Classical Tolerance v Post modern Tolerance

Tolerance (definition version):
The capacity for or the practice of recognizing and respecting the beliefs or practices of others.

It is about respect.

Traditional definition: “The word ‘tolerance’ simply means ‘sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one’s own.’ By definition, to tolerate someone implies that you do not agree with his views, You’re simply willing to indulge them.”

It is not about agreeing, but recognizing.

Another way of saying it is “bearing or putting up with someone or something not especially liked”.

However, today in the post modern culture, the word has been redefined to ‘all values, all beliefs, all lifestyles, all truth claims are equal.’ Once, tolerance was defined as recognizing and respecting others’ beliefs and practices even without sharing them. Tolerance would often necessarily entail enduring, or putting up with, someone or something not especially liked.

But today’s definition of tolerance is very different. Now, a “tolerant” person views all values, beliefs, lifestyles, and truth claims as equal. This language shift is eloquently described in Josh McDowell and Bob Hostetler’s 1998 book, The New Tolerance.

Where this new tolerance reigns, there can be no hierarchy of truth, and no standard by which to discern between competing truth claims. Every man’s position must be praised and considered equally valid. This is because the new tolerance considers all truth claims to be mere opinions–not absolutes that are true across time and cultures, but culturally created and culturally conditioned ideas.

By this new standard, any system of belief which claims to be transcendent and absolute–making truth claims that are not qualified as relative according to time, place, and person–is considered to be “intolerant.” In a society which scorns absolutes and denies the existence of any natural law written on the heart, or any intrinsic human nature, there can be only one universal virtue–tolerance–and that virtue must be enforced with almost religious fervor.

Rejecting Truth

It is immoral to reject truth when it is offered to you.
It is just alike any other sin.
It leads to more sin.
One must close off part of his/her self in order to to reject truth.
One calcifies their own heart when you deny the life of goodness and truth that God offers.

Becuase God is truth, those who reject truth are rejecting God.
Brannon Howse in “UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF TRUTH” makes a good point: “Because God is truth, postmodernism is false because man did not create God. Postmodernism is the belief that truth is created by man and not discovered. How can man create God?”

He shows how rejecting truth leads to cultural decay and a failing nation.

Science and Truth: How Truth Works

Truth holds everything together.
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Theology and Science are related and go hand in hand with each other, because they are both founded on truth, they are not opposites. Liberal and postmoderns who want to keep these things separated are not thinking straight. They are failing to understand how truth works. The reality is that these things can never be liberated from each other without ruining both institutions.
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Why?
Becuase if you separate any of the physical sciences or theology (the religious science) away from truth then they will fall apart. They will no longer have their foundation. Nothing will make any sense.

God is a necessary element in order to show have all sciences (physical, metaphysical, social sciences, religious theology, or historical sciences- all of them!) and truth work.

Theology (the study of God) in really should be the mother to all other sciences. Becuase the more we understand God and how He created and set truth into motion, we see how all the other things work. Truth sets us free.

For all of those angrily thinking, “Don’t put your religion and your God in science. All we need is science with an agenda!”

You make a great point, think a little a bit about what you are saying, the reality is that true science always does have (and has had) an agenda.

The only instance where there is science without an agenda is scientism….but
(A.) You are not going to find a true scientism believer because they are rare and it is not really rational. True scientism has been well-refuted recently.
Even Skeptic Dictionary says, “scientism is either false or meaningless.”
(B.) people get into true scientism for their own agenda!

What is truth?


I have some neat analogies relating to religions, post-modernism, and truth. Some of these ideas are from Living with Questions by Dale Fincher, others are from books by Greg Stier…but some are my own.

Post-modern ideas/ false:

A Shopping bag/or a WalMart -there are a lot of choices and things to buy. You are the consumer and the world/store evolves around you. You could go to Eastern section and purchase some Buddhism or go to the Western Protestant section and pick up some Baptist love….

Starbucks – people like their drinks a specific way, a mix of flavors and long, hard to pronounce names….”I ‘ll take a Grande Triple Buddha Berry Frappacino, and a Venti Jesus please….”

Truth / Christianity:

-A cure for a specific diagnosis that we all have, sin. And the truth is that there is one specific solution that cures our sin cancer. Jesus is the only solution, there is no other. Having other drugs will not help.

-A math equation. 2+3 = 5. It always equals five and that is not going to change. It is never going to be 7.

