Maybe the biggest obstacle to truth in today’s post-truth world isn’t falsehood. It’s confusion.
The level of confusion you and I see in our culture today is unprecedented. In fact, it’s dizzying. All kinds of things we once took for granted are now up for grabs. People used to know what a man or a woman was—our anatomy and chromosomes told us so. People used to know what marriage was. What tolerance was.
Now a man can be a woman, or vice versa, either by feeling or surgery. Now a marriage isn’t necessarily between a man and woman, but two people who love each other—any two people. Or pretty soon, three of four. Tolerance used to mean respecting the views of others—and respecting the holders of those views—even though you might disagree. Today tolerance means punishing the intolerant.
Welcome to the Post-Truth world. A world where feelings matter more than facts. Where truth is in the eye of the beholder.
We see it on the news every day: from college campuses to Supreme Court nomination hearings. From fake news on Facebook and mainstream media to, sadly, more and more, even from our church pulpits.
Happily, a profound Christian worldview thinker and Colson Center favorite, Abdu Murray, has written an insightful book to help us live out Truth in a world that no longer recognizes it. It’s called “Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World.” Murray is the North American director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, and he was a smash hit at our Wilberforce Weekend.
Murray explains where this post-truth culture of confusion came from. He also provides tangible ways to untangle ourselves from the confusion, while offering hope to those who need it most.
As Murray notes, “post-truth” was the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year in 2016. “Post-truth has two modes,” Murray says in the book. “The first is a ‘soft’ mode, by which I mean that we may acknowledge that truth exists—but we don’t care about the truth if it gets in the way of our personal preferences.”
That’s because, he says, our feelings matter more to us than any commitment to truth. “The second mode,” Murray says, “is ‘hard,’” by which he means “the willingness to propagate blatant falsehoods, knowing they’re false, because doing so serves a higher political or social agenda.”
Tragically, the church seems to be no more immune to this confusion about what is true than the world it has been sent to serve.
For example, Murray documents how in the wake of the Obergefell decision on same-sex marriage, his news and social media feeds were filled with fake news—many shared by alarmed Christians, that LGBT activists were seeking to outlaw the Bible as hate speech. It wasn’t true.
Or more seriously, how many Christians and churches want so badly to adhere to the ultimate post-truth virtue of tolerance that they abandon or at the least soft-sell the truth and claims of the Gospel. And finally, Murray shows how many of us, as in you and me, when confronted with choosing between our desires and the demands of Scripture, convince ourselves that our desires matter more—so much so that Jesus must, after all, approve of them.
So, what’s the remedy? Clarity. Understanding, as Murray argues, that true human freedom and flourishing is “tethered” to Truth. We need a fixed point of reference to keep us from getting dizzy with all the confusion that swirls about us in the culture—whether politics, sexuality, science and faith, you name it.
And that is what makes “Saving Truth: Finding Meaning and Clarity in a Post-Truth World” such a valuable book, and why the Colson Center is featuring it as our resource for the month of October.
Truth—capital T—tells us how to flourish in this world while preparing for the next. It needs people who can clear the cultural confusion and point friends and neighbors to the Savior, the source of all Truth.
Please, come to BreakPoint.org today for your copy of “Saving Truth.”