- Albert Einstein
After reading Francis Schaeffer, I’ve come to the following thought. I think postmodern man’s problem is that he believes he is the measure of all things. That he can believe whatever “truth” his inner being chooses. It’s a leap of faith because it bypasses objective, outside ourself, truth and measures his own purpose for being by looking inward.
Postmodernism is an irrational marriage between science and religion. The rational side says we are beasts, the product of chance, doomed to die, with no God or hope of a meaningful existence. Because this is not a fulfilling way to live, modern man then, to find meaning, decides within himself what meaning he will give his life: an irrational leap of faith. They choose their own view of God, gods, or no god - love, money, or power. He looks within himself for “truth” because the material outside world is rationally empty and meaningless. Both modern theists and atheists fall into this inconsistent view. Its inconsistent because it forces him to see the world through a compartmentalized dichotomy of on the one hand rational meaninglessness and on the other irrational meaning.
But I think biblical Christianity combines rationality and truth, science and faith? How? Because it reasons that Jesus Christ rose from the dead in actual space and time, outside ourselves, in reality. God and truth exist outside of our own head-beliefs. There just seems to be logic is the universal and absolute: A is A and not non-A. ONLY this Christian worldview allows for BOTH rationality and meaning/truth/God without having to resort to performing a leap of faith. It’s “reason” that this kind of Christian firmly holds onto. Sure, you can use reason to come to a different conclusion about Christ’s resurrection, that it didn’t happen, but then you fall back into postmodern thought and back into the irrational dichotomy. No man can live without meaning in his life. He either has to leap and “imagine” it or “find” it with rationality. But rational beliefs are able to be refuted or wrong.
The problem with leaps of faith are that they look inward and have no relation to an objective outside. It is not communicable - it’s a “perspective” or “metanarrative”. There is no way to argue or refute absolutely anything concerning their inner “truth” because they reject rationality and absolutes.
If all religions are equally true perspectives of reality, I hope that my belief in my ‘apparent’ thoroughly objective God, sin, and salvation by Christ’s payment is not just as ‘true for me’ as believing in the once ‘apparent’ geocentric reality of the solar system.
I don’t see how God performing a miracle would necessarily mean He’d have to break the laws of nature. We interact with and affect the natural laws in our daily lives. We jump and push against gravitational force. Could not God push and suspend a force like gravity if He willed? Why cannot God interact and affect His natural laws in like manner?
I don’t ever tell anyone to believe in God, only that I do. It is obvious to me because I had a spiritual experience. It may never be obvious to others. I don’t hate anyone for that, nor do I deny that their experience is not also a real one. Anyway, people should believe in God for having…
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
This is either true or false. There is either God, gods, or no God. There is one salvation or not. If there is more than one way to God than Jesus was wrong. You can’t have all ways and Jesus, too.
“Jesus is the only source of salvation because there is no forgiveness possible unless Jesus died on the cross as payment. Jesus is the only object of salvation because we must believe on Him and none other for this forgiveness to be ours…
Adam and Eve’s violation of God’s sole command in the garden brought swift justice. The serpent’s suggestion of an alternate route to wisdom, knowledge and fulfillment brought destruction, not the promised salvation.”
-‘Jesus, The Only Way: 100 Verses’ by Gregory Koukl
Exodus 20:2-5 “I am the Lord your God….You shall have no other gods before Me….You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.’”
Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it”
John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
Acts 4:11-12 “He is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
Acts 16:30-31 “He then brought them out and asked, ‘Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’”
1 Timothy 2:5 “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”
1 John 2:23 “No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
1 John 5:11-12 “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Luke 10:16 “He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
Luke 12:8-9 “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.”
John 3:18 “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him.”
John 8:24 ” I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am the one I claim to be, you will indeed die in your sins.”
Are all religions’ truth claims true? Is John 14:6 true? “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
A non-trinitarian perspective on John 1:1.
- Jefferson Bethke
1. There is no truth.
If there is no truth this statement itself cannot be true. Therefore, truth exists. You cannot deny truth without affirming it. You might respond, “Is that true?” or “How can it be true that there is no truth?”
