Are Christians Really the Arrogant Ones?
by Michael Kruger
When religious matters are debated in our culture–e.g., the existence of God, what God is like, morals and ethics–there is an implicit set of rules that everyone is obligated to follow. Number one on this list of unspoken rules it that you can never claim to know anything about God with any level of certainty.
To do so quickly leads to charges of being arrogant, dogmatic, or intolerant. Christians know this all too well because we are often on the receiving end of these charges. Our claim to actually know things about God is a violation of the rules of polite society.
Of course, this sort of “polite society” is a rather new invention. In prior generations, such claims would not have been ruled out of bounds from the outset. There may have been disagreements over such claims. There may have been debate about whether such claims could be justified. But, the claims themselves were not regarded as inadmissible.
But in our postmodern world things have changed. Any claim to actually know one’s religious beliefs are true is regarded as a violation of the rules of intellectual inquiry. Such things simply cannot be know, we are told, regardless of whether they are true. As human beings we do not have access to knowledge outside our own self-constructed realities. Thus, to claim such knowledge is to be uninformed or arrogant (or both).
But, it is precisely this assumption–namely that humans don’t have access to knowledge outside themselves–that needs to be challenged. Indeed, the tables need to be turned. How does the average postmodern individual know that knowledge works like this? How does he know that reliable knowledge of God is impossible to attain?
After all, these are not modest claims. They are enormous, far-reaching, all-encompassing epistemological claims. The postmodern individual is, in essence, claiming that every single religious person on the planet who claims to have knowledge of God is flat out wrong…
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