Christianity claims to be unique and this work in writing will demonstrate the uniqueness in research and show why other religions could not be considered as the way to salvation. The work of J. Hampton Keathley, III discusses the uniqueness of Christianity and states that Christianity is unique "because it stems from the uniqueness of Jesus Christ, the greatest man who ever lived. In Jesus, we have One who has virtually changed every aspect of human life, but sadly, most people are completely oblivious to the reality of how He has so completely impacted the world." (Keathley, 2012)
The uniqueness of Jesus Christ is examined by Keathley from the view of the uniqueness of Christianity as a religion and states of Christianity that "alone of all the beliefs of mankind, be they religious or political or philosophical…" Christianity is the one religion founded upon the bases of "historical acts and facts." (Keathley, 2012) Other religions are reported as being centered "in the ethical and religious teachings of their founders, but Christianity is built on the great events of creation and redemption."[footnoteRef:1](Morris, 1974, p.10) [1: Henry Morris, Many Infallible Proofs, Creation Life Publishers, 1974, p. 10 in Keathley (2012)]
For example, "The Moslem faith is based on the teachings of Mohammed; Buddhism is based on the teachings Buddha, Confucianism on the teachings of Confucius, Marxism on the teachings of Marx, and evolution on the teachings of Darwin. Not one of these is based on the observation of historical data or facts, but on the teachings and theories of men. Remember, evolution is based on theory -- not on observable data." (Keathley, 2012) Christianity is not founded upon that which Jesus taught but on who and what Jesus is and what He Accomplished. Keathley states that the value of what He [Jesus] said was dependent upon who He was and what He did and the abundant historical evidence that authenticated His life and words. This gave the teachings of Christ authority and placed them alone in the category of absolute truth." (Keathley, 2012) This is because the truth of what Jesus taught are rested upon the "validity of historical records, which are subject to investigation and examination" while all other beliefs have as their bases "the teaching and ideas of those who were nothing more than men." (Keathley, 2012)
I. Contributions of Christianity
Evidence of the uniqueness of Christianity includes those due to the impact that Jesus Christ had through the church on humankind and on history. Included on those contributions are the following:
(1) Hospitals -- began in the middle Ages;
(2) Universities -- also began in the middle Ages
(3) Literacy and education for the masses;
(4) Capitalism and free enterprise;
(5) Representative government (in the United States)
(6) The separation of political powers;
(7) Civil liberties
(8) The abolition of slavery, both in antiquity and in more modern times;
(9). Modern science.
(10) The discovery of the New World by Columbus.
(11) The elevation of women.
(12) Benevolence and charity; the Good Samaritan ethic.
(13) Higher standards of justice.
(14) The elevation of the common man.
(15) The condemnation of adultery, homosexuality, and other sexual perversions. This has helped to preserve the human race, and it has spared many from heartache.
(16) High regard for human life.
(17) The civilizing of many barbarian and primitive cultures.
(18) The codifying and setting to writing of many of the world's languages.
(19) Greater development of art and music. The inspiration for the greatest works of art.
(20) The countless changed lives transformed from liabilities into assets to society because of the gospel.
(21) The eternal salvation of countless souls! (Keathley, 2012)[footnoteRef:2] [2: D. James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born?, Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1994, Introduction]
Kennedy stated the following:
"When Jesus Christ took upon Himself the form of man, He imbued mankind with a dignity and inherent value that had never been dreamed of before. Whatever Jesus touched or whatever he did transformed that aspect of human life. Many people will read about the innumerable small incidents in the life of Christ while never dreaming that those casually mentioned "little" things were to transform the history of humankind." [footnoteRef:3] (cited in Keathley, 2012) [3: Kennedy, pp. 3-4.]
II. Fulfilled Prophecy
The most unique feature of Christianity is that of prophesy that has been fulfilled as His coming was prophesied in a very detailed manner in regards to His lineage, nature, birthplace, his raising, career, purpose and the way that he would die as well as his resurrection. These prophecies were made centuries before Jesus was born.
III. The Birth of Jesus
The birth of Jesus is the most unique known in that his mother, Mary was a virgin who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit of God and became pregnant with Jesus or as Keathley (2012) states "God Himself took up residency in a virgin's womb in embryonic form so that after a natural nine-month pregnancy, she gave birth to a son who was also God's Son. He was the God-man Savior -- not a God-indwelt man. He was both true and genuine humanity and undiminished deity united in one Person forever. No other birth was like this in fact or fiction." (Keathley, 2012)
IV. The Person, Life and Death of Jesus
Jesus was both God and man and was one with the creator (John 1:1; Col. 1:16) Jesus was sinless in His life as a man and as such was the perfect sacrifice for mankind's sin. The death of Jesus is unique in that his death was foretold a long time in history and there were three miracles surrounding His death including darkness, an earthquake and graves opening up. After Jesus died he was resurrected from the dead on the third day as it was foretold in prophecy. Jesus is the only religious leader that has come and gone and then risen from the dead. The prophecies that speak of where Jesus would be born include the following:
Luke 2:1-14. Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the empire for taxes. 2:2 This was the first registration, taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.2:3 Everyone went to his own town to be registered.2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David. 2:5 He went to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child. 2:6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child.2:7 And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 2:8 Now in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping guard over their flock by night. 2:9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified.2:10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for take note, I proclaim to you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people: 2:11 to you is born today in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 2:12This will be the sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger." 2:13 Suddenly a multitude of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,2:14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!" (Keathley, 2012)
V. The Love
Separating Christianity from all other religions on earth is the factor of 'Love' and that being the Love of God for man and the love of man for mankind when men have the mind and heart of God. Jesus commanded that people should love others the way that they themselves would like to be loved and this is referred to as the 'Golden Rule'. Jesus also said that there is no greater commandment than one stating that one should love God with all ones' heart, mind and soul, and that one should love ones' fellowman. Jesus had a message of love and forgiveness and Jesus did not just talk about love and forgiveness but instead He demonstrated it. Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead back to life. Jesus withstood the temptations of Satan and case demons out of people. Jesus turned the few loaves of bread and the few fish into enough to feed the multitude who had gathered to hear him speak. Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. Jesus, a perfect man and God in the flesh rode a humble and lowly donkey into the city on Passover and on the donkey he carried an olive branch.