In more recent days, Bauer’s thesis has received a new lease on life through the emergence of postmodernism, the believe that truth is inherently subjective and a function of power. With the rise of postmodernism came the notion that the only heresy that remains is the belief in absolute truth–orthodoxy. Postmodernism, for its part, contends that the only absolute is diversity, that is, the notion that there are many truths, depending on a given individual’s perspective, background, experience, and personal preference. In such an intellectual climate, anyone holding to particulary doctrinal beliefs while claiming that competing truth claims are wrong is held to be intolerant, dogmatic, or worse.
— Kostenberger & Kruger, The Heresy of Orthodoxy (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2010), pp 39.
But we ultimately need there to be bedrock truth.
Our lives would be far scarier if we didn’t believe that there was an ultimate good surrounding the mundane, the base, the distorted, the depraved and the evil. Consider people at the moment of crisis. What would there be to “pray” to? Who or what should we ask help from when we are proven to be weak and finite? And why? Because there would have to be a good place for us when we die.
In philosophical language, there would be no measure for things that are bent if there were no true straightness. There would be no such thing as night if there were no day.
Humanity has a general sense of the divine. Many just don’t see the necessity for God (Stephen Hawking). Many believe we are self-sufficient and autonomous. Orthodoxy is not only ancient, but unnecessary. Somehow, even without knowing one atheist by name, teens have a pervasive sense that biblical truth is irrelevant to life.
However, when I’m counseling with teen boys and their parents, I share with them that the single starting point to any knowledge is in submission to a knowledge of God. The starting point to foolishness is the denial of the biblical God. It amazes me that I get no push back. I never get push back.
If I were to write a book about it, I would expect to remain poor. It would be met with one of two reactions: scorn or indifference. Critics would appear everyplace, or nobody would even notice. For some reason, when we defend biblical authority publicly, it is met with a collective force, generated by a commonly-shared belief system from within society — a force much greater than one individual can muster alone, but bankrupt. Or, it is dismissed immediately.
If we say it one-on-one; however, it rings true with what we believe in our heart. Eternity is set in the heart of every man, said Solomon (Ecc. 3).
God has not made a single individual that could not know truth, according to Romans 1, but rather, wicked individuals suppress it and exchange it for a lie. It’s amazing how often those who are faithful to God’s truth are ignored while life is good. University-trained students contend for tolerance, coexistence, open-mindedness, (pluralism), but when I walk through a cemetery, every other gravestone bears a cross.