How the Church can stand firm in a post-truth culture
by Dave Borlase
Today, ‘Post-truth’ was named Oxford Dictionaries’ international word of the year. The phrase is defined as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief”.
It was chosen in the context of Brexit and the Trump victory as both campaigns displayed the hallmarks of post-truth campaigning. But the reaction to both world changing events has also been a demonstration of the post-truth society we live in. The prevailing opinions of the mainstream media and career politicians have been held as absolute truth while dissenting voices – even when in the majority – have been mocked.
In the political arena (and the media’s reporting of it), post-truth has been the reality for a long time. We have seen two of the worst political campaigns in history. All sides used fear over facts and personal attacks over policy.
As Isaiah saw it, so it is in our day. Truth has stumbled in the street.
When Jesus, the embodiment of truth, stood before Pilate and said he had come to testify to the truth, Pilate’s response of “what is truth?” was surely indicative of where so many are today. Jesus was claiming to bring the truth. He wasn’t talking about a truth or my truth, but the truth. Pilate’s response was an immediate rejection to this claim of absolute truth.
I believe Pilate is a perfect example of where our society is now…
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