Tag Archives: truth

Opposing Concepts of Different World Views: Truth &Relativism and Pluralism vs. Particularism

In my last posting, we listed the 7 religious categories of religious worldviews, gave a one-line description of what each holds as their concept of god, and listed a few of the major followers. In the video series, What is a World View, one of the series of The One Minute Apologist on Right Now Media, Bobby Conway goes on to examine each of the 7 in greater depth, and discusses a couple of the most significant opposing concepts between them. I’m going to leave examining the 7 worldviews to you, should that be of particular interest to you, and jump straight to examining a couple of the main opposing concepts between worldviews (which cannot both be true), before moving on to some closing thoughts that make the case for Christianity being the one true religion.

Remember as we go that the reason we are doing this is to give us ways to defend our faith, as we have been discussing the last few days. If you have missed those postings, you can find them on this website by looking at the topics to the left of this essay – or you can click on the picture of Philpott Lake at the top of my website which will take you ‘home’ to be able to scroll down through them all, most recent first.

Let’s look first at the dichotomy of Truth and Relativism. There either is absolute truth or truth is relative. We live in an age of relativism that says all religions are the same, everything is relative. When Jesus was taken to answer before Pilate, He told Pilate that He came ‘to testify to the truth’ (John 18:37). Pilate with the question, ‘what is truth?’ So, perhaps we are not in the first age of relativism. But, Jesus seemed to be saying that there is A truth for which He was sent to testify.

According to Dr. Norman Geisler, author, professor, theologian, and world-renowned Christian apologist, truth is telling it like it is, and the opposite of truth cannot also be true under the rule of non-contradiction, a basic law of logic. Relativism says that truth is subjective. If someone says they don’t believe in absolute truth, our response should be to ask them if that statement is absolutely true. If someone says they are skeptical about everything, ask them if they are skeptical about that.

We cannot make truth out of what we want to be true; we need to want the truth. He ends the interview that we do not raise our right hand in court and promise to tell the expedient, the whole expedient and nothing but what is expedient, so help me truth through experience. Truth is truth, whether we like it or not.

Now I want to take a quick look at Pluralism vs. Particularism through an interview with Dr. William Lane Craig, author, philosopher and apologist with ReasonableFaith.org. Dr. Craig begins by defining religious particularism as the belief that one religion is fully true. There may be elements of truth in other religions, but there is only one religion that is fully true, and that explains the one way to God. In contrast, pluralism says that there are a diversity of perspectives and all are equally valid; no one religion can claim to be THE way to God or exclusively true. Which brings us to a fundamental and critical question: do all religions lead to God? For this question, Bobby Conway returns to interviewing Dr. Norman Geisler.  He begins by returning to a point he made in a previous video, that they can’t all be true because they teach opposite. Mohammed said there was only one person who is god; Chrisitanity says that the the One True God is made up of three persons, other religions teach that there are multiple gods. All of these statements cannot be true. Scriptures that have opposing views of who god is and how we get to him cannot all be true, reiterating a point that he made in an earlier video that these opposing views are on essential doctrines, not just minor details.

One concept that I was taught many years ago is that if there is a god, which every culture in history has believed is true, and if he made us in such a way as to give us the ability and desire to know him – both of which we have seen are true throughout history – then it stands to reason that this god would reach out to his creation and give us the answers to such essential questions, and would not tell some of us things that are true and other things that oppose his truth. Simply put, God is God and we are not. If we want to reach Him, we must do so on His terms, not the way that seems best to us.

In my next posting, we’ll look at why Christianity is uniquely true, and therefore is the one true religion.