Some Reflections on the Importance of Truth
Talk to a “one dollar apologist” about their efforts to engage the culture and you’ll quickly hear that apathy is the number one response they encounter. People simply don’t care, and until they do, they’re not likely to give you much of a chance to make your case. That means that ways must be found to make the message of Christianity relevant to a culture that is largely disinterested.
To find common ground, we must stay focused on the concept of truth. Knowing the truth is something upon which every rational person places a premium. Apart from needing truth to stay alive (eg. is it true that poison can kill me? Is it true that looking into the sun will blind me?), it is apparent that no one wants to be deceived. No matter how accomplished a liar someone might be, they never want to be on the receiving end of the lie. This shared interest in truth can be the starting point of a productive conversation.
I would begin with an observation. If the atheist is correct, doesn’t the centrality of truth seem rather odd? If what we see around us is the random product of chance, then whatever feels good or whatever works should prevail, regardless of the underlying truth of the matter. But that isn’t how people actually behave; though they desire good feeling, they also care, intrinsically, about knowing the truth. I would also note that not all truth claims are of equal importance. Is it true that my favorite sports team lost last weekend is not as important a question as whether it is true that John Smith, and not his twin Joe, was the shooter in a homicide case. Or that the syringe contains insulin and not arsenic…
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