America Is Facing a 'Catastrophic Loss of Truth,' John Stonestreet Says
America, and society in general, are facing a "catastrophic loss of truth" due to an embrace of individualism and an abandonment of God's law, says author and speaker John Stonestreet.
"We no longer have a shared fixed reference point," Stonestreet said this month in Colorado Springs during the opening session of the Evangelical Press Association's annual convention.
Stonestreet, the president of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the daily voice of BreakPoint, said society has changed radically during his lifetime due to what he calls the "radical privatization" of religion and the embrace of "expressive individualism," which determines truth based on what one feels on the inside.
"It is one thing to disagree on what is true. It is another thing to disagree on whether or not there is such a thing as truth," he said, describing today's culture. "... The catastrophic loss of truth is a profound loss."
Stonestreet said he recalls teaching students in the 1990s about worldviews and describing a belief system, postmodernism, that rejects absolute truth.
"And we would use these extreme examples that we would think of, and we would say, 'Wait a minute, if there is no truth, does that mean that a stop sign can mean 'go'? Does that mean that a boy can be a girl and a girl can be a boy? And we used that as an illustration because it was extreme and unthinkable. It was extreme and unthinkable.
"Do you see what I mean?" he asked, referencing today's debate over gender identity among children. The loss of truth, he said, is seen in the divides over sexuality, race and humanity itself.
"The catastrophic loss of truth is a profound loss. The one thing that Christian communicators cannot do is give up on the idea that there is truth – because the concept of truth is grounded in the very existence of God. If we believe God exists, we have to believe truth exists."
Evangelicals, he said, are partially to blame for the societal loss of truth.
"In evangelicalism's perpetual pursuit of relevance, we have been too quick to fudge or compromise the notion and concept of truth," he said. "And we have lost the message that a world desperately needs to hear."
The moral shifts in society, he said, are the "fruit" of the problem, not the "root" of the problem.
Society also is facing a catastrophic loss of love, meaning and identity, he said.
Still, Stonestreet says, Christians should live with hope.
"Christianity has the best answer on the market" of ideas, he said. "... All of these things – truth, love, meaning, identity – are found in the person of Jesus Christ."
Photo courtesy: Actionvance/Unsplash
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.