Two Kinds of Narrow-Mindedness
It has been told to me that Gregory Boyd distinguishes between two ways in which one can be narrow-minded: in one's perspective on the nature of truth, and one's psychological disposition towards views contrary to their own. The former means that one believes in the existence and knowability of truth. Truth by definition is narrow. There are many ways to be wrong while there is only one way to be right. The latter, however, means that one holds their views dogmatically (often without justification), and are not willing to consider any other view.
This distinction is helpful in an enviroment that considers conservative Christians narrow-minded. When someone accuses you of being narrow-minded because of your persuasions, ask them what they mean by narrow-mindedness. If they respond that you are narrow-minded because you will not consider any other view or evidence, counter it by offering to examine other views with the individual.
If they respond that you are narrow-minded because you believe in the existence and knowability of truth (and to be the possessor of that truth), then you must further question them as to why they would believe that this form of narrow-mindedness is bad. What is wrong with believing that certain things are true and certain things are false, and that we can tell the difference between the two? The individual will have a difficult time explaining why it is wrong for you to believe in the existence and knowability of truth, and why you should believe that truth is non-existent and unknowable without making a truth-claim himself, and claiming to know the truth on the issue of truth. He has to claim to know the truth about truth before he can tell you why it is true that there is no such thing as truth, and why he knows that that is so.
Point out the self-refuting nature of his statements. He has a narrow-minded view of truth as do you. You believe that certain things are true and certain things are false. He believes that truth absolutely does not exist, which is as equally narrow. Both are claims to truth, both are exclusive claims, and both discern between truth and error. The only difference is that the Christian utilizes the concept of truth to argue for the existence and knowability of truth, whereas the relativist illegitimately uses the very notions of truth and knowledge to argue against the existence of such notions, so that he can get you to come to know the truth that knowing the truth is impossible! Thank God for the self-evident nature of truth!
For additional reading see my article titled "Responding to the Charge of Closed-Mindedness"
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