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by Teri Dugan
“If you shut up truth and bury it under the ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.” -Émile Zola, (1840-1902) French Novelist
Does truth matter in your worldview or are you OK with relativism?
Christianity makes absolute truth claims about God, Jesus and the Bible but that view is often met with disdain in our culture today. Many people will say that we cannot know truth and that truth is relative. They might say, ‘your truth is not my truth.’ So how should we respond?
In his book “Relativism” Greg Koukl (Stand to Reason) says, “Today we’ve lost the confidence that statements of facts can ever be anything more than opinion. The word true now means “true for me” and nothing more. The death of truth in our society has created a moral decay. When we abandon the idea that one set of laws applies to every human being, all that remains is subjective, personal opinion.”
Relativism: The claim that ‘absolute truth cannot be known.’
But, isn’t that a truth statement in itself? Is the worldview of relativism the only one that’s true? This is self-defeating because they are making a truth claim by saying that there is no truth!
If you look closely at the following statements they all become self-defeating (A rejoinder in bold):
• Your truth is not my truth. Is that true?
• There are no absolutes. Are you absolutely sure?
• There’s no such thing as right or wrong. Is that a right or a wrong statement?
• You ought not judge. Is that a judgment?
• You are so intolerant with your Christian view. Are you being intolerant of my view?
Paul Copan in his book “True For You But Not For Me” does an excellent job of giving insights and tools that we can use when we come across people who hold a relativistic view of life.
False ideas about truth lead to false ideas about life.
We demand truth in almost every area of our lives. We want the truth from our doctors, our bankers, our mechanics and family members. The laws of nature, science and mathematics all have undeniable and universal truth in the way they operate. So why do we exclude truth from morality and religion?
Let’s take a look at what truth is…
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