Thank you for the Correction: An Open Letter to my Postmodern Friend

Writing a letter to a friend with whom we disagree is something suggested by Dr. Jerram Barrs in his apologetics course. I have a few friends who are postmodernists, and I tried to write this with the gentleness and respect I would have talking to them face-to-face.

My dear friend,

You have told me you are a postmodernist. I have my truth; you have your truth; but there is no such thing as the Truth.

We had a very interesting conversation the other day. You pointed out an inconsistency in my life. I want to tell you: you were right. I needed to change, and so I did.

Maybe this sounds crazy, but what you did the other day was speak words to me that convicted my soul to change, words of absolute truth. I was sorely tempted to play by the rules of postmodernism and dismiss what you said as “your truth,” but no. You spoke truth that could make a claim on my soul. And because I believe in truth, I have to listen to you when you speak it. If you speak truth, I can’t dismiss you. When you corrected me, I don’t think that was your truth. That was our truth, so I had to say, “You’re right,” even though it meant I was wrong and had to change.

Say we had a third friend, also a postmodernist. Say he’s all about kindness, but he’s being unkind to his wife. If I tried to point out this inconsistency in his life, couldn’t he say, “that’s your truth and you have no basis to correct me”? Don’t you see that, the only way you can correct me is if we both live under the same truth? I don’t want to say there is no truth and you have no right to correct me. I want to say there is truth and you have a right to correct me when I’m wrong.

Is it too bold to say that the moment you corrected me you proclaimed the existence of truth? I think that, because you know you can correct me, deep, deep down you do secretly believe in truth. Correcting someone presupposes a standard of truth toward which he should be corrected.

I really enjoy our conversations together and look forward to more. Both of us are seeking to be examples of love, respect, and civility. I love that we have a close enough relationship where you feel like you can correct me without me bristling like a self-righteous porcupine. Thank you for speaking life-transforming words to me.

Your friend,

John