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I love my granddaughter; my wife says I lose all sense of reality when I am with her. When she looks at me and sweetly says my name, Dida (her name for me), I am convinced that giving her what she wants is logically reasonable. That’s how we landed at the beach on a less than perfect day.

We had a wonderful time building a sand castle and looking for shells because the water was a little chilly. As the other families left for the day, she began looking around at the abandoned sand castle creations.

That’s when it happened; she kicked down one of the childlike masterpieces. It was no big deal; it was not malicious, but I thought I would use this as a teaching moment. “Sweetheart” I said, “You would not want someone to kick your castle down; I don’t think that is a nice thing to do.”

Her response took me off guard. “Well, that is what you think. You think it is not nice to kick it down and I think it is nice. So you will just have to think what you think, because I do not think the same thing as you.”

I collected my thoughts and replied, “You have just expressed the postmodern, pluralistic thinking of our culture.” I don’t think she understood what I said but after all, she is only four-years-old.

Pluralism – a theory that there is more than one basic substance or principle.

Pluralism is used to define art, philosophy, culture and a host of other things. It is also indicative of a form of thinking that questions everything, including absolutes. It is the birth canal of tolerance.

Individuals committed to pluralism often view those embracing absolute truth as bigoted extremists who have been brainwashed. After all, how could anyone believe that there are certain moral principles that transcend centuries and culture? Surely no one in this generation would still hold to such archaic dogma.

Pluralism has crossed the street, pushed boldly through the door and crawled into the pews of many churches today. There are some within the Christian realm who are on a mission to redefine Christianity even to the point of questioning Scripture. Justification is couched by discussing epistemology and decrying absolute truth as foundationalism.

  • Is the core issue that we want our opinion to be the plumb line?  
  • Are we redefining tolerance as acceptance with endorsement?
  • Do we recoil at submitting to an established or higher standard?
  • Are we looking for justification for our lifestyles?

My thinking was sincerely stimulated by the words of a four-year-old. She does not know the word pluralism, but her childish immaturity illustrated a philosophy practiced since the fall of man. By the way, after lengthy conversation, we came to an agreement on our thinking…at least for now.

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