A Post-Truth Society? Responses from Ravi Zacharias, Abdu Murray, and Vince Vitale
Posted by Ruth Malhotra on December 26, 2016
The Oxford English Dictionary recently announced that “Post-truth” is their 2016 “Word of the Year.” This followed an article in The Economist this Fall claiming that we live in a post-truth society.
“It is interesting that the media, which flirts with untruths, and the academy, which never hesitates to replace absolutes by postmodern relativism, have come together to give our culture a new word,” said Ravi Zacharias. “Their explanation was not so much that they were coining a new word as that they were affirming a reality—a truth about the way we coddle the lie, the ultimate self-defeating statement.”
With the “post-truth” buzz in recent weeks, RZIM took this opportunity to speak into the cultural conversation and offer insights on navigating our changing society with uncompromising truth and unconditional love.
The Death of Truth and a Postmortem
Post-truth as a phenomenon is not new. If indeed “post-truth” is the new word of the year in our postmodern lexicon, we might well say that it all depends on what “is” means. Just as postmodern is neither post nor modern but existed in the first conversation at creation’s dawn—
“Has God spoken?”—so also post-truth is actually rebellion right from the beginning. That was the mother of all questions in search of anarchy. “Has God given us His word?” The answer to that question spelled life or death.
A version of this article appeared in The Gospel Coalition, “Why Oxford Dictionary’s 2016 Word of the Year Matters.”
The River and the Land: Finding a Foundation in a Post-Truth Culture
The problem comes when we elevate feelings over facts, believing that personal preferences are what determine meaning and fulfillment. Objective truth is jettisoned. The transcendent is jettisoned. We no longer just elevate personal preferences over truth. We elevate our own personal preferences over the preferences of others. When that happens, freedom will die the most ironic of deaths under individual autonomy’s machete.
It is this mood that drives our increasingly ferocious attack against the Bible as a standard for truth and conduct. Many oppose the Scripture as an outmoded method of control that arbitrarily suppresses human behavior. This stems from the failure to see the differences between unfettered individual autonomy and true freedom. They are not the same. The Bible opposes the former and champions the latter.
Pluralism: A Culture Without Truth
By Vince Vitale
Truth has so often been abused that society is fleeing from truth and adopting a pluralism that assures us “All truths are equally valid.” Does that include the claim that all truths are not equally valid? That’s how quickly pluralism runs into incoherence. So why does it persist? Why is it growing? As Christians, how should we respond to our changing society?
Watch Vince’s message on YouTube as he shares powerful insights on the post-truth phenomenon and how to demonstrate truth and love.
Interested in the topic of truth and love? A new book by Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale, Jesus Among Secular Gods, explores these issues in depth and offers practical application. The book releases January 3, 2017. Click here to pre-order the book or download the first chapter for free!