In America Baptists – especially Southern Baptists with their evangelical traditions – have gotten a bad name among many religions and even other sects of Christianity. While much of this dislike is well-deserved, the Baptists have had amongst their number some great and wise theologians and philosophers. Below are some words of wisdom from one of them:
There is a certain view of God and nature and man and the world in the background of our faith. But Christianity is a historical religion, and a religion of experience. It is grounded in facts. The Christian worldview rests upon these facts.
From the fact that other religions, including Judaism, have in them the idea of sacrifice and propitiation, it is concluded by some that it must be a false idea. Fundamentally this assumes that everything in the non-Christian religions must be wholly false. Is it not far more likely that a universal religious idea has in it an element of truth than that its universality is a mark of its falsity? Christianity purified and fulfilled all religious ideas of human beings, emptied them of their transient and superficial meanings, and revealed their true inward meaning. The atonement of Christ in a very special manner does this. In it God appears in Christ, not as a distant, implacable and angry being, requiring a satisfaction for sin which humans cannot supply. Jesus himself, as holy and loving and yearning to save humanity, provides the satisfaction.
— E.Y. Mullins
4th President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Obviously as a Pagan I have a theological difference of opinion with Rev. Dr. E.Y. Mullins’ assertion that “Christianity purified and fulfilled all religious ideas of human beings, emptied them of their transient and superficial meanings, and revealed their true inward meaning,” but his wisdom in knowing and saying aloud that universally held religious and moral concepts are more likely to be true than false and that things outside of the Christian faith are not inherently wrong just for being outside the Christian faith is profound.