I thought this paragraph by C. Kavin Rowe was excellent and it needed to be shared:

We should say it straightforwardly: in a crucial way, the vision of Acts is profoundly intolerant. The God of Israel is “Lord of heaven and earth, the Maker of the world and everything in it”; he commands “everyone, everywhere to repent.” Jesus is “the Lord of all.” “There is no other name under heaven by which human beings can be saved.” “You shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judaea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” “I wish you all might become as I am.” Examples abound. In Acts, such claims obviously bear no resemblance to theological thought experiments; they are, rather, the expression of the hope for a universal conversion to the Way, the community of “Christians” that lives out these claims in a total pattern of life (World Upside Down, p. 170).

Rowe is not saying that the church should abuse and coerce people into being Christians. Anyone who has read the Book of Acts knows this is not how the narrative works. Rather, he argues that every society defines tolerance within an already established structure of what can and cannot be considered tolerance or intolerance. In the Graeco-Roman culture there was much tolerance for many gods, but when it came to some new religions, or expressions of Judaism at given points and places, or the early Christian movement this pagan culture of “tolerance” could be quickly “intolerant.”

Christians don’t have to bludgeon people to death with our dogma, but it is quite evidence that Christians do make a fairly outlandish “truth claim” when we say, “Jesus is Lord.” What is crucial is that final line: we must not limit our religion to theory or “theological thought experiments.” Rather, we must be “live out” our allegiance to Christ. As Christians we know that this doesn’t mean violence or manipulation, but rather service to the world, honest proclamation of the Gospel, love toward God and neighbor. We should be quite intolerant of anyone who says we should live any other way.