Friday, October 28, 2005

Cross promoting the emerging church conversation on Robb's Grenz

I am referencing a conversation here that has been going on on Robb's blog regarding the emerging church. I can't get it out of my head and I want to say some things, maybe for shock value or something....okay, here it is...

What's the big deal about Absolute Truth? I believe in it (I guess : ) but I'd like to keep that on the QT, really, when it comes to most unchurched people. And with churched people, I think it only adds to the "We are right and everybody else is wrong, we are "in", and all of them are "out," I am chosen, they are screwed/I chose Jesus, they choose hell apparently," etc etc etc mindset. It's so condescending, especially to people who are generally open to just sitting down and talking most things over, whereas we (as a church-whole) are so marked in our mission that we have onlyl been successful in making caractures of ourselves. Maybe I sound a bit aggressive, but I keep hearing this attack over and over again..."they don't believe in absolute truth." I'm asking the question...so what? Isn't it possible that you could be saved and not believe in absolute truth?

"But how can you prove that Christianity is right?" you might ask. Well, are we supposed to? Wouldn't it be far better to tell them a story that moves their heart? To introduce them to Someone they literally cannot resist? To relate to them rather than convince them?

It's been awhile since college...I just can't remember why it is so important.

6 comments:

courtney said...

the importance lies, in my opinion, in the fact that the outside world doesn't offer any absolutes, everything's a grey area. Is A truth offensive? sure, but it also adds some kind of security

Robb said...

oh come on...sis you are a real hard"NOSE" : ) and will argue somebody to death, but then you, being you, feed them lemon merangue pie and they believe whatever you say, not because you argued with them, but because of the pie : )

seriously...I believe in the absolute T, but I don't lead with it. It just gives me the confidence to say anything...It's like the pan I cook it in, not what I serve my best dessert on.

eekquei: french for when I see that spider...

ness said...

oops...that last post was me, I didn't know robb was signed in. : )

Sara said...

i'm so proud that i know you...thanks for being brave and expressing your thoughts..here are some of mine

do i think someone could be saved and not believe in absolute truth..yes, i think my grandfather might be saved and he definately doesn't believe in absolutely truth...however the bible is full of truth and it is the truth we claim to stand on...if there is no absolute truth,, then how could 2 timothy 3:16 be used to claim that God's word is his word.

Also if someone is saved and doesn't believe in absolute truth...then you have someone like my grandfather (not always i'm just using him as an example)who says that anyone who has faith in something is going to go to heaven, which clearly contradicts God's (scriptured breathed).

I find absolute truth to be very important for 1. the bible says that truth is very important in a world filled with so many lies. 2.like you said..it gives you confidence to say anything.
3. If there is no absolute truth and God's word isn't completely true how then are we different than other religions? Then "faith" really is just what my grandpa says...and what right then do we have to tell someone (even in a loving relational way) that they are wrong.
4. Jesus wasn't just relational he spoke words of truth and they offended people...people rejected him and likewise he said that because he was rejected his followers would be rejected to.

Robb said...

Some thoughts and questions on Sara's comments, and yes, this is actually Robb.

1. the bible says that truth is very important in a world filled with so many lies.

When the Bible talks about truth does it mean the same thing as we do when we talk about truth in a philosophical way? We speak of truth as an abstract concept. The Bible speaks of truth as a person. How does that distinction affect this conversation?


2.like you said..it gives you confidence to say anything.

This is a deeply philosophical discussion, but one difference between modernity and postmodernity is the nature of truth and knowledge. Modernity saw knowledge in a foundational way, like - to use Rob Bell's excellent analogy - bricks in a wall. What we know is something to stand on. Postmodernity simply doesn't know that way. It is non-foundational, like - Rob Bell again - springs on a trampoline, or like a web. Our knowledge is something that propels or launches us. I might get a list of Bible references yelled at me for saying this, but ... maybe we don't need to stand firm on the truth anymore.


3. If there is no absolute truth and God's word isn't completely true how then are we different than other religions? Then "faith" really is just what my grandpa says...and what right then do we have to tell someone (even in a loving relational way) that they are wrong.

[fill in the religion here] has evolved over the centuries as pious men and women have reflected on how to best live according to ancient sacred writings. Christianity, Islam, Buddhism ... they all work. Christianity is a religion too (and not always a good one).

4. Jesus wasn't just relational he spoke words of truth and they offended people...people rejected him and likewise he said that because he was rejected his followers would be rejected to.

Weren't the people who were most offended by Jesus the most absolutist in that society?

Just some food for thought.

Sara said...

well, i'm not going to yell out a whole bunch of scripture verses because i think i am understanding what you are saying...and i can't say that i disagree if i understand you correctly.

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