Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The battle for truth

Navigating truth claims in our time is a very interesting adventure. It seems that there are as many roads to truth today as there are stop signs to direct us there. Everyone has "their own truth." One person I corresponded with said it this way,

"My thoughts are... No matter what a person believes about the Truth... whether they believe it to be fluid, or as solid as a rock wall...they're right...I'm personally of the mind that truth is totally fluid, depending upon your point of view and the beliefs you hold. From walking on water to walking on the moon - it's all a matter of where you want to draw the line (be it in concrete or sand, you get to choose) of what's possible, and what's not. I believe that truth is a personal, ever evolving creature, not to be pursued or nailed down."

With a definition like this (and many would agree with this view) absolute truth is unknowable, universal truth is unavailable, and "personal truth" has been elevated to the highest good.

I meet many on this road- the road of going, never of arriving. The road of personal choice, never of personal accountability. The road of what is best for me, not what's best for others. The road without a destination, just a wonderful self-indulgent journey. The bible calls this "the road to destruction."

What is your definition of truth? Which road have you chosen?


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I can't wrap my mind around a "fluid" truth. How does one teach one's children truth from lies, if truth is not definitive and absolute? How do you have any sort of anchor on which to base your life if truth is fluid? It creates a life of "anything goes."

Anonymous said...

Well written. This is the zeitgeist of the age: moral relativism, postmodernism and now ... Emergent"ism".

1 Peter 1:14-16

Anonymous said...

This may be too cynical, but I think that the whole fluid truth/relativism is just an intellectual smokescreen to justify the desires of the flesh.

If truth is whatever I make it then no one can tell me what to do. It undercuts the foundation of accountability and allows 'freedom' to act as one pleases. People like that - until my truth and your truth don't agree. Then folks tend to not like it so much.

Oh, and I'm really sorry I just now found your blog! I'm a goober.

Anonymous said...

Vincent: "Emergent"-ism is in NO WAY related to postmodernism. In fact, I'd say "emergent"-ism is a reaction against postmodernism. I'd be very careful about negative reactions to the emergent dismiss them "out of hand" will be at our own peril. Take it from someone who has read nearly 20 books on the subject of the "emergent" movement, I'd suggest what the emerging generation really wants is authenticity and true discipleship based in the truth of Scripture...which would inherently fly in the face of postmodernism.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike,
It was a pleasure to have you respond to my blog. I really enjoy discussing the themes of religion, truth, happiness, spirituality etc with others, especially pastors, Christian apologists, etc. I have enjoyed reading through many of your articles and find much that I agree with.

I wanted to respond to your comments by saying that truth is something I have become passionate about studying and understanding. I would recommend a couple of books...Why Truth Matters by Benson and Stangroom, Truth, Knowledge or just Plain Bull Bernard M. Patten.

After much research including intensive Bible study I no longer believe in supernatural beings. This does not mean that I do not value or believe there is truth--I certainly do. Some things are relatively easy to determine as truthful while other concepts may never be confidently determined one way or another.

You asked for readers to give their definition of truth...

Truth is what is as opposed to what is not.

Talk of gods and saviors—of the supernatural—is talk of things we do not know and therefore is not truth but mere speculation. Truth must be based on empirical evidence and reason.

I welcome your thoughts on my other essays or other matters.

Mike Messerli said...


Thanks for your comments. I look forward to visiting about this further. I love visiting with honest truth seekers, and look forward to more interactions. Thanks for your words.