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The Intolerance of Post-Modern Tolerance


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Excited to hear that D.A Carson will be here in Japan (with John Piper) sometime this year.      

On Post-modernism, D.A Carson says something I’ve always thought to be true but that which I couldn’t articulate as well as he could.  He says:-

“The new definition of tolerance is not only inconsistent, it’s incoherent and proves, in fact, to be less tolerant than the brand of tolerance that was around under modernism. Because the very point it comes up with that which disagrees with it the most, it has to dismiss all opponents as intolerant and bigoted, and therefore becomes, in fact, totalitarian.”  (Postmodern Workshop: Euro Leadership Resource).

Just as Carson described, as a pastor, I’ve encountered people who would not let me speak but explode even at the mention of Christ.  And people who simply and sadly don’t know how to dialogue in a civil manner.   I say civil, because being a good civilian and respecting others is a common sense virtue.  But I wonder if that common sense has disappeared.  The very same people who espouse tolerance are intolerant of others’ freedom of expression or opinions–especially with regards to their beliefs.  After having lived in Japan for the past 9 years, I like Japan because people are courteous and polite outwardly; and even if they may disagree with my faith, they don’t start throbbing, or yell or raise their voices, or attack my opinions and get entirely animated or infuriated without giving me a chance to explain gently and logically.   At least, what it means to have a civil conversation has not disappeared here.  They listen with respect, seeking to understand me better, and if they must–they disagree politely.

Watch the short D.A Carson interview for more on what he has to say.

Also watch Greg Koukl: The Intolerance of Tolerance @ Biola University (a sister school of my old university-Tokyo Christian University)

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