Saturday, November 6, 2010

Truth Matters

Os Guinness has long been one of my favorite Christian thinkers. He recently spoke at the Lausanne Conference in South Africa, a monumental gathering of Christians. I listened to his speech with great interest. I think he gives such clarity to an issue that is increasingly crippling the church in the USA: the postmodern deconstruction of truth.

I know, some of you are like, "what in the heck is that?" Suffice it to say that our culture is becoming less and less responsive to claims of absolute or objective truth. From science to theology, people are becoming more skeptical. This has been coming for a long time, and is why our culture is marked by tolerating and equivocating all ideas as relative. No longer are most people impressed with a sentence beginning with the words, "Science tells us..." or "The Bible says...", because postmodern people generally doubt the authority of such truth claims.

The problem is how this has affected the church. Just as some "adjusted" the message of Christianity for Modernity (which assumed that Science is the ultimate test of what is true) in the form of Liberalism, some today have attempted to adjust the message for postmodern culture, by denying the absolute truth of the Bible and doctrinal essentials for the "emerging" culture, a term that has garnered much attention. Problem: The methods can change, but the message must not. It is the essence of Christianity and is originated by God himself. As with Liberalism, "Emergent" leaders are compromising the message.

In this clip, Guinness takes this problem head on. If you've got a few minutes, it is worth the watch. It is both refreshing and powerful. Here's the link.

If you want to read while listening (which I like to do), here's the manuscript (not exact, he must have shortened his actual speech a little).

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