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Fast Facts on Defending Your Faith by John Ankerberg & John Weldon

Fast Facts on Defending Your Faith by John Ankerberg & John Weldon

Author:John Ankerberg & John Weldon
Language: eng
Format: azw3, epub
Publisher: ATRI Publishing
Published: 2010-02-01T16:00:00+00:00


23. Is Jesus The Only Incarnation Of God There Will Be?

The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think.

Aristotle

In what other religion do we find an incarnation like that of Jesus—or even an incarnation at all? At best, there is the idolatrous religion of Jainism which claims, unconvincingly, an incarnation (from a polytheistic heaven) of its god and founder, Mahavira. But, in fact, Mahavira himself denied theism and condemned the practice of praying to or even having discussions about God. The only other shadow of the biblical concept of incarnation is found in Hinduism, but here the incarnations are of mythical gods, forever cyclical, and just as forever irrelevant. According to the influential advaita school of Vedanta, the Hindu gods’ incarnations are, finally, also part of the duality and maya (illusion) of the creation and thus never redemptive in the sense of a propitiatory atonement, or ultimately in any sense. There is no concept of incarnation in Buddhist belief unless we consider the later Mahayanist belief of an alleged Buddha nature, supposedly inherent in all men, to be an “incarnation” of a mythically deified Buddha. Judaism has no incarnation; in Judaism the idea of Jesus as the incarnate Son of God is adamantly rejected. Taoism has only an impersonal principle, the Tao, as an ultimate reality and no need or place for an incarnation. In Sikhism, Guru Nanak taught that God is unborn and non-incarnated; in Parsism (Zoroastrianism) the god Ahura Mazda is not incarnated; and in Islam the thought of an incarnation is utterly blasphemous. In Confucianism, Confucius acknowledged himself as only a sinful man. Although he was later worshiped, he was never incarnate. Of the 11 or 12 classical world religions, there is no concept of incarnation except in Jainism and Hinduism, and both of those involve myths.

Only Christianity can claim an incarnation. In the sober words of G. K. Chesterton, the incarnation of Christ “makes nothing but dust and nonsense of comparative religion.”174 Thus, Chesterton was right when he asserted that only the Apostles have good news for the rest of the world: “Nobody else except those messengers has any Gospel; nobody else has any good news, for the simple reason that nobody else has any news.”175



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