Truth Versus Relevance in Today’s Culture
by Lenny Esposito
When standing before Pilate, Jesus claimed he had come to testify to the truth. Pilate famously replied, “What is truth?” While Pilate’s response may seem a little dismissive, Christians shouldn’t be too quick to ignore it, especially in our modern culture. Most young people today would side with Pilate here. On issues like absolute morality, whether God exists, or if Jesus rose from the dead, young people think either the truth cannot be found or if it can be discovered, it really doesn’t matter much in their lives. It is an abstraction to them; a fuzzy concept where they would argue about the concept without seeing any practical implications.
I’ve spent countless hours on college campuses engaging in many conversations with young adults about their lives, their concept of morality, good and evil, and religion. I’ve already written about the girl who told me that she couldn’t tell a rapist he was wrong even if he was attacking her sister. The fact that she said this with her sister standing next to her demonstrated that she wasn’t taking the question seriously; she was simply trying to win an argument. She viewed the concept of right and wrong as
something surreal. Over and over I see this same pattern of confusion in kids who are attending some of the most prestigious and academically powerful universities in the country. They simply dismiss the search for truth as something unnecessary.
Young people are motivated by things that are “relevant”; things that matter to them and are more concrete. They value ideas such as fairness, the well-being of others, or the future of the planet. Christians must be able to demonstrate that the truth is relevant and that what one believes has real-world effects if our evangelism and apologetics are to be effective.
The trend to dismiss truth as irrelevant especially troubling because I know the reverse is true: truth does matter. It is more important than ever to now show how the abstract concepts of truth really matters in the everyday lives of these students and how it affects the things they care about. Here are three ways you can do just that…
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