Josh McDowell and Dave Sterrett: Thinking Critically about Oprah’s Spirituality
- Thursday, October 01, 2009
"O" God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah's Spirituality explains how the popular cultural view Oprah accepts - that truth is relative - actually doesn't make sense. Just as soon as Oprah says that a belief in absolute truth can't be true, she contradicts herself, McDowell says, because she's declaring that her view against absolute truth is absolutely right. "Oprah says that we should stand against doctrine, but what she teaches is doctrine - a set of her own beliefs."
The fact that different people have different beliefs doesn't change the reality that absolute truth exists for all people, says Sterrett. "You can believe something and be positive about it, but if that belief doesn't reflect reality, it won't have any positive implications in your life - only negative."
In contrast, McDowell says, Christians should develop convictions rooted in biblical truths, which hold up even under the closest scrutiny. "A biblical conviction has three dimensions to it: knowing what you believe, knowing why you believe it, and experiencing it in your life."
Often, in our culture, Christians who declare their faith in absolute truth are criticized and ridiculed for being intolerant of other people's views. McDowell suggests: "You can say to them: ‘Are you being tolerant by calling me intolerant?'"
Although tolerance is touted as a virtue in our culture, says McDowell, it's not always good. "If you're tolerant, than you're accepting of everything - sex abuse, violence - everything."
Sterrett says: "Sometimes intolerance can be a great thing. For example, I'm thankful that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was intolerant toward racism. And even Oprah expresses intolerance, such as toward abuse between men and women."
The best way to express love toward others isn't by being tolerant, Sterrett says; it's by telling them truth that has the power to help them. "A lot of people want to hear the positive part of the Gospel - that God loves us - but they don't want to hear the part that says we're sinners who need a Savior. But sin is real," he says. "Real love doesn't just tell people what they want to hear. It involves having the courage to tell people the truth, because not doing that can hurt them. People who really love others care enough about them to tell them the truth - even when that's not what they want to hear."
Sterrett hopes that "O" God: A Dialogue on Truth and Oprah's Spirituality will motivate readers to tell others the whole truth about God. "Don't just say ‘God loves you' and leave it at that. Share the whole Gospel message with people so they'll know how to connect with God."
October 3, 2009
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