What Does It Mean to Live in a Post-Truth World?: An Interview with Abdu Murray
by Jonathan Petersen
Increasingly, Western culture embraces confusion as a virtue and decries certainty as a sin. Those who are confused about sexuality and identity are viewed as heroes. Those who are confused about morality are progressive pioneers. Those who are confused about spirituality are praised as tolerant. Conversely, those who express certainty about any of these issues are seen as bigoted, oppressive, arrogant, or intolerant.
This cultural phenomenon led the compilers of the Oxford English Dictionary to name “post-truth” their word of the year in 2016. How can Christians offer truth and clarity to a world that shuns both?
Bible Gateway interviewed Abdu Murray (@AbduMurray) about his book, Saving Truth: Finding Meaning & Clarity in a Post-Truth World (Zondervan, 2018).
What have you observed that prompted you to write this book?
Abdu Murray: A few things got me concerned about the way Western culture is viewing the very ideas of truth and clarity. As I speak on university campuses across North America, I’m seeing how the questions students ask have shifted away from factual issues, like evidence for the resurrection, to social and cultural questions that focus on human ability to define reality. Questions about sexual, gender, and religious identity seem to dominate. I’m seeing this in my one-on-one conversations, too. What’s emerging isn’t a quest to find out the facts that might give credibility to the gospel, but a quest to see if the Christian message can actually compete with a secular view that humanity is the determiner of right, wrong, and a better society. In other words, what I began to see was that people have taken to the idea that humanity can replace God.
The second thing I noticed is that confusion has now morphed into a virtue. Those who are confused sexually are labeled heroes. Those who see morality as a fuzzy category are considered progressive. And those who are confused about religious claims—saying that all paths are equally valid roads to God—are considered “tolerant.” But those who are clear on these matters are not treated so charitably…