Brad’s no. 4 – Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Beckwith & Koukl

Times change.  Society changes.  What was standard before is now stodgy and archaic.  Taboo is now cutting edge and I am left feeling torn between keeping my head out of the muck and being left in our culture’s wake.  I am not that old and I already sometimes feel like a crotchety old man sitting on my front porch wondering why things have to change and just when things started to go wrong…was it when we let a Catholic become president?  I was blessed with a wonderfully conservative, two-parent, church-going, relatively sheltered, evangelical home (an increasingly quaint notion).  It might be that my upbringing shielded me from the ever changing world, or maybe it all did happen so fast.

Whatever the situation is, the principle of Truth has eroded.  In its place is a new notion and definition of truth; call it relativism, post-modernism, or political correctness, the choice is truly up to you.  Whatever the name, it is a new game with new rules. Those of us who cling to the existence of Absolute Truth (fast becoming another “quaint notion”) need to be aware of how it is played lest we lose before we realize we were even playing.

Relativism:FFPiM-A is an excellent primer on the current mentality that is pervading our culture. Beckwith and Koukl do an excellent job of illustrating how this way of thinking developed and how it can be seen in (post)modern thinking.  Further, this is done in a way that strikes an effective balance of scholarly thought and accessibility.  I was most impressed by there ability to move beyond the impact of relativism in the scholarly world and show how it is affecting our daily societal interactions.  Though I enjoy such things, post-modern literary deconstructionism is not necessarily your typical water cooler hot-button topic.  If you balk and think that this is purely academic and does not apply to the typical person, read this book and you will see just how dangerous and widespread relativism truly is.

Adding to the practicality of this work is how Beckwith and Koukl provide practical arguments against relativistic thinking.  Though I thought this was a great addition, I also felt that this is where the book lacked a bit.  Most of their arguments were basically an application of your basic reductio ad absurdum argument.  While definitely appropriate, I also feel that more needs to be added.  Unfortunately, relativism seems to have inoculated us against such logical arguments to the point that even if made, it would paint the arguer as a just being arrogant and close minded.  I don’t think that such arguing is wrong, I just think that it needs to be applied with a bit more finesse than how the authors presented it.

All in all, I highly recommend it to everyone in order to help navigate this strange world we are in, but not of.

SARS (Subject Appropriate Rating Scale):I give it a 4 out of Whatever Number you Deem is Appropriate

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