Absolutely Relative: The Paradox of the Declaration of Relative Truth

I was listening to a Josh McDowell message on the radio talking about the way this generation views truth. He told about how when he speaks to crowds of people about the subject, he picks somebody out to ask them a couple questions. He would hold up a Bible and the conversation would go something like:

“Do you believe this is the Word of God?”
“Do you believe it is inerrant?”
“Do you believe it’s completely reliable?”

And then there was usually silence. And if the person did have an answer, the conversation would continue like:

“Because I have faith and believe it to be true”
“So if the person across the aisle from you believes the Qur’an to be true, does that make it true to them, just because they believe in it?”

To believe that truth is absolute means to believe truth is unchanging. Believing that truth is relative means is to believe what is true for you is not necessarily true for someone else, and that what is true can change over time. What is the church coming to if it believes that truth is relative? These are Christian young people and Christian ministers who are giving these answers! Ravi Zacharias asks the question, When you say that truth is relative, do you really know what you are saying? Do you understand the implications of the statement “truth is relative”?

It does not make logical sense to say that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant, and completely reliable, but that may not be true to the person next to you. The Bible is either the Word of God or it isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.

There is also a logical paradox with the belief that truth is relative (besides the fact that declaring “truth is relative” is an absolute statement): if you say that truth is relative and what’s true for you may be different than what is true for me, then you are giving room for my declaration that the Bible is the only Word of God and that Christ Jesus is the only way to salvation to be true. You are leaving room for the truth that there is only one way while you are trying to prove that there are many truths. But if what I am saying is in fact true than what you are saying in saying that truth is relative cannot be true.


4 Responses to Absolutely Relative: The Paradox of the Declaration of Relative Truth

  1. […] Absolutely Useless and Relatively Tiring Absolutely Relative: The Paradox of the Declaration of Relative Truth « Minds 2 Mentes […]

  2. […] way, the only way, to God.  I will be addressing some of the things discussed in this response to this post of mine from last […]

  3. ranchero says:

    I agree about the absurdity of relativism. The best way to answer that question posed by the Pastor is the argue with faith and reason. Evidence from history and logical understandings about Divine Truth.

  4. Stu says:

    A mortal person can only truthfully say that they have faith in whatever they believe in being true.
    We can never claim to know the truth for only G-d would know; to claim otherwise would be childish. We all learned what we know from our Parents and them from theirs. When we say to each other our beliefs are true, in that same statement we’re saying others with differing beliefs are wrong. Like children in a playground arguing that one’s daddy is better than the others daddy.
    Grow up; don’t be scared to be wrong. It wouldn’t be surprising to find in the end that we’re all way off.
    So what happens If we find that we’re wrong, are we going to get on our knees before the pearly gates and beg forgiveness; of course not. Since the truth cannot be known no forgiveness is warranted.
    As long as you live your life with love in your heart, understanding for others, and a willingness to be helpful, you have received and used your gift of life well, even if you believe the earth is flat and the sun is G-d.
    I know we all want to believe that we have a special invitation to Heaven. Our belief helps us in our everyday life, to go on without the constant questioning of what it all means.
    Since we all want this feeling of being right and yet there are many different beliefs I guess we’ll have to have faith, which in fact is a pretty good second to truth.

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