In an interview by the Christian Broadcasting Network, Ravi Zacharias, a former Hindu now Christian apologist, was asked to explain

what brought him to faith in Christ (CBN, n.d.). During a period of intense depression he attempted to commit suicide. While recovering in the hospital, Zacharias surrendered his life to Christ. Christianity, according to Zacharias, provided him with answers to four basic questions of life. He states, “[The questions]...boil down to this; origin, meaning, morality and destiny. How did I come into being? What brings life meaning? How do I know right from wrong? Where am I headed after I die” (CBN, n.d.)? Zacharias' questions profoundly summarize the uniqueness of the Christian message. This essay will briefly examine each of Zacharias' four affirmations. Origins The Christian message of human origin revolves around the message of God as creator of all things. In the midst of a formless darkness the Trinitarian God cooperatively worked to bring about form and fullness (Gen 1:2). Using the products of His own creation, God formed Adam and breathed into him the breathe of life (Gen. 1:26-27; Gen. 2:7). Human origin, therefore, begins with a personal Creator God who creates humans in His own image. As such, every human being bears the image of God or imagio Dei. Few, if any of the religions, offer a personal creative God who willingly shares His image with His creation. Eastern religions, such as Buddhism, offer very little explanation for the origins of humanity assuming man has always been. Other monotheistic religions, such as Judaism and Islam, share similar beliefs concerning the origin of humanity. Meaning The Christian belief in a personal Creator God offers all humanity unique dignity and meaning as persons. God's image is born by every human being, whether or not they have placed

their faith in Christ. As such, all humanity is created equal in the image of God but that image has been marred by Adam's fall. Because all humanity bears the image of God, then, all humanity is worthy of respect and deserves to hear the gospel. The fallen nature of humankind prevents people from fully grasping the full scope of meaning derived from being created in God's image. The gospel, however, removes the barrier of sin allowing redeemed humanity an opportunity to grow in grace and fully comprehend their innate value as God’s creation. Christianity, then, teaches that meaning comes from outside humanity. Meaning is not derived from some inner divinity or goodness as taught by other religions; but in the redemptive and transformative work of Christ. Christianity uniquely urges humanity to surrender dependence on self; and instead, completely trust God to be the source of dignity and meaning. Morality Humanity, in its fallen state, suffers from a major predicament: sin. Because the image of God in humanity has been marred by sin, how can human beings know right from wrong? Christianity uniquely answers this predicament in two ways: Christ and the Holy Scriptures. God the Father sent the Son into the world so the world might be saved from its sinfulness (John 3:17). The cost of redeeming humanity, so it might know its origin and meaning, came at the price of Christ's death on a cross (Rom 3:24; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10). The expiatory work of Christ made it possible for humanity to respond in faith to God's offer of salvation. Placing ones faith in Christ assumes a diminishing of faith in ones self. Through the inward work of the Holy Spirit human beings, once dead in sin, are made alive (Col 2:13) and gain the ability to grow in grace. God not only provides the Holy Spirit, but also, the Scriptures. Christianity teaches the Scriptures are inspired by God and are profitable for the growth of believers. Christianity also

teaches the Scriptures are authoritative, that is, they are to be heard and obeyed. The Scriptures assist believers discern appropriate moral behavior in the world: behavior pleasing God. Morality depends on an internal work of redemption that in turn empowers the redeemed to obediently follow the Scriptures and grow in grace. Destiny The Scriptures teach all human beings have an eternal destiny. Other non-Christian religions believe in some form of life after death. Some teach a sort of life recycling, while others teach a more sublime melding of humanity into a cosmic oneness. Most non-Christian perspectives strive earnestly to find a strictly positive answer to the question of eternal destiny. Christianities uniqueness lies in its teaching of heaven and hell as physical places of destiny for all humankind. Christianity insists on a life directly connected to a Creator God. They trust God has provided all the means of grace necessary to overcome the problem of sin, find meaning, and live lives of moral integrity. Christian's affirm that placing one's faith in Christ makes possible the acquisition of those necessary means of grace. Because all means necessary for redemption have been provided humanity cannot be excused from its rejection of God and His Christ (Rom 1:2032). The reward for sin is death but God offers the gift of eternal life through His Son (Rom 6:23). To choose sin and reject Christ is to deny one's connection to God. The consequence of this decision is eternal separation from God. The good news, however, is humanity can be connected to God throughout eternity through faith in Christ.

References CBN. (N.D.). Spiritual Life (Apologetics). Retrieved September 15, 2010, from http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/ChurchAndMinistry/Evangelism/What_Makes_the_Chr istian_Message_Unique.aspx.

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