The Lens of Relativity

I am fascinated with the idea of relativity. I know so little about Einstein and his theories. However, it takes very little intelligence to be humbled by the thought that our concept of time is meaningless once outside of our little solar system. Time as we know it, which has such profound human and theological significance, is completely relative to our situation.

This brings us to the last great lens through which the Enlightenment encourages us to look through ─ relativity. Everything is relative and there are no absolutes apart from this one objective declaration that all is relative. What you believe is fine for you, but may not be for me and others. The only thing that approaches objectivity is the results of the hard sciences. Of course, there are also the social engineers who simply wish to rid society of all Christian truth and remake nature and the world according to their own sense of moral absolutes.

It is a strange thing that every group has their own set of absolutes which they tend to impose on others. When “objectivity” is condemned, it is a specific type of objectivity, especially the Christian claim of moral absolutes based both on natural law (see previous post) and Scripture. It is a sad thing that so many Christians are losing their sense of natural law and their grip on the biblical world view by which to counter this secular onslaught of relativity. Many Christians simply no longer have the intellectual, spiritual, or moral grounding to stand up to it, and so we give way so as not to be “intolerant” (see previous post on tolerance). You see that all these lenses we have discussed, when they come together, reinforce one another, casting a spell on the soul and brain that is formidable indeed.

Christians, however, cannot afford to be “triumphalistic” with their own experience or sense of truth. The truth is that there is a lot of truth to the idea that everything is relative to us. Pure, objective truth does not reside in any one of us! We are all, even as Christians, mired in our own subjectivity and sinful patterns of thought. It is Jesus who is pure objective truth. Truth is a Person. Our conceptual ideas and doctrines, as critical and important as they are to us in this life, are but symbols of objective truth anchored in God alone, Who is beyond all our powers of thought. The closer we come to Jesus relationally the more we approach objective truth in heart and mind. This is a very long and difficult process, and therefore calls for much humility. The world sees us smug and arrogant with what truth we have, and rejects the truth in rejecting us. The truth is powerful, however, in the humble; those who have been transformed by their walk with God through the beatitudes (see our previous series of posts on the beatitudes).

Any thoughts? We will wrap up our thoughts on the Enlightenment and its effects on our culture and even us as Christians in the next post.

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