Drinking from the well of Relativism

JP: Relativism is expressed in a statement such as “That’s true for you but not for me.” Albert Mohler comments on the Newsweek article previously mentioned on 4BYA.info (‘many paths to god’ de facto Hinduism):

Are We a Nation of Hindus?


Those who argue that all religions are essentially the same reveal the fact that they know little about these very different belief systems. The worldview of Christianity is, for example, radically different from the belief structure of Buddhism (some forms of which may actually claim to resist the very idea of beliefs).

These differences in belief systems are apparent in Lisa Miller’s recent article for Newsweek. As she explains, “A million-plus Hindus live in the United States, a fraction of the billion who live on Earth. But recent poll data show that conceptually, at least, we are slowly becoming more like Hindus and less like traditional Christians in the ways we think about God, our selves, each other, and eternity.”

Many Christians will flinch when reading this. Does this mean that Hindu temples are appearing across the American landscape? Not hardly. What Miller describes is the transformation of the belief system in ways that resemble Hinduism. Her argument deserves a fair hearing.

She begins by quoting a Hindu writing, the Rig Veda: “Truth is One, but the sages speak of it by many names.” The idea of one truth known by many names is not new. Indeed, it is central to polytheism and the syncretistic beliefs of several historic and current worldviews. Hinduism is radically polytheistic and syncretistic. According to Hindu belief, the many gods and goddesses of their veneration all represent one fundamental divine reality. The idea of a singular and exclusive truth is antithetical to classical Hinduism.

So what is Lisa Miller’s point? She suggests that contemporary Americans, including many who consider themselves Christians, are abandoning the exclusive truth claims of Christianity for a form of theological pluralism or relativism.

Without doubt, Americans have been growing more and more accepting of plural and relative understandings of truth. A tragically large number of those who identify as Christians have been drinking from the same wells of thought.

The exclusivity of the Gospel is not merely a facet of the church’s message. Indeed, a Gospel that does not affirm that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ alone is not the Gospel of Christ, but a false gospel. As Lisa Miller correctly recites, Jesus did say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.” [John 14:6]

Another aspect of the story is this: Many Americans have such a doctrineless understanding of Christianity that they do not even know what the Gospel is — not even remotely. A greater tragedy is that so many who consider themselves Christians seem to share in this confusion.

JP: Wiki: Relativism

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