I am working my way through a new blog series in anticipation of my forthcoming book, Surviving Religion 101: Letters to a Christian Student on Keeping the Faith in College (Crossway, 2021). This new series will include 7 videos that tackle key intellectual questions about the Christian faith.
This fourth installment video deals with one of the most common criticisms we face: “Aren’t Christians just arrogant know-it-alls?”
I can still remember watching an interview years ago where Oprah Winfrey asked Tom Cruise about his controversial religion of Scientology. Cruise’s faith had come under fire due to recent events, and Oprah was pressing him pretty hard about what he really believed.
After a few testy exchanges, Oprah finally got to the nub of the matter: “So Scientologists don’t believe their way is the only way?”
With this one solitary question—which was obviously the question—the tone of the interview shifted dramatically. Whatever other things Cruise might believe, surely he couldn’t believe his religion was the only right one. Who could ever have the audacity to believe that?
Not surprisingly, Cruise alleviated Oprah’s fears: “No. We’re here to help. It’s not like you’ve got to believe this, . . . [that] you must believe what I believe.”
After a deep exhale, the interview then continued on with a more gentle, friendly tone.
That entire exchange highlights the core anxiety for Christians. How do we handle people who think we are exceedingly arrogant when we claim that Jesus is the only way to heaven? Here’s my answer in the video below: