We have been talking about how we can discuss core Christian beliefs without “Christian” language. Before moving off this topic, I want to ask your help on one more thing. Jesus says that God loved world and gave his only Son (Jn 3:16). Is the “only” important, and how do you explain it?
The premise I am working from is that if we have explained the gospel properly, the uniqueness of Christ doesn’t need to be an issue that takes up a lot of time. If we have talked about the issues of our separation from God, the consequences of living and dying separated from God, and our inadequacy to do anything about the separation, then most people are going to understand that the rift between God and us can only be bridged by God. Certainly not by us. If we have adequately explained the atonement, then discussions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Spiritualism, or any other “-ism” are unnecessary, at least at first.
Now, please do not misunderstand. I do believe in the uniqueness of Christ. My question has to do with how we present the gospel in a limited time frame with limited vocabulary. I am wondering if it would be better to explain the issues above and allow them to lead inexorably to the conclusion of the uniqueness of Christ.