That will help to explain the strange "Z" word listed in the title of this post.
That being said, I'm always keeping my eyes and ears open for good quotes of a distinctly "Lutheran" flavor that encourage prayerful consideration and a deeper study of God's Word, His Sacraments, Christ's Church, and our Lutheran Confessions of "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3).
Plus, it certainly helps me in my on-going journey from American Evangelicalism to becoming a Confessional Lutheran.
Here's the latest (though I should caution that this one comes from a Presbyterian and not a Confessional Lutheran though the truth espoused is something we should champion together despite our stark differences)...
One of the problems with the other religions of the world is that they all smack of elitism. Hinduism has its caste system. Judaism requires keeping the Torah. Islam requires following the Five Pillars of Obedience. Buddhism requires reaching a level of enlightenment. But what if you don't qualify? What if you are poor, immoral, disobedient, or unenlightened? What then? Only Christianity offers salvation to EVERYONE as a free gift. There is nothing elitist about Christianity. It is inclusive and exclusive at the same time. The particularity of Christ should not hide his universality. Although He is the only way to God, He offers the Gospel to everyone. "There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men" (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Whoever you are, you may and you must come close to God through Jesus Christ. This is where faith comes in. To know God is to trust in Jesus Christ.
-- Is Jesus The Only Way? by Philip Graham Ryken pp. 44-45
He may not be a Lutheran, but that excerpt Mr. Ryken wrote has a definite Lutheran "flavor" to it I think. The simplicity of the truth of the matter -- the truth about the truth and the Truth Himself -- is truly powerful.
I mean, there's just no escaping the reality that challenges you to acknowledge it when you read something like that. One non-Christian on Facebook where I first shared this had commented, "Sounds like you're selling used cars..."
I suppose that's the only reply one can make when their conscience is forced to admit the truth about Christianity when compared to all other popular religions.
My reply to that individual?
Nope! Not 'selling' anything. Just proclaiming the truth. In this case, the Gospel truth, my friend, which is Jesus Christ crucified for the sins of all mankind (for me, and yes, even for you!).
In a Lutheran layman's terms, the truth is never subjective.
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Executive Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm also a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 2 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because we now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!