Are Christians Arrogant? Rethinking the Definition of Humility

by Michael J. Kruger

One of the most common objections made to the absolute claims of Christianity is that Christians are arrogant.  Christians are arrogant to claim that they are right; arrogant to claim others are wrong; arrogant to claim that truth can be known.

Unfortunately, in the midst of such accusations, no one bothers to ask which definition of humility is being used.

Over the years, the definition of humility has undergone a gradual but nonetheless profound change.  Especially in the intellectual community.  In the modern day, humility has basically become synonymous with another word: uncertainty.

To be uncertain is to be humble.  To be certain is to be arrogant.   Thus, the cardinal sin in the intellectual world is to claim to know anything for sure.

Of course, this shift presents a real problem for Christianity.  Christians believe that God has revealed himself clearly in his Word.   Thus, when it comes to key historical questions (Who was Jesus? What did he say? What did he do?) or key theological questions (Who is God? What is Heaven? How does one get there?), Christians believe they have a basis on which they can claim certainty: God’s revelation.

Indeed, to claim we don’t know the truth about such matters would be to deny God, and to deny his Word. (This doesn’t mean, of course, that Christians are certain about everything; but there can be certainty about these basic Christian truths).

Thus, for Christians, humility and uncertainty are not synonymous.

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Are Christians Arrogant? Rethinking the Definition of Humility – Canon Fodder