Jesus Didn’t Say He’s The Only Way?

Actually, He did say that, many times. So many times that it amazes me whenever somebody tells me — as I often hear — something along the lines of “But Jesus never claimed to be the only way to get to Heaven.”

I’m often tempted upon hearing those words to ask if He didn’t, why on Earth did He allow Himself to be nailed to a cross and left to die the most horrible of deaths? But that’s a topic for another post and another day.

Now, back to the question raised in the headline to this post!

Stand To Reason’s Alan Shlemon offers some quick thoughts by way of scripture and a recommendation for a useful compilation of more than 100 instances where Jesus made clear His claim to be the unique way to spend eternity in Heaven.

The verses Shlemon cites will be familiar to most anybody who has even lightly considered Jesus’s claims for Himself. There is John 14:6 where He says “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Then there is Matthew 28:18-20 where He makes what is, a reasonable person will realize upon honest assessment, an amazing, comprehensive claim:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

The compilation Shlemon suggests is by his colleague in Christian apologetics, Greg Koukl, called “Jesus, The Only Way.” There are 100 such verses and anybody who has pondered the question of their eternal destiny would profit from shelling out all of $2 to get their hands on Koukl’s little book.

Now, I offer one additional thought on this issue: Before this issue can be settled, it is first essential that the question of whether or not Jesus was resurrected on the third day after He was crucified be addressed.

Here’s why: If He was resurrected, everything He said about Himself must be true. If He wasn’t, then Christians who like me believe He was are in Paul’s words at I Corinthians 15: 17-19, “of all people most to be pitied” and our “faith is in vain” because we have gambled our eternal destiny on a myth, or worse, a liar or lunatic (HT: Josh McDowell).

Bottom line, then, is this: The truth or falsehood of the Resurrection is the key to the answer to every question you could ever have about Christ, including especially the one that prompted this post. And because all of your questions about Him are of crucial importance, you do well to start with the Resurrection.

Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at mark.tapscott@gmail.com

Should Christians Be In Politics?

People from all over the country come to Capitol Hill to work, and many of them come from faith backgrounds that span the spectrum from evangelical Christian all the way over to the party animals in the First Church of the What’s Happenin’ Now, Baby.

A recurring question is what is the proper role of Christians — and of their faith in shaping their decisions and actions — in politics. The controversy currently surrounding the possibility President Donald Trump will nominate Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court brings the issue to a sharp point.

Barrett is a dedicated Catholic who is active in a charismatic group. Does that disqualify her from being on the Supreme Court? Does being active in public life require a believer to leave his or her faith at home?

Apologist Frank Turek deals with the question frequently and offers some arresting thoughts on how to answer it faithfully:

Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at mark.tapscott@gmail.com

What Is HillFaith and Why Should You Care?

If you work on Capitol Hill, you and I likely have a great deal in common. You, like me, love this country and want to make it better. You are passionate about politics, the campaign trail and the legislative process. You worry about the future, of America and of you and your loved ones. You probably grew up somewhere else, most likely out there in “Flyover Country.”

Doesn’t matter which political party you identify with or where on Capitol Hill you spend your workdays. Your hours are long and odds are good you could be making more money working somewhere else (maybe a whole lot more if you’ve been here for a few years). But you get to rub elbows with many of America’s most important and best-known leaders, and your work affords endless opportunities to meet and work with interesting and amazingly smart, skilled people. Money can’t buy the satisfaction that can come with that, right?

Fact is, for better or worse, the Hill is the center of your world. Maybe not tomorrow, but for now, most of your friends also work here, including people you socialize with, enter into (and out of!) romantic relationships, and compete with to grab that next rung up the success ladder. Many of them you like, some of them you can’t stand, and a few of them will probably be your friends for life. You see traits in some of them you admire and in others things that either make little sense to you or that you would never want to characterize you.

But Are You Happy?

You tell yourself and others you are. As happy as you think you should be or want to be or thought you would be by now? I know the feeling. My first four years here were spent on the Hill, initially on the House side as a press secretary, then as a chief of staff and finally as communications director for a senator. It was dazzling, exhilarating even; the powerful men and women, the receptions with the free food and booze, making a difference on important issues, growing in influence, position and importance.

Or so I thought. When I left the Hill for an executive branch political appointment, there was something not quite right. I kept telling myself I was happy, but in my most sober, reflective moments, I knew better. In the years ahead, I “fixed” it with better jobs, starting a different career, divorce and remarriage, even fulfilling a childhood dream (becoming a race car driver, running a Formula Ford for three years at Summit Point).

On the outside, I looked like a success. On the inside, no way.  Eventually, it all came apart and my world was shattered. Sobriety and humility are wonderful and I’ve been blessed in the decades since with a wonderful wife and family, a career that I absolutely love, a deepening awareness of life-changing facts about history, faith, science, people and living, and, most important, a growing relationship with the Lord who created us and indeed the whole universe.

Here’s “The Ask”

Maybe you’d like to know more about how this happened for me and consider whether it’s something you’d like for yourself. Don’t worry, it’ll just be friendly conversation, no judgements, no preaching, just two people talking about how to make it on the Hill and everywhere else. Let’s meet for a few minutes of honest conversation and coffee. Senate or House side. Whatever works for you.

And keep an eye on HillFaith blog. It’s the heart of a new apologetics ministry that in coming months will share with Hill staffers the endless, fascinating evidence from science, history, archeology and logic for the literal resurrection of Jesus Christ and the life-changing truth of His Gospel.

Also, look for information here in coming months about debates, panel discussions, seminars and speaking presentations here on the Hill featuring the smartest, most knowledgeable and dynamic apologetics speakers in the world.

God bless.

Mark Tapscott is HillFaith’s editor, IT jockey, spiritual guide, chief bottle washer and overall Jack-of-All-Trades. Email him at mark.tapscott@gmail.com