Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air

Baker, 1998
ISBN: 0801058066


Many Christians are concerned about the tide of moral relativism that is rising steadily in our country—and rightly so. Relativism affects our education system, the legal system, and how people think about everyday issues. Yet little has been written on the topic outside academic circles.

This void is filled by Frank Beckwith and Greg Koukl, who analyze relativism and present strategies to defend the belief in moral absolutes. Using a commonsense approach, Koukl defines relativism, traces its growth over the past few decades, and critiques the logical inconsistencies to which its supporters are led. He then presents a case for moral objectivism. Beckwith, building on Koukl’s foundation, evaluates the influence of relativism on issues including abortion, homosexuality, political correctness, multiculturalism, and tolerance. In each of these areas, he provides compelling arguments for thinking people.

Following in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer, Relativism is an important guide for those who are concerned about intellectual issues that challenge the Christian faith.

The Logos edition of this work on preaching is fully searchable and easily accessible. Scripture passages link directly to your English translations and to the original language texts, and important theological concepts link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the wealth of resources in your digital library.

Key Features

  • Defines and analyzes relativism in both past and modern society
  • Offers strategies to help defend the Christian faith
  • Follows in the tradition of C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer


  • Understanding Relativism
    • The Death of Truth
    • What Is Moral Relativism?
    • Three Kinds of Relativism
  • Critiquing Relativism
    • Culture as Morality
    • Culture Defining Morality
    • Moral Common Sense
    • Relativism’s Seven Fatal Flaws
  • Relativism and Education
    • Values Clarification
    • Relativism’s Offspring: Political Correctness and Multiculturalism
    • On the Road to Barbarism
  • Relativism and Public Policy
    • Relativism and the Law
    • Relativism and the Meaning of Marriage
    • Relativism and the Meaning of Life
  • Responding to Relativism
    • Tactics to Refute Relativism
    • Monkey Morality
    • Why Morality?

Praise for the Print Edition

Brisk, logical, and thoroughly practical, this is simply the best and most accessible book on the subject for general readers. It’s ideal for ordinary people trying to find sense under the assault of senselessness in private and public life. You can be sure I’ll recommend it highly to my students.

—J. Budziszewski, professor of government, The University of Texas at Austin

A good book to help us see not only the absurdity of moral relativism, but also the disastrously dangerous application of it. I believe the authors have fulfilled their purpose not only to critique this ‘unofficial creed’ of our American culture, but to show us how we can challenge it, stand against it, and be equipped not to cave in to its ungodly philosophy and practice. . . . Preachers, teachers, parents, junior high, and high school students should read this book. This would be a good book for those working with the teenagers of the millennial generation to use for study and discussion. . . . In the tradition of Francis Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis, this book will be a helpful tool in your case of resources to carry out your calling to ‘serve God’s purpose in this generation.’ The authors are to be commended not only for their effort to explain moral relativism, but for their ideas and suggestions for students and adults to respond properly and accordingly.

Equip for Ministry

In this entertaining and concise debunking of relativism, mssrs. Beckwith and Koukl unmask it for the intellectual farce it is. Throughout their book, they emphatically show that all relativism is necessarily self-refuting, that is, it contradicts itself. . . . An excellent apologetic tool for defending biblical morality. . . . The urgent prescription for our confused culture.

—Southern California Christian Times

An extremely well-researched, intellectual approach to the problem of relativism and its effect on education, public policy, and our everyday lives.


With great skill, convincing analysis, and cultural relevance, the authors show how relativism is both dangerous and widespread in today’s world.

Fresh Pages and Tapes

As a wonderfully incisive critique of the prevalent forms of moral relativism, this book prepares Christians to thoughtfully engage the moral relativist in fruitful discussion, leading to the refutation of the relativist’s position while replacing it with a well-founded and biblically consistent moral objectivism.

Christian Research Journal

This easy-to-follow book will be a very useful companion for anyone seeking to expose the flabby reasoning of contemporary liberalism.

The National Educator

A work in ‘philosophical apologetics,’ Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air addresses the origin and nature of truth. It is of the same caliber as the writings of Os Guinness, Francis Schaeffer, and C.S. Lewis. Again, it is one of a few titles that solely focus on relativism; for this reason, it is unique.

Christian Library Journal

Product Details

About the Authors

Francis J. Beckwith is professor of philosophy and church-state studies, and codirector of the program in philosophical studies of religion in the Institute for Studies of Religion, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Defending Life: A Moral and Legal Case against Abortion Choice and To Everyone an Answer: A Case for the Christian Worldview.

Gregory Koukl (born June 10, 1950) is a Christian, radio talk show host, author and speaker/teacher. He is the founder of Stand To Reason, a Christian organization dedicated to the articulation and defense of the Christian worldview. Greg Koukl is known for his defense of classical Christianity and classical Christian values, and is also well known for being an advocate of the Pro-Life position.


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