Must We Become Experts on All Religions?
Question: Since there are so many sacred books of various religions, all of which claim to be true, how can anyone be sure that the Bible is the true Word of God without first examining all the others? Even though another sacred writing might be mostly false, couldn’t it still have enough truth in it to make it worth the time and effort to examine all religious writings?
Response: That philosophy leads to liberalism’s conclusion that there is no definitive truth and no conclusive answer to any question whatsoever. For example, how could one be certain that two plus two was only four without first examining whether it might not also be three or five or six or seven or every other number? Since numbers are infinite, one would never come to the end of the search. So it is with religion: No one could live long enough to examine every claim of every religion that has ever existed. Nor is such an effort necessary.
Thankfully, truth is not arrived at by a process of elimination. The fact that two plus two equals four and only four can be proved without looking at every other number. And so it is with the Bible: its validity can be determined from examining it alone.
The Exclusivity of the Bible’s Claims
Whether the Bible is true or not depends upon the facts relating to that particular book. It is not to be arrived at by examining all other sacred books, concluding that none of the others is true, and then because the Bible is the only religious book left, accepting it. Every sacred book, including the Bible itself, could be and would be false if there were no God and/or if God had not chosen to reveal Himself and His will to mankind in written form. Whether He has done so or not is a question that cannot be answered by a process of elimination but must be determined factually.
Furthermore, if the Bible is the Word of God, as it claims (such terms as “Thus saith the Lord,” “The word of the Lord came unto me,” etc., are found about 3,800 times in the Bible), then all other sacred books must be false just as all other gods must be false. The God of the Bible says He is the only true God: “I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. . . . Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any. . . . There is no God else beside me . . . for I am God, and there is none else” (Isaiah:44:6, 8; 45:21–22). If He is God alone, then the Bible through which He speaks must be His Word alone also.
Once one has come to know the true God, there is no need to check out all other possible gods just in case one of them might have some legitimacy. That possibility has been eliminated by knowing that the God of the Bible is the only true God. And once one has verified the Bible’s claim to be the only Word of God by internal and external proofs, by archaeological and historical evidence, and, most of all, by meeting the Christ and God of the Bible, then there is no need to examine any other sacred books to see whether one of them might not have some truth in it as well.
The only reason for becoming familiar with other religions and other religious writings would be in order to show those who follow these false systems wherein the error lies and thereby to rescue them.
— An excerpt from In Defense of the Faith (pp. 71-73) by Dave Hunt