In this last installment of my series of blogs on Postmodernism (you can substitute the term relativism right here) I want to tip my hand as to my own position and why I hold this position, and why I’m convinced that you and the church should as well.
There are several theories of truth according to philosophy. The one we have been discussing over the course of the last few blogs is known as the coherence theory of truth. As the name implies, something is only true when we can make sense of it and can incorporate it into our own worldview. An example of this is the adoption of homosexuality as a permissible condition. The prevailing view is that this is a natural condition, or “I was born that way” view of this ethical dilemma. Since it seems to be a natural condition for some human beings, it makes sense and it can be incorporated into a person’s worldview with little or no problem. This is only one example, but I think you can see the idea. Something does not have to be universally true, or even accepted by the majority, it only needs to make sense to me, and can be fit into my current belief system without major reservations. By now, if you have been following the previous blogs, you can immediately see why this version of truth has some major problems, and I would say an Achilles heel that will ultimately destroy it.
The other major view, which is my own personal view, is the correspondence theory of truth. This view, as self-described, describes truth as anything that actually lines up with, or corresponds to how things really are (reality). Put another way, truth is something we discover, not define. So why do I hold this view and commend it to you? Let me give you a list (and you guys know I don’t like lists very much):
1- This is how the universe operates. There are laws that govern how this world operates that are fixed and certain. For example, gravity is a specific law of this world. Gravity is essential to keeping our planet fixed in position and orbit. It is necessary to prevent our water sources from escaping into the atmosphere and you as well, for that matter! However, this rule was in play long before Sir Isaac Newton observed a falling apple. Let’s say for a moment I never read a science textbook or saw a documentary. Let’s also say I am determined to discover truth on my own. And let’s say I decide I don’t like this idea of gravity, after all I’m only 5’-5” and I want to be an NBA center one day. So I decide to step out of my upstairs window singing “I believe I can fly”. Guess what is going to happen: splat! Gravity is not something I have to figure out how to work into my own belief system, it just exists. This is true for an untold number of things. This is how the universe works!
2- This is how God operates. God operates this way; truth is that which God deems as absolute. It is not enough for a person to know something about God for it to be true, but it is true because that is how God is. Here is an example: God has never revealed Himself as mother. He has always revealed Himself as father. Some who claim to be more liberated in their view of truth have attempted to redefine God as mother, but this is simply not true. We don’t get to define God according to our own criteria, He reveals Himself and we acknowledge that truth or reject it. We don’t get to modify it.
3- This is how Jesus operates. Jesus defined truth in terms of absolutes. In fact, Jesus defined Himself as Truth, and due to this outstanding fact, He alone atones for sin and gives eternal life (John 14:1-6). This is why the Gospel is not simply an important part of the church’s foundation, but the essential part of our existence. The Gospel is man’s only hope for forgiveness and eternal life. Every person needs what Jesus offers through His finished work on the cross. Period.
Now, I won’t hide the fact that these blogs have been made available for all age groups and it is my hope that all age groups will read, but these blogs are really for millennials (you who are now young adults). This is the age group that is wrestling the hardest with this issue. Why? First, because you were raised and taught by a system that espoused relativism. Relativism/Postmodernism has driven our educational system and universities. Many of you were raised in this matrix and never realized it, until maybe now. This is how you were falsely taught to see the world. You were taught that toleration of a person’s belief was your highest goal. And secondly you have formed deep relationships with people who have adopted this view of life. Many of you have close friends or relatives who have decided to follow an alternative lifestyle. And now you feel it would be hypocritical or unloving to disagree with them on foundational which are also eternal grounds. We have friends who are homosexual, have had abortions, who are living together without being married, having kids outside of marriage, and so forth and so on. And what has happened is we have abdicated our position as those who know and tell the truth. What I’m asking you today is the exact same thing Pilate asked Jesus in John 18:38:
What is truth?