It wouldn’t be surprising if you haven’t heard of Reza Aslan, but he’s becoming increasingly famous among secular cultural elites because he confirms their bias against truth. Azlan is an Iranian-American author, public intellectual, religious studies scholar, producer, and television host, according to Google. But you’ll immediately know he’s suspect because he’s on CNN. His new documentary called Believer proves the point. CNN is always pushing an agenda, and whether it’s politics or religion, they always come down on the liberal side. The documentary fits comfortably in their worldview.
I learned about it from a John Stonestreet piece at Breakpoint. He captures Aslan’s basic assumption:
Quoting the Buddha, Aslan likens the religions of the world to different wells, which believers dig in order to drink the same water. In other words, all religions are equally true. All roads, so to speak, lead to Heaven, resurrection, enlightenment, Nirvana, or whatever else your endgame may be.
Unfortunately, most Americans buy into the idea that all religious roads ultimately lead to God. This idea goes by many names: pluralism, relativism, post-modernism, and maybe others. The problem, as Stonestreet points out, is that “Each religion has its own understanding not only of Who God is (or isn’t) and how we receive salvation, but of what salvation itself looks like.” Exactly, but I would add that each religion makes claims that contradict the claims of other religions.
Which brings me to something that most children don’t learn in school anymore (unless they go to a classical school), the law of non-contradiction. Those ignorant of this simple idea are susceptible to shoddy thinking, and easily embrace absurdity masquerading as profundity and tolerance. Aslan is just such a thinker.
The law of non-contradiction, first explicated by Aristotle, “states that something cannot be both true and not true at the same time when dealing with the same context.” If I were speaking to Mr. Aslan, I would ask him if two different religions make contradictory claims can they both be “true”? He might say, well yes, because what’s true for one person might not be true for another person. This is basically what he is saying in his documentary. But I would follow up with specific examples, say from Islam and Christianity.
Islam makes the following claims:
- Jesus was a prophet, thus human and not God.
- Jesus did not die on a Roman cross. Someone else mistaken for Jesus did.
- Jesus, therefore, could not pay for our sins because in Islam, everyone will pay for their own sin.
- And because he didn’t die on a cross, he wasn’t buried, and three days later raise from the dead bodily.
Christianity on the other hand makes these claims:
- Jesus was God incarnate.
- Jesus died on a Roman cross.
- Jesus was an atonement, or propitiation for our sin.
- Jesus was buried, and rose again bodily on the third day.
Each of those four claims are mutually exclusive and contradict one another. Can both be true? Any rational person would have to say, Of course not! Both can be false, but both certainly can’t be true. Yet, in our relativistic, post-modern, pluralistic age, people will look at you with a straight face and say, Yes, Islam and Christianity are just different paths to the same God. No they are not.
If we want to keep our kids Christian in such an age, we must teach them the law of non-contradiction. Without it, their faith will be awash in a sea of post-modern relativism, and always susceptible to shipwreck.