Multiple Paths to God?

Multiple Paths to God?

A few years ago, I received an intriguing book for Christmas. The jacket cover reads:

What happens after we die? Philip Gulley and James Mulholland grew up believing that only a chosen few would be saved and go to heaven, while most people would be damned. Even while studying to become pastors, they maintained this traditional view of human destiny. But as they experienced the pain and joy of their parishioners, each of these pastors began to hear a small but insistent voice speaking to them of God’s boundless love and extravagant grace, calling them to a new understanding of divine will and human destiny. As each sought to be faithful to their experience of a loving God whose grace is unlimited and unconditional, both men arrived separately at the same truth: God will save every person.”  (If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person, Philip Gulley and James Mulholland, Harper Collins)

Could they be right? Will God save every person, regardless of his or her chosen path?

Christianity has typically affirmed the following:

  • There are two ways – the way of the righteous and the way of the wicked (Psalm 1). One flourishes; one perishes.
  • There are two roads – the broad road and the narrow road (Matthew 7:13-14). One leads to life; one leads to destruction.
  • No one gets to the Father except through the Son, who is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6).

So how do we respond to Philip and James, our pastor friends who believe that everyone will be saved? And how do we respond to the popular opinion that there are multiple ways to God? And what do we say to the grieving mother who wants to know if her non-churched, non-believing son made it? How do we navigate our world of “multiple paths” to “multiple G/gods”?

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A Rainbow in the Clouds: Sign of God’s Covenant

A Rainbow in the Clouds: Sign of God’s Covenant

God emerges from the Flood in Genesis 9 offering covenant with a beautiful picture in the sky. “When the rainbow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant” (Genesis 9:16, NRSV). The God whose heart was moving away from his creation is now moving toward it. Five times the narrator presents a God who says, “Never again.”

I’ve said those words plenty of times to God. As a young teen, I beat a path to the altar of the local Nazarene church. I think I owe them for carpet. Each time I’d promise God never to do again the thing I promised last time never to do again. I became eloquent in my promises. Each “never again” had to be equal to or better than the last one. Certainly God was recording these. I promised to read my Bible every day, and to pray. I promised to witness to Dickie Bennett. I promised to stop thinking sexually about girls. I promised to study harder and make an A in algebra. I promised to treat my sisters kinder.

All eloquent promises. All eloquently broken.

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