What makes Christianity different from the other great world religions?
Theology and dogma?
Christian author Philip Yancey suggested the major the thing separating Christian faith from the other major world religions was its emphasis on grace. If you think about it, there are moral codes shared with other religious books and there are certainly many helpful proverbs and comforting sayings, but Christianity is different. The central theme of Christianity is something that is strangely other. It is the theme that God restores and renews, even when we do not deserve it.
To borrow from the English poet John Milton, Christianity tells a story of how paradise was once lost and how the creator of all things did not stand idly by as paradise descended into chaos. Instead God went after his creation as a hound follows after the scent of a lost child. Paradise indeed would be recovered and will be restored under the umbrella of grace.
I love being immersed in the stories of the Bible where imperfect people lived imperfectly for God through grace. Even the great heroes and heroines of the faith had prominent flaws for all to see. Moses murdered a man and had a hot temper, David was an adulterous murderer, and Rahab was a prostitute.
These heroes of the faith had issues!
The redemptive narrative found in the Bible is one filled with grace. The stories that are on the pages of Scripture are filled with flawed people who rested in the flawless One, the provider of grace. With the exception of Genesis 1 and 2, the rest of the Bible unpacks the “covenant of grace,” where humanity received the opportunity of reconnecting with God through the completed work of Jesus. This covenant of grace is something that God initiated and God provides, there is simply no way that we could ever earn it.
My friends, God is indeed love. God is also holy and just.