The Oxford Dictionary defines “true” as “in accordance with fact or reality.”
Recently I was listening to a Gospel Coalition podcast where Abdu Murray was being asked some questions that pertained to his book, “Saving Truth: Finding Meaning And Clarity In A Post-Truth World.” In the podcast Murray made a particular point that helped clarify a lot of what we see going on in our culture today.
He pointed out that there seems to be a shift from a post-modern culture to a post-truth culture.
Post-modern culture=there are no objective truths.
Post-truth culture=our feelings and preferences are more important than truth. Truth may exist, but it does not really matter all that much.
When I heard Murray explain this change in how our culture thinks about truth it rang true with me. Think about all the times you hear things like this:
- “I’m glad believing in God works for you, but that’s just not my thing.”
- “All religions are just different paths leading to God.”
- “That’s your truth it’s not “my truth”.
- “As long as it’s not hurting anyone else no one has the right to tell me that what I am doing is wrong.”
- “Follow your heart.” There can be little doubt that there is an increasing belief that our heart determines what is right, true, and best.
We even have post-truth politics. “Post-truth politics (also called post-factual politics and post-reality politics) is a political culture in which debate is framed largely by appeals to emotion disconnected from the details of policy, and by the repeated assertion of talking points to which factual rebuttals are ignored.” -Wikipedia Think of all the lying that takes place in the political world these days. Could it be due to the fact that truth is increasingly becoming relative to the leaders of our country?
If you are still wondering if this post-truth stuff is really a thing then you might want to know that ‘post-truth’ was voted the word of the year in 2016! So, what does this mean for the Christian living in this post-truth culture? How should we respond? Here are a few ideas:
- Christians need to embrace the fact that we will increasingly be thought of as crazy or radical. In a culture where man decides that truth is whatever feels right, the Christian who is standing on the Word of God will seem like a unenlightened lunatic. In fact, communicating basic orthodox Christian beliefs are starting to be labeled “hate speech.” We have to put on our big boy pants and accept that the world is going to think we are flat out weird.
- We need a proper view regarding God’s Word. This is not incredibly shocking, but the world around us does not hold the Bible in high regard. The problem is not just “out there.” Too many churches are compromising on the authority and inspiration of the Word of God. I believe this happens, at times, because our heart desires something and so we tweak God’s Word to make it say what we want it to say.
- We need to change our strategy when it comes to talking to those who do not yet know Christ. In the past the strategy of apologists was to help people to see that to say that objective truth did not exist was a self-refuting statement. Now, increasingly people do not care if their beliefs are contradictory. It really just comes down to what they want, what they desire.
- We need to learn to be honest, and open, when it comes to the way that we interact with others. Do we really listen to others and what they have to say on social media? Are we interested in building relationships or just angrily stating our opinion and acting like something significant has occurred? As we humbly model this behavior (listening) to a watching world we reveal to them that we genuinely value the truth and recognize that there is always room to grow and learn new things.
I will wrap this up with this question, is there really anything to fear if there is no such thing as truth? What would our world look like if there was no such thing as absolute truth? Listen to Ravi Zacharias give an answer to that question.
The featured picture is taken from Time Magazine