The world religions reveal people are moral beings. However, although the world’s religions share a common ground in promoting morality, the worship of the LORD God distinguishes itself from the others. Christianity is counter-intuitive and therein lies its genius.
Religions promote morality by offering some exalted future state of being or some elevated final reward contingent upon merit. Only after showing oneself worthy do the adherents receive the goal. Such linear thinking bears all the hallmarks of human ingenuity, creativity and construction.
Now consider how counter-intuitive it would be to grant to even the most vile and reprehensible representatives of humanity the attainment of the goal upfront without that individual’s merit. Yet, such a nonhuman approach is exactly Christianity’s claim.
The gospel proclaims God took the initiative, not us. God sent his Son into the world to rescue us by dying on the cross. Everyone who relies upon his Son receives upfront God’s forgiveness, eternal life and sonship. These blessings are immediately received upon coming to Christ. This is the unexpected genius of Christianity.
No one is beyond hope. Everyone is just a step away, a single moment removed from full acceptance and reward. Such teachings do not bear the hallmarks of human thinking. They do reveal a divine mind who wants all people to come to repentance and to receive God’s gracious gifts.