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J. P. Moreland, in his book Apologetic Reasoning and the Christian Mind, tells of an experience that illustrates the importance of truth: “One afternoon I was sharing the gospel in a student’s dorm room at the University of Vermont. The student began to espouse ethical relativism: ‘Whatever is true for you is true for you and whatever is true for me is true for me. . . . But no one should force his or her views on other people since everything is relative.’” Moreland says, “I knew that if I allowed him to get away with ethical relativism, there could be for him no such thing as real, objective sin measured against the objective moral command of God, and thus no need of a Savior. I thanked the student for his time and began to leave his room. On the way out, I picked up his small stereo and started out the door with it. ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ he shouted. . . . ‘I am leaving your room with your stereo.’ ‘You can’t do that,’ he gushed.” But Moreland said, “I happen to think it is permissible to steal stereos if it will help a person’s religious devotions, and I myself could use a stereo to listen to Christian music in my morning devotions. Now I would never try to force you to accept my moral beliefs in this regard because, as you said, everything is relative and we shouldn’t force our ideas on others. But surely you aren’t going to force on me your belief that it is wrong to steal your stereo, are you?” Moreland looked at him and continued: “You know what I think? I think that you espouse relativism in areas of your life where it’s convenient , say in sexual morality, or in areas about which you do not care, but when it comes to someone stealing your stereo or criticizing your own moral hobbyhorses, I suspect that you become a moral absolutist pretty quickly, don’t you?” The story has a happy ending, for Moreland says, “Believe it or not, the student honestly saw the inconsistency of his behavior and, a few weeks later, I was able to lead him to Jesus Christ.”

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