The Monotheists by F. E. Peters and Edward T. Oakes' review of it (February) unfortunately affirm the thesis that "no revelation can trump another, for to do so would be to step outside the circle of the elect recipients of that revelation, exactly what revelation forbids." What happened to truth?
Fortunately, thousands of Jews risked being outcast by converting to Christianity at the Pentecost, while many others have done so ever since. They experienced first- or secondhand the reality of the person of Jesus Christ, God's supreme revelation to humanity. It was not one man's dream in a cave. The story of Jesus comes through many authors who were with him or knew people who were. The witnesses to Jesus include the martyrs who knew him. Nobody gives up his life for someone he knows is a fraud.
Jesus is a person who not only taught in front of thousands, but showed the world how to live. His teachings of the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son are revered by many in all three religions. He was not just compassionate but, as Thomas Cahill says, "he was compassion." His miracles were never for self-aggrandizement but for the sake of others. His wisdom is astounding as he parries the priests and Sadducees. In contrast, Mohammed never claimed to perform a miracle, was married over ten times, and led an army.
In a word, faith that is not grounded in objective reality is a dream.
Willam J. Downey
Manhasset, New York
Edward T. Oakes replies:
William J. Downey apparently thinks that when I say "No revelation can trump another," I have thereby lapsed into postmodern...