Relativism?  That’s all about sex.   Pretty sure I don’t agree with everything here, but then, he is Peter Kreeft and he is very smart.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.

8 Comments

  1. Not bad for a series of bullet points. I’ve had the thought over the past 25 years that relativism is indeed about “sex” in the sense that sex represents the quintessential, most powerful and final “personal passion” that people percieve God wants to control in their life. Indeed if you talk with a relativist long enough, eventually you’ll find no one wants to justify wanton murder by relativism, merely wanton sexual encounters. They have no problem with “god” controlling thieves and rapists, just hedonists to the degree I want to be one.

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  2. Christopher Benson February 15, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Peter Kreeft: “Every single issue on which there is dissent in the church today is about sex.”

    James F. White (Drew University): “The most pressing questions facing churches today have nothing to do with sex. Rather, they concern the proper functions and appropriate forms of Christian worship.” This quotation is a blurb for Cornelius Plantinga, Jr. and Sue A. Rozeboom’s book, DISCERNING THE SPIRITS: A GUIDE TO THINKING ABOUT CHRISTIAN WORSHIP TODAY (Eerdmans, 2003).

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  3. Interesting reference, Christopher. I’d probably say Kreeft being devout RC assumes his worship is correct and it is relativism that is assaulting it. The Orthodox (“right doxology”) would agree with White in the sense that proper doxology is rooted in a right understanding of the human being in relation to the “right God”, which results in right worship and the correction of all things. If one is struggling with defining one’s worship then I’d agree that one will necessarily struggle with relativism’s effects on one’s Church as a symptom of the deeper issue.

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  4. s-p,

    I would say it is a little unfair to characterize Kreeft by saying he “assumes his worship is correct”. Kreeft is a convert who did so precisely because he judged Catholicism to be true (it is a well known story and can be found). He fully understands the Protestant paradigm. My point is that he has concluded his worship is correct, not assumed. So right or wrong he has made a judgment (understanding being the necessary condition for judgment), not merely expressed an opinion. And that is saying a great deal about the man.

    Best,
    I.J.

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  5. Thanks for posting this Matthew. Kreeft is a very sensible man.

    As a point of clarification, when he starts off his talk and says, “in the Church…”, he is certainly referring to the Catholic Church and the problems therein. This is not because he is trying to be exclusive or that he thinks there are no Christians in other communities. It is because he operates from a very different ecclesiology than the common Protestant one. He thinks the Apostles established a visible Church, one against which, “the gates of hell will not prevail”. The ‘reformers’ move to a merely spiritual, or invisible Church, which is certainly a novelty, is not what he means by Church.

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  6. I.J., I concur with your comments. I didn’t mean to use the term “assumes” in a pejorative sense, but in the sense that his lecture is framed by that unspoken paradigm. HOW he came to that paradigm is a different issue. Anyway, you also make the same point the Eastern Orthodox would make: When we speak of issues within the “Church” we’re generally speaking of our ecclesiology and not a Reformed/Evangelical one and hence our words are not often generalizable nor applicable outside of our communion and ecclesiological framework.

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