20 April 2009

The Best Available Religion?

According to Theopedia, German theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg, who is proving helpful to me as I write a paper on the Trinity, in high school "experienced an 'intellectual conversion' and decided that Christianity was the best available religious option."

On the one hand, I understand what is meant here and I receive it. I know that "religious" is being used here in a generic way. And I acknowledge that for many (C. S. Lewis e.g.) conversion feels largely intellectual. Certainly, God does not (normally) bypass the brain when mediating grace.

Yet this is just the kind of statement that propagates a deeply defective view of Christianity. Christianity is not the best available religious option; it is the one religion in which we are freed to give up on religion. It is the only faith that grants access via the door of self-despair and failure rather than self-actualizing success. Jesus didn't come to tell us about the best religion; he came to end all religion. He is God's alternative to religion. Religion and Christianity are mutually-exclusive options.