I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3b).
Do you contend for the faith?
We live in a skeptical and relativistic culture. For decades now, people have been taught that most* of what we believe is an opinion, and conflicting opinions can be equally valid. (*Science is considered to have a privileged claim to truth.) People have claimed that, when it comes to the Bible, “There is no right interpretation.” Not only is everyone entitled to his own view, everyone’s view of the Bible is equally valid. There is nothing worth contending for.
Is that right?
Thomas Howe, professor at Southern Evangelical Seminary (founded by Norm Geisler), points out why that kind of relativism is a problem.
First, if there is no correct interpretation, then there’s nothing to contend for:
If there is no “right” or “correct” interpretation, then the problem of conflicting interpretations seems to lose its meaning. Conflicting interpretations create a problem only if there is an interpretation that is the right one (Objectivity in Biblical Interpretation, p. 3).
Second, it is self-refuting to claim the correct interpretation is that there is no correct interpretation:
They confidently declare that their interpretation of the problem of interpretation is the correct one, namely, that no one can claim to have “the one correct interpretation.” Those who claim that it is impossible “to privilege one reading as normative” privilege their own reading as normative. When…Smith declares, “There is not a reading that is the reading of the world or a text,” he presents his own reading of the world as the reading of the world (Objectivity, p. 3).
Third, if there is no correct interpretation of the Bible, then we don’t have a word from God:
If there is no correct interpretation of the Bible, then there is no specific word from God that must be discovered in the biblical text (Objectivity, p. 4).
Those are just three reasons why Christians need to fight for objective truth. Being a student of the Bible means being a student of objective truth. That fight begins in your own home—teaching your kids about truth. And the fight continues in the local church. Some of the worst promoters of relativism are pastors and theologians in liberal churches and seminaries, and that influence trickles down into conservative circles, including conservative churches.
And that’s the way it really is.