BreakPoint: TIME and Truth

Without God, Reality Gets Slippery

TIME magazine is running out of things to declare dead. But their latest obituary is a worldview lesson on a silver platter.

You may have seen the bumper sticker that says “Know God, know peace,” (both with a “K”) and then, “No God, no peace,” (with just an “N”). This kind of pun usually draws a groan from the kids these days, but it really is accurate. And it remains accurate if we replace “peace” with “truth.”

In 2017, our world is a living demonstration of the fact that no accurate understanding of reality can prevail when God is thought of as irrelevant.

In 1966, the cover of TIME magazine asked in giant red letters: “Is God Dead?” Evoking the famous quote by German atheist Friedrich Nietzsche, the accompanying article discussed the way science, technology, modern philosophy, and even some theologians had rendered God more or less obsolete.

Well, fifty-one years later to the week, TIME mirrored that cover except for one word, and many Christians are struggling to not say, “We told you so.”

The latest issue, using the same bold, red letters, asks, “Is Truth Dead?”. The article, written by Michael Scherer, is far more narrow, aimed specifically at President Trump and what one of his GOP primary opponents called his “tenuous relationship with reality.”

Scherer hits the president for his “alternative facts” about the inauguration crowd size, his accusation that President Obama wiretapped him during the campaign, and his claim that three million illegal immigrants voted.

“Trump,” he writes, “has discovered something about epistemology in the 21st century. The truth may be real, but falsehood often works better.”

Now of course, there is a direct connection between God’s existence and truth. And perhaps I should be grateful that TIME is seeing the connection between God and truth at all. But the irony of reading an elegy for truth in a Magazine that last month featured a second transgender individual on its cover is almost too much. “Beyond he or she,” read the teaser, “How a new generation is redefining the meaning of gender.”

It should be blindingly obvious to anyone with two eyes that TIME, itself, has a tenuous relationship with reality. The idea that a man can dye his hair, put on lipstick, and somehow become a woman by sheer will is a much more obvious falsehood than anything the president has claimed thus far. Of course, no falsehood is okay. But for TIME to bemoan the demise of truth mere days after claiming male and female are concepts up for redefinition is unbelievable.

But they’re not alone. As I explained recently on my other daily commentary, The Point, National Geographic has launched a social media campaign calling potential subscribers to—and I quote—“Stand behind the facts. Stand with science. Stand for the planet.” Once again, the irony was somehow lost on this magazine, which just a few weeks prior ran a cover story featuring a nine-year-old boy with dyed pink hair and leopard print tights declaring, “The best thing about being a girl is that I don’t have to pretend to be a boy.”

Look, we often say it here on BreakPoint that ideas have consequences. And bad ideas have victims. Without God, we have no grounding for truth. And without God, we lose sight of what it really means to be human. For more details, see Psalm 135: 15-18.

But let’s be clear about this: When TIME asked half a century ago whether God was dead, the answer then was a resounding “no.” And the answer to the question they asked last week about the truth is the same. Though decades ago certain quarters of our culture gave up on God and then truth and then a coherent sense of the human person, the attempt to replace reality with sheer will and feelings is futile.

Like God’s existence, the truth about the world and humanity is not subject to our feelings or our opinions; nor is it changed by academic or political fashions. God is. Reality is. Truth is. Amen.

 

Further Reading and Information

TIME and Truth: Without God, Reality Gets Slippery

As John has said, when we know Christ, we know the truth that sets us free. That’s a foundation that stands, no matter what the circumstances or the state of the culture around us may be.

 

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Resources

Can President Trump Handle the Truth?
  • Michael Scherer | TIME magazine | March 23, 2017
Total Truth: Liberating Christianity from Its Cultural Captivity
  • Nancy Pearcey | Crossway Books | February 2008
Truth Matters: Confident Faith in a Confusing World
  • Andreas J. Kostenberger, Darrell Bock, Josh Chatraw | B&H Publishing | March 2014

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • fred2

    @ John Stonestreet

    I have one correction of an otherwise great column. Recent evidence supports President Trump’s accusation that Obama spied on him for political gain. This scandal has been nicknamed Obamagate. First, Rep. Devin Nunes revealed in press conference that such spying occurred. Second, a former Obama official Evelyn Farkas admitted on MSNBC that the Obama administration spied on Trump and his presidential campaign. Finally, the Daily Mail, Fox News, and Bloomberg report that Obama advisor Susan Rice likely headed this Obama spy ring.

    In short, President Trump was right and stands on the side of truth in regards to Obamagate. In light of this revelation, some are asking if he is also right about crowd sizes and illegal alien voters.

    Naturally, the press that once mocked the President now are desperately trying to bury any Obamagate stories. Ironically, such behavior further vindicates your point of the press being averse to the truth.

    Take care.

  • zonie6044

    I don’t think Time Mag would recognize truth if it hit them in the face.

  • Robert Cremer

    The problem with the truth is that we don’t always like it. There are times we wish the Truth was not true. I want what I want, when I want it, no matter what. That is the attitude of the typical self-centered human. They prefer slavery to their self-centered wishes and desires and do not want the truth to set them free! John 8:31-32