Following on from yesterday, here is the post I intended to put up then. The main thing I want to get across is how readily truth claims about the gospel are dismissed without any investigation because of the prevailing pluasibilitystructure of society. But also how dangerous it is for Christians to accept the truth claims of the gospel without investigation just because it is the prevailing plausibility structure in their environment. That leads to faith without foundation, which may prove to be fatally weak under challenge, and in which a person will never actively take responsibility for their own growth in Christ.
As I say below: Dismissal without investigation is intellectual suicide. It is the chief aim of spin, and it is not worthy of us. But neither is unthinking, baseless acceptance.
Truth and Revelation
Our contention is that knowledge and truth are both vitally important and actually possible, precisely because God is there and is not silent on questions like these. He is knowable because of revelation. Therefore no discussion about truth is possible without discussion about revelation. Revelation is the guarantor of truth. It is crucial to maintain in the public arena that the exact claim of the Bible is that God, the creator of all, the person who made everything, speaks. He reveals Himself. He may be known. He may be known about but may also be known personally. He invites people into a relationship with himself.
Contained in that contention is the idea that God is the creator. He created the universe, but he also created and defined value, knowledge and meaning and he speaks those things. What relativism says cannot be known, the Bible says God reveals. What contemporary theory says is impossible – namely communication – the Bible says God does faultlessly. He communicates Himself. He speaks. And He came, personally, and spoke.
Saying this we commit the ultimate heresy for the postmodernist: claims to certainty. We will be accused of arrogance, but we are not arrogant. It isn't arrogance to bear witness to truth. We do not claim that we are great and wise, but that God has come and spoken. In fact it is the opposite of arrogance. We claim we know nothing because of ability in ourselves, but only because of one outside ourselves before whom we are humbled.
The plausibility structure of our society is such that people want to dismiss this claim without ever investigating it. It just can't be true, can it? It isn't easy to break into this mindset. Perhaps the most we can do in the short term is raise dissatisfaction with relativism and challenge people to think about another possibility for knowledge – revelation.
I think the best way to do this is to show that there is literally no meaning in relativism. If you take any defining relativistic statement and apply it to itself then it doesn't work on its own terms. Most crudely the statement that "all truth is relative" is nonsensical. Literally there is no sense in it because it is only ever self-refuting.
And then to point out that the reason people unthinkingly accept relativism is because of the plausibility structure. They are not thinking for themselves, but are being led to dismiss God without investigation and accept relativism without reservation. Led along like the crowd applauding the naked emperor. Dismissal without investigation is intellectual suicide. It is the chief aim of spin, and it is not worthy of us. It's time to reveal that the emperor has no clothes.