Re: [asa] RE: (fall-away) TE and apologetics

From: dfsiemensjr <>
Date: Wed Sep 23 2009 - 16:44:22 EDT

There is a difference between "truth is relative" and "I am not the
demonstrated possessor of absolute truth." If truth is relative, then
everybody's claim has equal value. The popular (at least at one time)
that AIDS could be cured by intercourse with a virgin is as good as any
other theory about therapy. The recognition that truth is an absolute
that one may not achieve is a radically different matter. That, given
contradictory statements, at least one must be wrong, is true. It is also
true that both may be false.

Second, I am responsible for the truth as I see it, not as you see it.
That I may be wrong does not change my responsibility. It does require
that I be more tolerant of you, but there are limits to that tolerance.
The guy who thinks it's OK to abuse a child is not to be tolerated, for

As for "God is love," it is found twice in scripture (I John 4:8, 16). It
also makes good sense if one understands /agape/. This love is not a
soppy emotion, but a determination that the individual will receive that
which is best for him. I can think of no greater agony than to face the
total holiness of God unprepared, so isolation from God is the best thing
for the unregenerate of any age. This is where the individual is free to
be himself. As to the genocides, are you considering the statements as
reflecting modern historical conventions or those of antiquity? For that
matter, consider the Spanish use of "the whole world" /todo el mundo/.
Dave (ASA)

On Tue, 22 Sep 2009 21:02:20 -0700 Jim Armstrong <>
> Christine -
> The problem is that what is truth for one may be taken as a godless
> heresy to another - e.g., evolution. So absolute Truth is more than
> a
> bit elusive, which you actually [perhaps unwittingly] captured in
> your
> condition, " the best of our ability". Therein lies the
> problem. We
> must virtually always understand that there will be great variation
> in
> the product of " the best of our ability." So we should not get
> too
> hung up on the pejorative use of "relativism". While we may think we
> hold the truth, others will predictably take issue with us, and
> SOMEBODY's got to be wrong!
> In fact, we need to get used to the fact that ALL bodies of human
> interpretation, such as those that define "denomination", are all
> error-ridden to some degree, even ... [gasp] ... our own! So while
> toleration may seem to be a pretext for this apparently undesirable
> thing called relativism, I submit that we absolutely must become
> humble
> enough to recognize that there is a very real probability that some
> portions of our own understandings are in error, that we may learn
> from
> the perspectives and practices of other persuasions, and that we are
> essentially charged to honor the quest for relationship with
> divinity
> underway in that other, less informed person. I would distill this
> to
> say that humility and reality demand a certain relativism.
> It seems to me that there are "truths" that are very widely accepted
> within the Christian community, but not really tested with
> steely-eyed
> resolve. For instance [and this is by no means a new thought!],
> consider
> these familiar expressions of truth: "God is a God of love. Indeed,
> God
> IS love."
> Given that starting point, have you ever found a really satisfying
> reconciliation between those statements and the genocides performed
> or
> ordered by the Old Testament God, or a truly satisfying answer to
> the
> disarmingly simple old nagging question, "But what about the African
> natives that never had a chance to accept Jesus?"
> To be sure, there are ways to respond to this seeming paradox. There
> are
> even ways that do not hand-wavingly appeal to "mystery" or
> "sovereignty"
> of God. But in my experience, the the former to not satisfy, and the
> latter do not come without giving up something broadly taught in
> mainstream Christianity.
> Or so it seemeth to me, at this brief parenthesis in my pilgrimage.
> JimA [Friend of ASA]
> Christine Smith wrote:
> [snip]
> >
> > Jim writes:
> > "My guess is that God has no denominational affiliations, and
> wonders even why we create them and defend them so passionately when
> we understand so little."
> >
> > CHRISTINE: True, I don't think God has a "denominational
> affiliation" per se, but I do think He cares an awful lot about
> Truth, and that we follow Truth to the best of our understanding.
> That is the purpose of revelation - to help us understand truth
> better. Toleration should never be a pretext for relativism.
> [major snip]
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Received on Wed Sep 23 17:12:02 2009

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