Tim offers insightful perspective on the question of other religions offering pieces of the truth.
Do all religions offer a piece of the truth? Well, I think it’s certainly possible for different religions to offer a piece of the truth. For example, different religions may offer some version of the Golden Rule—“Do unto others”—or something akin to that. And when it does, we shouldn’t have any trouble affirming it as true. However, when we start to look closely at the particulars of the world religions, we can see that overall they contain only superficial similarities but serious fundamental differences. And it’s the differences that matter.
Imagine if I had two plates with prime rib dinners before you. Both were cooked the same way, medium-well, both came with a twice baked potato with all the trimmings, they both had the same sides. Now imagine I sprinkle a little bit of arsenic on one of them. If it’s dinner time, well you better pick the right plate. It won’t do you any good to cite similarities or point to all the good things on the plate. In this case, it’s the difference, the arsenic, that matters. So the important question is not, “Do all religions have a piece of the truth?”. We might be able to find something good or noble in many of the world’s religions.
The important question is, “Do all religions have a piece of the truth that really matters?” When it comes to religion we need to look at what they say about the most critical issues—the nature of God, the nature of man, salvation. And as we look deeper into these issues we find that all religions cannot be true. Well, why not? Because they make contradictory truth claims. God can’t be a Trinity, as Christians believe, and not a Trinity as other religions teach. Salvation cannot be by faith alone and not by faith alone, you get the idea.
Notice that we’re not even weighing in on which religion is true at this point. We’re just using simple logic to say they can’t all be true. So, do all religions offer a piece of the truth? Well, it depends what piece were talking about. Superficial pieces? Sure. But not when it comes the most important issues that really matter.