Truth is absolute and exclusive. It is impossible for everyone to be right because by saying so you are excluding everyone who thinks there is only one way…

Truth defined and discussed:
Truth is an idea or belief that is a fact or in other words, ideas that reflect reality and in another way, propositions that correspond to reality. Without truth we cannot know things…without the ability to to know things, we cannot use things properly…if we cannot use things properly then we cannot take care of things properly.

Perception of “faith v. truth”
In today’s culture the word “faith” has a false connotation to it. May I suggest that it has a false definition to today’s culture. I think that in today’s culture, faith is thought of as a gift. It is treated as mystical and unknown. Unfortunately many people think of it as the opposite of truth and reason. Some go so far to say that faith is ignorance.
These are misguided misconceptions. Faith and Truth go together, hand in hand. They are friends, not opposites. Faith is based on truth. I rely on evidence and trust God, this is faith. Faith is confidence in the character of something that has proven itself reliable. God has proven Himself faithful and reliable and evident in my life, therefore I have faith in Him. I trust in His Truth.
It is a faith based on Truth. Truth or ideas as they are in reality.
Truth is a proposition that corresponds to reality. It is when an idea or belief shows up in reality.
Say my car breaks down. I bring it to the repair show and then walk down the street to Walmart. As I am in the check-out line of Walmart I get a phone call from the repairman saying that my car is fixed. I now have an idea/proposition in my head that my car is fixed. I have not seen r driven my car so I walk back to the repair shop. I pay the bill, hop in the car and start driving. Everything is working . I know for sure now that my car actually really is fixed. I experienced truth. The repairman had actually fixed my car and was not false. I know for sure because i can feel/ see my car working properly. The idea that my car was fixed lines up with reality, my car is fixed.

Faith and Reason: Faith, Worldviews, and Truth

This is the first of several posts on the topic of Faith And Reason. A lot of people in this culture have the wrong idea of what faith actually is. I have heard too many people say that faith is a leap in the dark. And that faith is not based on anything.
These Faith and Reason posts will be a mini “apologetics 101″series. I hope to explain some misconceptions and give a little bit of apologetics training through my rants and thoughts.
Apologetics 101 training
World views – A world view is a set of presuppositions (or assumptions) which we hold (consciously or subconsciously) about the basic makeup of our world.”
A world view is a way of seeing the world. It is based on what we know about the world. Everyone has a world view, whether they want to admit it or not. World views are In the context of religion there are 5 main over arching world views. Each of these break down into several of thousand of specific world views, but speaking broadly here are the general and main 5.

Pantheist – believe that God is in all things. God is everywhere in nature, in humans, and everywhere else.
Atheist – does not believe that there is a “god.” Know there is no “god.”
Agnostic – unsure if God exists.
Theist – believe in a personal God. (Mono or Poly) ‘Personal God’ means that God has a personality, may or may not be able to be know.
Deist- believe in an impersonal God. (Mono or Poly)

The Christian Faith
Faith is based on facts, probability, reason, and knowledge. Faith should not be a leap in the dark, but it should be synonymous with confidence, trust, and assurance. Our faith is based on reason! It is not a guess or an emotion, but it is based on facts. Even, Wikipedia has the right idea: “Faith is a profound belief or trust in a particular truth, or in a doctrine that expresses such a truth.” Trust in truth.
I personally chose faith in God over there not being a God because probability. It is more probable that God does exist than he does not.

My rant:
Truth is naturally exclusive. Some one might argue that there is a neutral world view or an inclusive world view (all roads lead to God)….Even inclusivist excludes exclusivist, people who doe not agree with them. There is not a true inclusive world view, because truth is exclusive by nature.
Think about it this way. 1+1 is always 2. There is always one exclusive truth answer. There are an infinite number of wrong answers.


I need to make reference to Apologetics.com radio show: Apologetics 101, and I don’t have enough faith to be an Atheist by Norman Geisler

The Bible and media

So I located a really neat website online:
http://www.youversion.com/
On this website you can log in on a free account and read the Bible in many versions as well as see videos/media that relate to verses of the Bible. It is a community of contributions. After you sign up you are allowed to contribute videos, links, articles, or anything to help illustrate or drive home points made in the Bible….

Which leads to a great question: How do you feel about mixing Media and the Word of God? One extreme would be that the Bible is a double-edge sword that illustrates itself enough. The other side is that the Bible is old, dry, and hard to understand so it needs media to “modernize” it, if you will…

Personally, I believe that the Word of God is absolute truth and that media is not. Media such as videos can sometimes be helpful to further the points already in the Bible. I use them a lot to get students attention in my youth ministry messages, but I believe that the Bible is the Sword of our faith. What do you think?