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I have a question: Do you really want answers or are you more interested in what C.S. Lewis called the “modern and successful”? Are you seeking “good marks and saying the kind of things that won applause” or are you willing to speak your mind even in the face of opposition and conflict”? Do you embody a childlike sincerity and hunger for answers or are you more like manipulative teenagers starved for popularity? Do you want your arguments to be right and true even if you stand alone or would you rather be politically correct and fashionable and rubbing elbows with the elite?

Os Guinness in his book Time for Truth challenges our adolescent tendency to eschew the factual in favor of the faddish: “Truth does not yield to opinion or fashion,” he says. “It is simply true and that is the end of it. It is one of the Permanent Things… Truth is true even if nobody believes it and falsehood is false even if everybody believes it.” Popularity and political trends have very little, if anything, to do with ideological veracity. Truth is not determined by vim, vigor, or vote. Again, as Guinness says, “it is simply true and that is the end of it…”

So if you really want answers—if you really want your ideas to be confirmed if they are right and corrected if they are wrong—then perhaps you should humbly set aside your desire for “good marks” and instead seek what is true (even if it is dreadfully unpopular) and give up what is false (even if it is a dearly loved passion). The integrity of honest questions and truthful answers demands nothing less.