The Relativistic Avoidance of Wisdom
Tim Moore: There was a time when most Americans would have agreed on at least the basic ethical foundations for having a dialogue. They believed that there was truth, and there were individuals whom they would have found trustworthy. For example, at one time most Americans would have trusted a voice like Billy Graham. Today, I think the divide has grown so great due to the erosion of our foundation no longer resting on knowable truth. This divide has grown so great that I fear Americans will not be able to agree as one voice that there is one source of wisdom. Do you disagree with that assessment?
Dr. Mohler: I do not disagree. And, I will say there is no political rescue for this problem. There is no scientific rescue to this problem. There is only a theological rescue.
Post-modern and Relativistic, or what we would call in my world the “social constructivism to understandings of truth,” is that truth is just something that people create. The antidote to Relativism is Biblical Christianity.
We need to note that sinners can never stay consistent in their non-Christian worldview as it is so inherently unstable that it doesn’t work by definition. So, you even have someone who is a radical Atheist like Richard Dawkins who says, “There are no Post-modernists at 33,000 feet.” Gravity does not care if you believe in it or not. So, it is just another reminder of the fact that those who try to hold to a Relativistic understanding of truth do not want their heart surgeon to have a relativistic understanding of truth.
Tim Moore: No, they do not. When it comes to guarding the hearts of our children and grandchildren, how do we balance the importance of being salt and light in our darkening society and yet protect them by following the admonition of Proverbs 14:7 which says, “Leave the presence of a fool, or you will not discern words of wisdom.”
Dr. Mohler: Yes, and that assumes that you have a choice, as that is not always something that our children will get to have. Often times they will be sitting in a classroom with some “fool” whom they really have no choice in just getting up and walking out, so they’ve got to learn how to think. We need to build theological, biblical, and intellectual defenses into their lives.
And, we need to keep the conversation going. The most important classroom needs to be at the dinner and breakfast table.
We also have to understand what we are up against and push back. Just look around us at this society as it is openly embracing insanity, irrationality, and untruths. We have a society that keeps trying to look at itself with a straight face and say, “No, we believe a boy can be a girl and a girl can be a boy.” Then, yet again, the inconsistency comes up when all of a sudden they understand, “Well, this isn’t exactly working out too well, but we can’t admit that.”
We have got to be in this constant mode of not being tossed to and fro, but instead saying: “Look, we expect a sinful world to act like a sinful world, and we expect a sinful world to think like a sinful world. But, our task is neither to think that way nor live that way.
And so, we do need to be very watchful of what is taking place, especially as parents. Christian leaders have to understand that we are surrounded by children, teenagers, and young people for whom these challenges are just immense.
The Rejection of Wisdom
Tim Moore: Dr. Mohler, I personally look forward every day to listening to “The Briefing,” which is your daily podcast that offers an analysis of the news from a Christian worldview. It provides insight into a wide range of topics that don’t often make the local news, or even the national news, here in America.
On your podcast, you spoke of a false fixation on Intersectionality, which is the ideology used by Secularists that deliberately flaunts the wisdom of God by embracing false hierarchies which are based on abnormalities, if you will. Intersectionality galls the sense of anyone who adheres to a Christian worldview. What do you see coming down the pipe that is even more abhorrent and crazy but is inevitable given the trends in our culture today?
Dr. Mohler: The confusion over what is male and female will grow worse. Throughout virtually all of my young adult years, and even throughout most of the three decades I have served as president of this institution and been a Christian apologist and theologian, the most pressing questions have been intellectual. The most pressing questions have been what we would call in the academic world Epistemology: How do I know that the Bible is the Word of God? How do I know that God really inspired the Bible? How do I know that Jesus Christ is really the Son of God? How do I know that Jesus really was raised from the dead? Those were the “how do I know” questions that have been the obsessive concern of Christian apologetics.
But, today we are living in a world in which people are denying reality itself! We have a war on matter. We have a war on creation. Something as simple as what is male and female is now the subject of widespread, increasing, and unprecedented confusion.
Now, let me just point out, that there never has been a society in all of human history that has been as confused about these things as we are today. This confusion is due to a rejection not just of the Bible, rather this is a rejection of creation and the created order.
The Definition of Wisdom
Tim Moore: Dr. Mohler, in our “Christ in Prophecy” series Jesus in the Old Testament, we have been looking for Jesus throughout the pages of the Old Testament. As you and I focused on the book of Proverbs, we learn that the Hebrew word for “proverbs” can mean “taunt,” “discourse,” or “parable.” Proverbs 2:6 is crystal clear, “That the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Where in Proverbs do you see evidence of Jesus our Messiah providing wisdom? Is Proverbs itself pointing to Jesus as the coming Christ?
Dr. Mohler: The most important point to remember is that Jesus is the source of wisdom. He is not just the preacher of wisdom, and He’s not just the teacher of wisdom, He is THE wisdom. So, I would point to Christ’s wisdom throughout the entirety of the book of Proverbs. That means that when we are told to seek wisdom, it really means that we are to seek Christ. If Proverbs is just a Holy Spirit inspired book of wisdom given from a father to a son in ancient Israel, well that is fine, but if it is an Old Testament window into understanding the wisdom of Christ, well that makes it wisdom for the Church, which it is.
In the fourth and final segment of this series on finding Jesus in the wisdom of the ages, we will explore the vital importance of having wisdom and applying it to our lives.