Three great paragraphs from Vern Poythress’ new book Inerrancy and Worldview:
According to the Bible, God is the Creator and sustainer of the world, and God is personal. God’s personal character makes a difference. If you want to find out about an apple sitting in a fruit bowl, there are many ways you might go about it. You might photograph it, chemically analyze it, smell it, cut it up, eat it. It is up to you; the apple has no choice in the matter. But getting to know a person is different. You are not completely in charge. You may be able to observe a stranger’s actions at a distance. But for real acquaintance, you must meet the person, and the person must cooperate. It is up to the other person how much he or she will tell you.
Some of the thinking about religion makes a mistake right here. If, in our thinking, God or religion becomes like an apple, we are in charge and we do our own investigating in whatever way we please. On the other hand, if God is a person, and in fact a person infinitely greater than we, it is up to him how he chooses to meet us. Until we get to know him, we cannot say whether he makes himself known in all religions equally, or in none of them, or in one particular way that fits his character.
The Bible claims to be God’s communication to us. That is an exclusive claim. But mere exclusiveness, as we have seen, does not disqualify the claim. We have to find out by reading the Bible, not by rejecting it beforehand. And we have to reckon with the fact that God as a person may be different from what we imagine him to be. Getting acquainted succeeds better if it takes place without a lot of prejudice getting in the way.
Literally, if an unsaved person comes to see this, it changes everything…