What Makes Christianity Unique?

The question students ask me all  the time is: What makes Christianity  different? Because the assumption we kind  of have is Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism,  Islam and Christianity, when you get down  to the core, they’re all really the. I want to give you reasons why  Christianity is unique amongst the  religions of the world.

One reason is that Christianity is testable. In other words, it’s not just a  story about some person on a distant  land, in a different place. It’s about a  human being who is God, who lives in a  certain place, in a certain time and did  publicly-testable miracles to back up  his claims to be God. In fact, his ultimate miracle was rising  from the dead and Paul writes in 1st  Corinthians 15: If Jesus has not been  risen, our faith is in vain. 

You might say  “What about religions like  Mormonism?” Mormonism claims Jesus  came to America but there’s no actual  remains that we can examine to see if  these stories took place. What about  Islam, where Muhammad went into a cave  received the recitation, came out and  persuaded people it was true but  offered no publicly-verifiable miracles  to back it up. Even Buddha allegedly said  “If anyone does a miracle, that person is  not a follower of mine. Jesus did  events in history we can study  archaeologically, we can study  historically, we can look at the  manuscript and this sets Christianity  apart. That’s when we can actually  examine to see if it’s true or not.

The  second way the Christianity is unique is  that Christianity has grace. Every other  religion of the world is about human  beings working their way to God. What  Jesus said inJohn chapter 6, what must  you do is you must believe in me. We are  saved by grace, not by our own works. It’s about receiving God’s free gift of  grace.

The third reason is that  Christianity has Jesus at the center. I  don’t think a lot of people realize how  special of a figure Jesus is. Of all the  major religious figures throughout world  history, Jesus is the only one who  claimed to be  God. There’s  Krishna and there’s Buddha and there’s  Mohammad and there’s Joseph Smith and  Jesus belongs in the same category with  other religious figures. But what we  don’t realize in terms of who he claimed  to be and his impact, Jesus transcends  the category of religious figures. Almost  all other religions want to claim Jesus  for themselves. Buddhists will “We want Jesus. He’s an enlightened  one.” Hindus will say “We want Jesus. He’s an avatar, which is a God who takes  on human flesh.” Many Jews will say “Jesus  was a good moral teacher.” Even many  atheists will recognize the moral  principles that Jesus gave. Even in Islam, the Quran teaches that he was born  a virgin, that he was sinless and he  performed miracles. So everybody wants a  piece of Jesus. Don’t you think if you’re  on a spiritual quest, you’re considering  different religious claims, begin with  the religion founded on the person who’s  had more impact on world history than  anybody who’s ever lived.