Occasionally I’ve been criticized by unbelievers for claiming to know the truth. Any claim to know the truth is greeted by some unbelievers with skepticism, and considered either arrogant, or intolerant of those who disagree, or both. It’s probably impossible to be a follower of Christ and escape this charge, since a claim to know Christ is essentially a claim to know the truth.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.”
Knowing Christ is knowing the truth. Knowing Christ is knowing God the Father. Is that close minded? In one sense, yes. But is it arrogant? Not necessarily. Let’s think about it for a minute.
What might appear at first glance to be arrogant (claiming to know the truth) is really a form of humility (setting self aside), and what appears to be humility (saying the truth can’t be known) is really a form of arrogance (putting self forward). Confining our knowledge of God and the world to what God has revealed to us rather that constructing our own view of reality requires both humility and faith. Anyone can construct his own view of the meaning of life or the nature of God and then conclude that his own construction is good, but what could be more self-assertive or arrogant than that?
It’s actually a sign of human depravity, rather than humility, to think that it’s impossible to know the truth. The Bible describes those who are “always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth” as “corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.” (2 Timothy 3:7-8)
Obviously, there’s a time and a place for being open minded. But I agree with what G. K. Chesterton once said concerning his friend H.G. Wells:
I think he thought that the object of opening the mind is simply opening the mind. Whereas I am incurably convinced that the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.
Don’t be afraid to open your mind. But don’t be afraid to shut it on something solid, either.