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.

Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic?

one of my friends had this label on Facebook for his “religious beliefs”:

Baptist/ Calvinistic /Evangelistic.

At first I just laughed and smiled. It is interesting that he choose three categories to classify his beliefs. But then the more I thought about it the more I admired his classification and his beliefs. In fact, I think that Baptist/Calvinistic/Evangelistic fits me quite well.
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I recently read another Michael Patton article called “Evangelical for a Reason.”In this article Michael tells us why he is Evangelical. He discusses the flaws with Evangelicalism but then he also suggests that Evangelicalism is probably the best answer,

“I am an evangelical. I am not an ignorant evangelical. I am a learning evangelical. But over the last ten years, as I have studied Scripture, history, the enlightenment, and the early church, as I have traveled to other countries, engaged in gracious reflective dialogue with Evolutionists, Arminians, Egalitarians, Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Emergers, mystics, new-agers, the New Atheists, and those who know no labels, I have become more of a Reformed Evangelical than ever. True, I would not die for every aspect of my theology like I once would. True, I don’t think “the other side” is as ignorant as I once did. But I am more convinced based upon my studies than I ever was.”

I suggest reading some of his posts and watching some of the free theology classes on his website, there is a lot of great stuff there!

Personally I am still learning so much about these things and can’t make such a confident claim as Michael does. I am not quick to jump on the latest and newest theology bus or trend. I like to do research before putting belief in anything.

As far as the emergent church, I also agree with Michael: I honestly think the heart of the majority of the emergent is right. They are after souls for Christ. They want to engage culture and display Christ to people in this culture. They want to be relevant. And in some ways this is great. But we have to be careful and draw a line somewhere. I personally am agianst “flexible theology and doctrines” the you hear about in Velvet Elvis.

And also we need to be careful when engaging the culture. We cannot let ourselves be so engaged that we are invisible, of the world, and no different than the useless Hellenistic Jews. (No offense to any Jews who are still celebrating Alexander the Great out there…)

In general, I still have lots to learn…I am also trying not to classify all of my beliefs. The most important things I am learning right now is deciding what is essential to my faith and what is not. I still have a lot to learn. I agree whole-heatedly that we need to have critical minds when studying these things.

Co-Resurrection – My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers

Here is a devotional from My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
My take on the issues are in italics.

Co-Resurrection –
The proof that I have been through crucifixion with Jesus is that I have a decided likeness to Him. The incoming of the Spirit of Jesus into me readjusts my personal life to God. The resurrection of Jesus has given Him authority to impart the life of God to me, and my experimental life must be constructed on the basis of His life. I can have the resurrection life of Jesus now, and it will show itself in holiness.

I have been reading Chamber’s Utmost for His Highest, as part of my devotional this year. There is some mind-blowing stuff in here. Some days I get absolutely nothing out of them, because I simply just do not understand what Oswald is trying to say. Some of this devotional is difficult reading, but I think that this is beautiful and challenging. We are so dependent upon Him! You see the beauty of Christianity is that God reached down to us, to save us, to heal us, forgive us. Without Him we cannot experience forgiveness, holiness, or grace. The resurrection, that we had nothing to do with, we get to claim and experience with Him. He saved us! How humbling it is to think about it as a co-resurrection!

The idea all through the apostle Paul’s writings is that after the moral decision to be identified with Jesus in His death has been made, the resurrection life of Jesus invades every bit of my human nature. It takes omnipotence to live the life of the Son of God in mortal flesh. The Holy Spirit cannot be located as a Guest in a house, He invades everything. When once I decide that my “old man” (i.e., the heredity of sin) should be identified with the death of Jesus, then the Holy Spirit invades me. He takes charge of everything, my part is to walk in the light and to obey all that He reveals. When I have made the moral decision about sin, it is easy to reckon actually that I am dead unto sin, because I find the life of Jesus there all the time. Just as there is only one stamp of humanity, so there is only one stamp of holiness, the holiness of Jesus, and it is His holiness that is gifted to me. God puts the holiness of His Son into me, and I belong to a new order spiritually.

This is so good and so true! This so awesome, yet again- challenging. The Old is Gone and the New has Come. We are alive to Christ and dead to Sin. We are new creations. We have redemption through Christ’s blood. It is a fresh start! But it is through the Holy Spirit. And we must let go of our pride and remove stumbling blocks that get in the way of letting the Spirit take over. Not everyone is willing to let go of their self and their pride and simply let God take control. The Holy Spirit will work and it will invade…how sad it is when my lost friends know the truth and they close their heart off from the truth. They are not set free by it. they harden their hearts and they run from reality.

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