Is evangelism more difficult in a society where truth is considered relative?
People embrace relativism. That’s the bad news. You notice the book that went to the top of the charts several years ago from a professor at Cornell, even though nobody expected it to—The Closing of the American Mind. He said that 95% of students entering college had already embraced relativism, and by the time they graduated from college and had higher education, it was up to 98%. That was the bad news.
The good news is that nobody is a relativist—not consistently. You can’t survive as a relativist for twenty-four hours unless you’re in a padded cell somewhere and under twenty-four-hour watch. This is because every time I walk to the street, and a bus is coming down the street, I know there can’t be a bus and not be a bus at the same time in the same relationship. So, all of a sudden, I don’t become a relativist. I become a realist, and I stop instead of stepping in front of the bus unless I’m suicidal. That’s the reality.
The other good news (and bad news at the same time) is that the constituent nature of fallen humanity has neither improved nor de-proved since the day that Adam fell. We’re still dead in our sins and trespasses. That’s true of twentieth-century postmodern America, as it was true in the seventeenth century.
Fallen human nature remains the same, so the task of evangelism is the same now as it was always.
This transcript is from an Ask R.C. Live event with R.C. Sproul and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.