2. You can’t know truth.
If you can’t know truth then you would never know that “you can’t know truth.” This person is claiming to know the truth that we can’t know truth. You might respond, “Then how do you know that?”
3. No one has the truth.
This person is claiming to have the truth that no one has the truth. If no one has the truth then the statement “no one has the truth” is false! You might respond, “Then how do you know that is true?”
4. All truth is relative.
Sometimes also stated as “Everything is relative.” If all truth is relative then this statement itself would be relative and not objectively true. In other words, the person is claiming that it is objectively true that all truth is relative. You might respond, “Is that a relative truth?”
5. It’s true for you but not for me.
This statement is self-refuting because it claims that truth is relative to the individual and yet at the same time implies it is objectively true that something can be “true for you but not for me.” This statement commits the self-excepting fallacy. You might respond, “Is that just true for you, or is it true for everybody?”
6. There are no absolutes.
This statement is an absolute statement about reality that claims there are no absolutes. You might respond, “Are you absolutely sure about that?”
7. No one can know any truth about religion.
This person is claiming to know the truth about religion and it is this: you can’t know truth about religion. You might respond, “Then how did you come to know that truth about religion?”
8. You can’t know anything for sure.
If you can’t know anything for sure then you would never know it! This person is claiming to know with certainty that you can’t know anything for sure. You might respond, “Then how do you know that for sure?”
9. You should doubt everything.
If you should doubt everything then you should doubt the truth of the statement “you should doubt everything.” You might respond, “Should I doubt that?” And remember: always doubt your doubts!
10. Only science can give us truth.
If only science can give us truth we could never know that “only science can give us truth” because this is not something science can tell you! That is because this statement is philosophical in nature rather than scientific. You might respond, “What science experiment taught you that?” or “What is your scientific evidence that only science can give us truth?”
11. You can only know truth through experience.
If you can only know truth through experience you would never know the truth of the statement “you can only know truth through experience” because this is not something that can be known through experience. You might respond, “Can you know that truth through experience?” or “What experience taught you that?”
12. All truth depends on your perspective.
If all truth depends on your perspective then even the truth “all truth depends on your perspective” depends on your perspective. This is another objective statement which claims relativism is true. Again, it commits the self-excepting fallacy. You might respond, “Does that truth depend on your perspective?”
13. You shouldn’t judge.
The person who says this is making a judgment, namely, that it is wrong to judge! You might respond, “If it is wrong to judge, then why are you judging?”
14. You shouldn’t force your morality on people.
This person is forcing their moral point of view that it is wrong to force a moral point of view. You might respond, “Then please don’t force your moral view that it is wrong to force morality.”
15. You should live and let live.
The person who tells you to “live and let live” isn’t allowing you to live how you want! They are prescribing behavior for you rather than taking their own advice. You might respond, “If that’s your philosophy, why are you telling me how to live?”
16. God doesn’t take sides.
If God doesn’t take sides then He does in fact take the side that doesn’t take sides. You might respond, “Does God take that side?”
17. You shouldn’t try to convert people.
This person is trying to convert you to their position that it is wrong to convert people! You might respond, “If it is wrong to convert, why are you trying to convert me?”
18. That’s just your view.
This statement is self-refuting if it treats an objective statement as if it were subjective. This is the subjectivist fallacy. The hidden assumption is that your view is relative and a matter of personal opinion. If that is the case, this statement can also be relativized and made into a matter of personal opinion. You might respond, “Well that’s just your view that this is just my view.”
19. You should be tolerant of all views.
Most statements regarding tolerance are self-refuting if by “tolerance” the person means “accepting all views as equally true and valid.” If that is the case, the person who says “You should be tolerant of all views” isn’t being tolerant of your view! You might respond, “Then why don’t you tolerate my view?”(ii)
20. It is arrogant to claim to have the truth.
This person is claiming to have the truth that “it is arrogant to claim to have the truth.” Therefore, by his own standard, he is the arrogant one! You might respond, “My that is awfully arrogant of you!”