Truth + Tolerance
Issues of pluralism and postmodernism
"You Christians are so narrow-minded!"
What could a Christian say in response?
Well, wisdom often leads us to follow a certain course of action over many other options. For example, when our family doctor prescribes a medication to help us get well, its not narrow-minded to follow their advice, even though we know there are psychic healers and tribal witch-doctors who would urge us to take a different approach. The question is, who has credentials we can trust?
Also remember, that the argument is not really at Christians - it is with Jesus himself who said boldly in John 14 verse 6, "I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
- If you say that the Christian view is bad because it is exclusive, then you are also at that exact moment doing the very thing that you are saying is bad. You have to be exclusive to say that something is bad, since you exclude it from being good by calling it bad.
- There is a difference, a clear difference between tolerance and truth. They are often confused. We should hold to what we believe with integrity but also support the rights of others to disagree with our viewpoint.
- Sincerely believing something doesnít make it true. You can be sincere, but sincerely wrong. If I get onto a plane and sincerely believe that it wonít crash then it does, then my sincerity is quite hopeless. It wonít change the facts. Our beliefs, regardless of how deeply they are held, have no effect on reality. The thing that really counts is not the sincerity of our faith, but the object of our faith. We need to ask ourselves, 'Is what Iím trusting in really trustworthy?' Then we need to do our homework, go to the talks, ask the questions and look at the data, perhaps try on the clothes for size.
- If you look beneath the surface, youíll find out that there are major differences between the religions Ė even including contradictions about who God is. For example, some forms of Buddhism donít even teach that there is a God; Hinduism teaches that God exists and that everything is part of Him; Christianity teaches that God exists but that He is separate from all He has created. These are mutually exclusive definitions that cannot possibly be descriptive of the same God
- It is not narrow-minded if you've looked into it and found that Christianity proves itself trustworthy in ways that other religions and viewpoints do not.
- God isnít just meant to be reasoned and talked about, He is to be known and experienced personally.
- © Paul Copan, 'True for You, But Not for Me' (Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1998) and used by kind permission of the author.