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Tuesday
Jul082014

Theological Term of the Week

skepticism
“[T]he view that even if there is objective truth, none of us can know what that truth is.”1 

  • Jesus speaks to a skeptic: 

    Jesus answered, … For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” …  (John 18:37-38 ESV)

    At first, Skepticism appears to be a thoroughly humble viewpoint. What could be more humble than saying you don’t know anything? What could be more modest than considering your opinion no better than anyone else’s? In reality, however, Skepticism is remarkable bold—even arrogant—because it makes sweeping claims about the capacity of the human mind that it can’t consistently support. 

    In effect, Skeptics want us to believe that they alone have discerned some universal truth about human knowledge. But do they claim to know that? If they do, they’re no being consistently skeptical; specifically, they’re not being skeptical about their own claim to know a universal truth. On the other hand, if they say they don’t know that Skepticism is correct, why should we take their position seriously? By their own profession, their opinions about human knowledge are no better than anyone else’s.

Learn more:

  1. Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: Skepticism
  2. Paul Copan: How Do You Know You’re Not Wrong? A Response to Skepticism (pdf)
  3. M. Z. Hemingway: Skepticism, Agnosticism, and Atheism: A Brief History of Unbelief
  4. Mark Dever: What Does Jesus Think About Skeptics? (audio)

Related terms:

Filed under Worldviews

1Quoting from What’s Your Worldview?: An Interactive Approach to Life’s Big Questions by James N. Anderson.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on Theological Terms in the navigation bar above will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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