I wrote on Monday that I believe disagreement can be a very good thing, but please do not mistake that for some type of acceptance of relativism. In fact, consider it just the opposite. I appreciate disagreement because I am genuinely in the pursuit of Truth, and sometimes when people disagree with me, they show me errors in my own thinking that I need to discard in order to get closer to Truth. Like I said on Monday, I need to do my best work in that pursuit specifically because people disagree with me.
I am entirely willing to accept that people have the freedom to disagree with me, and I can benefit from that. However, I do not affirm that everything anybody says is always true. In fact, if you and I hold contradictory positions, then one of us is necessarily right while the other one is necessarily wrong.
Let’s take my Christianity as an example. I do believe that Jesus Christ literally rose from the dead. You might not agree with me on that. You might say that dead people don’t rise and therefore Jesus Christ certainly did not rise from the dead either.
We simply cannot be simultaneously right on this point. We can’t say that we are both making true statements because one necessarily disqualifies the other from being accurate. Either Jesus rose from the dead or did not rise from the dead. This is simply basic logic.
That is why I wrote on Monday that persuasion is my purpose. I would be trying to show you why it is reasonable to believe that Jesus rose from the dead for example to continue my example from above. I want you to affirm that reality, or Truth, as well because I believe it is better for you if you do. Therefore, I am certainly going to try to persuade you. Why would I hold back something that I believe is beneficial for you?
If we disagree, then you are going to have reasons for disagreeing with me. Obviously, by affirming that Jesus Christ rose from the dead, I would not agree that your reasons for unbelief are sufficient. In fact, I would state that your belief is false. This is no kind of wishy-washy relativism that tries to affirm truth in every statement.
However, by presenting me with your evidence, you have hypothetically made me do my homework. I have had to answer your reasons for unbelief, and that is a good thing because maybe I had to do research to handle that challenge. Maybe I have developed a deeper appreciation for Jesus Christ through the research I had to do. Perhaps my own faith was deepened because I learned more than I would have had to without that disagreement.
As a result, just remember that appreciating disagreement does not mean you have to accept relativism.
Therefore, there is another level on this one that we’re going to talk about on Friday. If disagreement can be good but there is such a thing as Truth, then I am going to try to get us to agree on the Truth without a doubt. We accept and appreciate the disagreement, but we do try to move it to agreement assuming that we agree that the knowledge and acknowledgment of Truth is a good thing.