This fourth letter was a response to a letter I wrote in reply to the third letter, the comment on a survey form.  It continues the discussion.

  I have again reprinted his letter as a starting point; this time, it required no editing other than that necessary to present it in html format.  From this page, you can read the entire letter, and click on any star to reach the page on which that material is repeated and answered.

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Here, then, is his letter:


  Thank you very much for your lengthy reply, it was very much appreciated. Please allow me to respond in kind.

  "The second answer is that Christians would disagree with your assessment of the age of our faith.  The Bible on which our faith is based stretches back to traditions from the dawn of history."

  Clearly the evolution of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is tied to common roots.  However, it does not follow that Jesus was not the founder of Christianity.  Clearly, without Jesus, there would be no Christians.  His teachings fundamentally differentiated Christianity from Judaism.

  "But there is another reason why Christianity, if true, must be exclusive.  It is distinct from every other religion in a few critical ways (ways which many Christians fail to grasp).  The central message of Christianity has nothing to do with ethics and conduct, but with relationships.  No other religion is about God trying to save man from himself because He loves us."

  This is a dubious claim at best.  The problem of evil rears its ugly head in this case.  Unless you plead ignorance, I do not see how you can bypass this problem, without first conceding the omnipotence or goodness of your God.  Also, if God is omniscient, it must follow that free will cannot exist, how do you view this problem?

  "So if Jesus is neither a madman nor a villain, then He must be God; and if He is God, then the Christian faith must be true; and if the Christian faith is true, all others must be false insofar as they contradict it, and lacking in whatever they fail to include of it."

  Although there is a good deal of evidence (some of which you cited) that a man named Jesus existed, there is by no means a consensus on his teachings. After 2,000 years of translations and innumerable viewpoints it seems highly likely to me that the core message of Jesus to man has been greatly distorted.

  Again, thank you for taking the time to read my response.  Out of curiosity, I have to ask you if you have read any books of Eastern mysticism, such as the Upanishads, Tao Te Ching, or the Bhagavad Gita.  If so, I would sincerely like to hear your opinion of them.  Thanks again and happy holidays.

- G

Well, that's it.  Read the answers, too--they're the part I wrote.

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