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Everett Piper Christian Blog and Commentary

Contradictions

  • Dr. Everett Piper
    Dr. Piper is the President of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. Associated with Chuck Colson’s Breakpoint and Centurions programs, Dr. Piper is the author of "Why I am a 'Liberal' and Other Conservative Ideas" http://www.whyiamaliberal.com/. He has also authored "The Wrong Side of the Door: Why Ideas Matter. Piper is a frequent speaker on Christian education, Biblical worldview, and applied apologetics in both regional and national venues. For more information go to www.okwu.edu or go to www.everettpiper.com .
  • 2011 May 19
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Note:  To listen to this blog on KWON radio go to http://www.bartlesvilleradio.com/caffeine/uploads/files/ON%20Demand/Ideas%20Matter/Ideas%20Matter%205-19.mp3 .  To get a copy of Dr. Piper’s new book Why I Am a “Liberal” and Other Conservative Ideas go to www.okwu.edu or www.everettpiper.com .

 

The law of non-contradiction, according to Aristotle, says that if proposition A is true then proposition B, if it makes a contrary claim, cannot be true as well.

In other words, if I am driving north I can’t be headed south. Or another way to say it is that I can’t be telling the truth at the same time I am telling a lie. The most basic understanding of logic makes it obvious that such contradictions are absurd for I can’t be going two opposite directions at once and I can’t be an honest man and liar simultaneously.

This seems to be elementary stuff that even kindergartners understand. In fact they do…

When you watch kids in your neighborhood play, you see and hear evidence of their intuitive understanding of Aristotle’s maxim. You hear cries of “that’s not true” or “that’s not fair” all because when the rules of fairness and honesty are broken even the youngest of us is quick to appeal to natural law, and its assumption that “right” is somehow different than “wrong” and truth is the opposite of what is false.

Don’t you wonder what happens to us as we get older? Even in the church we seem to have lost such basic common sense.

For example, according to a recent survey by the Pew Forum, 57 percent of self-identified Evangelical Christians agreed with the statement: “Many religions can lead to eternal life.”

Yet Jesus Himself said the opposite in the Gospel of John (which Evangelicals claim to be the Word of God) when He declared, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

Either Jesus was right, or He was wrong. Either He was telling the truth or He was lying. We can’t have it both ways. Contradictory claims can never both be true.