Ask the Pastor 94

Is truth relative or absolute?

By definition, truth is that which corresponds to its referent. If I say that Bill is a man, then we should be able to look at Bill and see that sure enough, he is a man. Absolute truth is that which is true “for everyone, everywhere, at all times, and it is not compatible with any opposing system of beliefs”. The fact that Bill is a man is true of Bill but not all men are named Bill and it is possible there is someone named Bill who is not a man. This brings us to relative truth which is that which is true at one time and place but not true in every time and place or it can be true for one person but not for another. Ronald Reagan is president was true at a certain time and place but is not true today. Mary has freckles is true of that Mary but not true of all who are named Mary. The problem with our day and age, which is known as the postmodern era, is that absolute truth is being rejected, that there are no absolutes but everything is relative. Therefore, when we say that there is a God in heaven and that He has made it possible to know Him and live with Him forever, this absolute truth is denied as absolute and turned into a subjective relative. This kind of subjective relativism does not necessarily correspond to reality, in other words a person can feel that something is true for them without having an attachment to reality. As believers we hold to the absolute truth that is found in the Bible, “The entirety of Your Word is truth,” (Psalms 119:160)

Have questions about the Bible? Send them to Dr. Greg Koehn at and read the answer here in this article.

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