What amazes us is that parents all over the world are literally paying thousands of dollars in college tuition so that their sons and daughters can be taught the “truth” that there is no truth, not to mention other self-defeating postmodern assertions such as “All truth is relative” (Is that a relative truth?); “There are no absolutes!” (Is that statement true just for you, or is it true for everyone?); “True for you but not for me!” may be the mantra of our day, but its not how the world really works. Try saying that to your bank teller, the police, or the IRS and see how far you get!
– Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page
In a sort of ghastly simplicity we remove the organ and demand the function. We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and bid the geldings to be fruitful.
– C.S. Lewis
as quoted by Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 40
Self-defeating statements are made routinely in our postmodern culture, and once you sharpen your ability to detect them, you’ll become an absolutely fearless defender of truth. No doubt you’ve heard people say things like “All truth is relative!” and “There are no absolutes!” Now you’ll be armed to refute such silly statements by simply revealing that they don’t meet their own criteria. In other words, by turning a self-defeating statement on itself, you can expose it for the nonsense it is.
Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 39
There are many other truths about truth. Here are some of them:
- Truth is discovered, not invented. It exists independent of anyone’s knowledge of it. (Gravity existed prior to Newton).
- Truth is transcultural, if something is true, iot is true for all people, in all places, at all times (2+2=4 for everyone, everywhere, every time)
- Truth is unchanging even though our beliefs about truth change. (When we began to believe the earth was round instead of flat, the truth about the earth did not change, only our belief about the earth changed.)
- Beliefs cannot change a fact, no matter how sincerely they are held. (Someone can sincerely believe the world is flat, but that only makes that person sincerely mistake.)
- Truth is not affected by the attitude of the one professing it. (An arrogant person does not make the truth he professes false. A bumble person does not make the error he professes true.)
- All truths are absolute truths. Even truths that appear to be relative are really absolute (For example, “I, Frank Turek, feel warm on November 20, 2003” may appear to be a relative truth, but it is actually absolutely true for everyone, everywhere that Frank Turek had the sensation of warmth on that day.).
Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 37-38
Contrary to what is being taught in many public schools, truth is not relative but absolute. If something is true, it’s true for all people, at all times, in all places. All truth claims are absolute, narrow and exclusive. Just think about the claim “everything is true.” That’s an absolute, narrow and exclusive claim. It excludes its opposite (i.e. it claims that the statement “everything is not true” is wrong). In fact, all truths exclude their opposites. Even religious truths.
Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 37
Although few would admit it, our rejection of religious and moral truth is often on volition rather than intellectual grounds – we just don’t want to be held accountable to any moral standards or religious doctrine. So we blindly accept the self-defeating truth claims of politically correct intellectuals who tell us that truth does not exist; everything is relative; there are no absolutes; it’s all a matter of opinion; you ought not judge; religion is about faith, not facts! Perhaps Augustine was right when he said that we love the truth when it enlightens us, but we hate it when it convicts us. Maybe we can’t handle the truth.
Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 36
Now it seems to me that we often make a mistake both about God’s forgiveness of our sins and about the forgiveness of our sins and about the forgiveness we are told to offer to other people’s sins. Take it first about God’s forgiveness. I find that when I think I am asking God to forgive me I am often in reality (unless I watch myself very carefully) asking Him to do something quite different. I am asking Him not to forgive me but to excuse me. But there is all the difference in the world between forgiving and excusing. Forgiveness says “Yes, you have done this thing, but I accept your apology; I will never hold it against you and everything between us two will be exactly as it was before.” But excusing says “I see that you couldn’t help it or didn’t mean it; you weren’t really to blame.” If one was not really to blame then there is nothing to forgive. In that sense forgiveness and excusing are almost opposites. Of course, in dozens of cases, either between God and man, or between one man and another, there may be a mixture of the two. Part of what seemed at first to be the sins turns out to be really nobody’s fault and is excused; the bit that is left over is forgiven. If you had a perfect excuse, you would not need forgiveness; if the whole of your action needs forgiveness, then there was no excuse for it. But the trouble is that what we call “asking God’s forgiveness” very often really consists in asking God to accept our excuses. What leads us into this mistake is the fact that there usually is some amount of excuse, some “extenuating circumstances.” We are so very anxious to point these out to God (and to ourselves) that we are apt to forget the really important thing’ that is, the bit left over, the bit to which the excuses don’t cover, the bit which is inexcusable but not, thank God, unforgivable. And if we forget this, we shall go away imagining that we ahve repented and been forgiving when all that has really happened is that we have satisfied ourselves with our own excuses. They may be very bad excuses, we are all too easily satisfied about ourselves.
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 178-179
We believe that God forgives us our sins; but also that He will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us. There is no doubt about the second part of this statement. It is in the Lord’s Prayer; t was emphatically stated by our Lord. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven. No part of His teaching is clearer, and there are no exceptions to it. He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. we are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 178
I have wanted to try to expel that quite un-Christian worship of the human individual simply as such which is so rampant in modern thought side by side with our collectivism, for one error begets the opposite error and, far from neutralizing, they aggravate each other. I mean the pestilent notion (one sees it in literary criticism) that each of us starts with a treasure called “personality” locked up inside him, and that to expand and express this, to guard it from interference, to be “original”, is the main end of life. This is Pelagian, or worse, and it defeats even itself. No man who values originality will ever be original. But try to tell the truth as you see it, try to do any bit of work as well as it can be done for the work’s sake, and what men call originality will come unsought. even on that level, the submission of the individual to the function is already beginning to bring true personality to birth. And secondly, I have wanted to show that Christianity is not, in the long run, concerned either with individuals or communities. Neither the individual nor the community as popular thought understands them can inherit eternal life, neither the natural self, nor the collective mass, but a new creature.
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 175-176
God did not die for man because of some value He perceived in him. The value of each human soul considered simply in itself, out of relation to God, is zero. As St. Paul writes, to have died for valuable men would have been not divine but merely heroic; but God died for sinners. He loved us not because we were lovable, but because He is Love. It may be that He loves all equally – He certainly loved all to the death – and I am not certain what the expression means. If there is equality, it is in His love, not in us.
– C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory, copyright 1949, 1976, page 170