Chapter A6, “Christianity the Absolute Religion”
Pieper identifies Christianity as “absolute.” It cannot be improved upon. Though there are areas where we might logically wish for more explanation, the Bible asserts (1 Corinthians 13:12) that our understanding is partial. Christianity is also not a system of morality. Of course there is a morality, but it is one which springs from faith. Why then is it “absolute” or “perfect”? Christianity gives a complete salvation, one which man does not have to work out on his own. If it does not have that feature, it is not Christian belief. Second, Christianity is based on God’s Word, not man’s. Pieper points out that the Bible, when allowed at face value, provides what we need, unlike the way we would assume it works given the views mediated by the modern “historical” critics. When we hold to Christ’s vicarious atonement and the infallibility of Scripture we find that the Christian faith is what we need.
It is significant that Pieper’s argument is based on the infallibility of Scripture, not on an argument dependent on an inerrant text transmission. He talks about how God’s Word, his message, never fails, even though we may not know the exact train of transmission which brought it from the writers to us.