Truth

Why Christians Must Be to Loyal to Truth, Not Political Party or Brand

My thoughts below predate COVID-19, masks, hydroxychloroquine, or churches defying public health emergency orders. Last fall, different controversies were exposing problems in how believers evaluate conflicting claims and decide what to believe.

But those problems are still with us, and the current raft of controversies is exposing them even more painfully.

Many Christians who claim to revere the Bible lack biblical habits for evaluating truth claims and consequently lack skill in judging the ethics of situations in a biblical way. It seems almost ubiquitous now—the habit of putting the political/culture-war lenses on first, and embracing or rejecting claims based solely on source classification (friend or foe). The result is that ideas are accepted uncritically if they’re perceived to be from “our people” and rejected reflexively if they’re seen as from “the other side.”

What’s missing is weighing ideas and claims on their own merits—on things like evidence and sound reasoning. Increasingly, what’s completely missing is any nonpolitical consideration of what Scripture teaches and what sound application requires of us.

More than ever, believers need to meditate on a genuinely Christian view of truth and on a genuinely Christian approach to evaluating truth claims. At least five principles are are fundamental that effort.

4296 reads

“truth has moved from being a matter of reason to a matter of feeling”

"Meanwhile, much of evangelical Christianity has emphasized the therapeutic and emotive experience of faith above the theological ideas that undergird it. Poor catechesis and avoidance of difficult doctrine means that for many Christians, religious identity is only as secure as the feelings that accompany it" - TGC

343 reads

One narrative to rule them all?

"Long-running internecine media feuds, emblematic of the degradation of mass media as they are, are merely the smoke set off by the burning desire for one, all-consuming narrative....The only story we need to get straight is the story that really matters. Grounded in that story, the greatest ever told, we can deepen our understanding of ourselves and our world.

336 reads

Truth, Post-Truth, and “Truth by Consensus”

"Functionally, truth by consensus has stepped up to fill the void left when we, in annoyance, bade objective truth to find quarters somewhere else. How did we get here? To orient ourselves in the current climate of moral reasoning, we need a quick refresher on philosophical developments, starting with the Enlightenment." - Ref21

291 reads

“Is it too much to ask Christians to be honest in their political activity?”

"I really can’t support Christian friends passing on lies and half-truths in support of Trump or any other candidate. So many of the 'internet memes' tell less than half the story, it would be better for us to not say anything at all, rather than passing on lies because we like to 'stick it' to our opponents." - Don Johnson

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Christians—Our Loyalty Is to Truth, Not Political Party or Brand

Main points:

  1. Only Scripture is infallible.
  2. Truth is more powerful than human leadership.
  3. “Our” sources aren’t always right.
  4. “Their” sources aren’t always wrong.
  5. We should seek genuine understanding, even of what we reject.

In the midst of controversy, it’s often hard to tell what problems have been created and what problems have merely been revealed. Whatever we might say about problems the election and impeachment of Donald Trump has created, it has certainly revealed some!

One of the most serious Trump-revealed problems is that many Christians who claim to revere the Bible lack truly biblical habits for evaluating truth claims. As a result, they also aren’t very good at judging the ethics of situations that aren’t directly addressed in Scripture. This is important, not only from the perspective of citizenship and voting, but for Christian living in general: we face conflicting truth claims about all sorts of things every day.

Those of us who are involved in preaching and teaching ministries have an opportunity to help with this problem. We should teach a genuinely Christian (biblical) view of truth and how to evaluate truth claims. That view includes five principles.

Principle 1: Only Scripture is infallible.

Christians understand that God is completely reliable on the subject of reality, which is what I mean here by “truth”—what actually is.

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