The Intolerance of Toleranceby D. A. Carson
Tolerance currently occupies a very high place in Western societies: it is considered gauche, even boorish, to question it. In The Intolerance of Tolerance, however, questioning tolerance or, at least, contemporary understandings of tolerance is exactly what D. A . Carson does.
Carson traces the subtle but enormous shift in the way we/i>
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Carson articulates well the difference between the "old" [classical]tolerance and the "new [modern][contemporary]tolerance. Much of the complaint centers on the relativist view of things: all truth claims are equally valid, none are better than others, therefore, what is true and right exists only from the viewpoint of the viewer. No absolute truth exists, therefore there is no absolute moral guidepost or absolute morals. There are no absolutes; all is relative. This leads us to the new tolerance that mandates not only that we tolerate [put up with] the unacceptable but also we must affirm and embrace it. The book concludes with ten actions supporters of the old tolerance should undertake to maintain their viewpoint in the postmodern world. This book is not bedtime reading. It lodges serious complaints from an evangelical viewpoint. It is well written, but the thoughts are dense. It is unlikely that postmoderns will be much worried about its message.
The content of this book is presented in a scholarly manner with many relevant examples to illustrate points. It is not light reading and is extremely thought provoking. Carson does advocate a position but with respect and civility.