Del Tackett Note

I corresponded with Dr. Del Tackett (The Truth Project and The Truth Observed) regarding the ethical disfunction we witness all around us and as commented on in my most recent Blog Post.  The following was what Dr. Tackett said  in response to my observations.  RMF

Dr. Del Tackett

“As we descend deeper and deeper into relativism, the notion that anyone is sinning or violating a transcendent ethical value is anathema to us for it breaks our covenant of tolerance and questions our personal right to establish individual moral codes. We will therefore continue to increasingly deal with these matters in terms of their practical consequences only.”

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About ronfurg

Former naval officer, federal investigator, forensic scientist, senior executive service member and pastor. In retirement serves as volunteer and life group leader at New Life Christian Church (www.newlife4me.com). Devoted to beautiful wife, kids and grandkids. Looking forward to the time when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord of all and that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
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2 Responses to Del Tackett Note

  1. Jonathan Hilgeman says:

    Just a thought on Del Tackett’s response – it occurs to me that the abuse of relativism has led to many Christians holding it up as the absolute icon representing the absence of ethical behavior and ignorance of sin. That type of viewpoint seems too hasty of a judgment, especially when Jesus himself (as well as Paul) employed the concept of relativism. So what makes us jump into a black-and-white contest of absolute versus relative?

    As mostly-powerless humans, we enjoy absolutes because they give us an avenue to gaining power and control over our lives and over others. The Pharisees employed absolutes repeatedly to try to discredit Jesus and establish their authority (“we know the law!”). They were removing God from the equation so they could enforce the law and lord it over others. They had placed their own intelligence above God’s, believing that they were in control and had a full and final understanding of the law that was given by God. Effectively, they harnessed absolutes so they could treat God as nothing more than a convenient pet to occasionally feed with some absent-minded prayer.

    In the modern world, we frown on the idea of people establishing their own private moral codes, and that spawns many questions:

    1. Is it because we’re secretly jealous that they might have more freedom within their morality (e.g. the vegetarian being slightly jealous of the carnivore and feeling like they must justify their restricted diet) ?

    2. Is it because we don’t believe their morality would be -as- correct as ours because ours is derived from the Bible? If we were successful in enforcing our own moral codes on someone else, would that turn them into a Christian or would they simply be following Christian values with an ignorance of the most important article of our faith?

    3. What is our ultimate stake in having others follow our own moral code? Are we placing behavior above belief?

    4. Do we believe that tolerance will always lead to ruin? It is easy to think up examples of tolerance that have gone against our moral grain, but compare what we currently believe to be the absolute best, Christian way to live with what Christians believed just a couple of centuries ago and you’d find that they were the ones tolerating us. How can we believe our current absolutes are better or more accurate than the ones our predecessors held?

    5. Most importantly, what role does INTENT play in everything? No matter what your concept of ethical or moral behavior might be, are we doing it all for the glory of God, or are we doing it to obey the law? Is there anything greater than the temple?

    In my humble opinion, both relativism and absolutes play large roles in our daily Christian lives. God is the only constant, and His only constant request has been for us to believe in Him and only Him. Everything else becomes a relative action to how we try to fulfill that request within our culture and time.

  2. ronfurg says:

    Thanks for your insightful observations, Jonathan. In his The Truth Project Dr. Tackett speaks of ethical behavior as being that which is consistent with the very nature of God. Now, obviously, our understanding of that nature may change. I know mine does all the time and makes me more and more aware of the limits of my understanding. The deal for me is for me to surrender to the reign and rulership of God in every area of my “walk.” I agree with you that the goal of every Christian should be “…to believe in Him and only Him,” provided that “belief,” includes seeking to live a life consistent with that belief as He gives understanding and strength. “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:25).

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