Monday, January 28, 2008

Scripture Twisters - John 14:6

Believe it or not, I've actually purchased the book written by he whose name I can not speak, and I have every intention of reading it, but a friend of mine pointed me towards this passage of the book:

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. --John 14:6

What does he whose name I can not speak think?

"Jesus at one point claimed to be ‘the way, the truth, and the life.’ Jesus was not making claims about one religion being better than all other religions. That completely misses the point, the depth, and the truth. Rather, he was telling those who were following him that his way is the way to the depth of reality. This kind of life Jesus was living, perfectly and completely in connection and cooperation with God, is the best possible way for a person to live. It is how things are."

This is my problem with He whose name I can not speak. *Deconstruction* He has taken a relatively simple concept and deconstructed it to the point where I'm not even sure what he is trying to say. I will not argue that the way Jesus lived is the best way to live, but is that the direct application of this verse? Let's examine:

1.) We must interpret the verse in context with the surrounding verses.
In John 14:1-5, we find Jesus telling his disciples about his Fathers house. This is Heaven. Then we find Thomas asking, "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"

Jesus proceeds to tell them the way. He is the way, the truth and the light. No one comes to the father except through Him. Does he seem to you like he is speaking of his lifestyle? He says "I," not "my lifestyle." So I would be lead to believe that we get to Heaven through Jesus, not his lifestyle.

2.) We must interpret the unclear with the clear.
A clear teaching of the Bible is that the only way to Heaven is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It is also clear that we can not get to Heaven through our works. So when we see Jesus proclaiming "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." What assumptions can we make about that statement? We can assume that he is not talking about his lifestyle, because we know that our lifestyle can not save us. We can assume that he is talking about faith in him, because that is a clear biblical teaching.

People tell me that he whose name I can not speak's purpose is to make people question their beliefs, with the intent of having them come out stronger in their faith. I wonder, however, how helpful it is for him to cause someone to question a well known and widely accepted teaching that stands up, even to the toughest of testing. I wonder if he intends to teach/give the idea that the way to Heaven is through living like Jesus did. (A task that is impossible from the start.) Perhaps I will go easier on him after I actually read the book, but for now, I remain sceptical at best.