against one another in order to find the view of life that is consistently true, makes sense of the world, and produces measurable improvement in the lives of those who believe and practice it, as well as those of society as a whole.

Getting Started:

  1. Why is the exclusivity of Christianity such a difficult and polarizing topic?
  2. In what ways is Christianity inclusive, while holding to an exclusive means of salvation?
  3. Is it ok to disagree with someone’s beliefs, but still work alongside them to achieve a common goal? Do you have examples from your own life you can share?
  4. Many believe that there is more than one way to heaven. What are the dangers of this? What are the dangers of communicating acceptance and support to someone who believes this?

Going Deeper:

  1. How would you describe the difference in cultural pluralism and metaphysical pluralism?
  2. Clark writes, “While we can fight for people’s rights to say what they believe, we do not have to conclude that what they believe is true.” Do you agree with this statement? Does it cause you to think differently when you hear someone voicing a belief different than your own?