|I suspect that many people who play the Absolute
Truth card may actually fear truth. If they play
the card, they don't have to think about the
argument of the opposition.
I was commenting on a friend's facebook status when the Absolute Truth/Relativism dichotomy was brought up. The author made the point in reference to a discussion on tolerance saying, "tolerance is now interpreted to mean that all ideas have equal value and that there are no absolutes; big problems there".
"I don't see it as all ideas have the same value, but rather that all ideas get the same starting place. Each player comes into the game with "10 dollars" and you have to hold and/or build your ground from there. This is such an adjustment of position for many Christians in America that they often see this as a bad thing or themselves as persecuted. When they came into the game before, they were given favored status and a higher position. It was assumed that theirs was the correct position. Now they come into the game having to stake their territory like everyone else. Christians used to be able to presume that their position was absolute... it was granted by default. Now they have to put up or shut up.... this is tremendous culture shock. Many Christians are rising to the occasion, while others are having a temper tantrum."
As I look back over conversations when I have heard the absolute truth card played, I suspect what is really being stated is a longing to return to a time in America when Christianity was the dominate voice. - When we didn't need to work so hard at developing a good argument. - When it didn't matter how we lived, because it only mattered what we said.
Do I believe there are things that are true regardless of what I think? Sure. But I have no idea what those are and neither do you. We can drop 5 people in a room who feel they have the absolute true position, even though they all disagree with each other. In that moment, from our perspective, those truths have ceased to be absolute.
I appreciate N.T. Wright who said in a teaching (I paraphrase) - I suspect that at any time a good third of my theology is wrong, the problem is I do not know which third it is.