The 2016 Oxford Dictionary word of the year was post-truth.
post-truth /ˌpəʊs(t)ˈtruːθ/ Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotional and personal belief. 1
What does that mean? You and I would call it a lie!
Post-truth is a worldview that rejects The Way, The Truth, and The Life (see Jn 14:6). Believers in post-truth believe there are things in life more important than truth. In a recent article by the Benham Brothers, they explain the consequences of post-truth: “Romans 1:18-32 reveals an eerie pattern of what happens when truth is denied. We are literally watching this unfold every day, right before our eyes. It goes like this:
Deny truth (Rom 1:18)
Darkened heart (Rom 1:21)
Displace God (Rom 1:25)
Degrading passions (Rom 1:26)
Depraved mind (Rom 1:28)” 2
Direction of the World
The world is going in the direction of a post-truth worldview. A study by the American Culture & Faith Institute shares that only 4% of the Millennial generation (approximately ages 17-35) have a biblical worldview. 3 Another study by the same group found that less than one-half of one percent of adults in the Mosaic generation (ages 18-23) have a biblical worldview. 4
Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant said a healthy society couldn’t remain healthy so long as it accepts lies. “For a lie always harms another,” Kant asserted, “if not some other particular man, still it harms mankind generally.” 5
Pursuing Knowledge Apart From God
We are facing a sick society impacted by the choice of many to deny truth. Time magazine helps us to see the magnitude of the impact of post-truth. Their April 3, 2017, edition asks “Is Truth Dead?” Similar to so many other topics, the topic of post-truth comes down to education. Are we pursuing knowledge without God? “In Genesis 3, the serpent introduced mankind to the satanic theory of education. The idea is simple: men, women, boys, and girls can and should pursue knowledge apart from explicit connection and subjugation to the Word of God.” 6
Pursuing Truth and Teaching a Christian Worldview Some people say that 2016 was the year truth became irrelevant. In a Christian school, the pursuit of knowledge starts with the fear of the Lord. Truth is shared five days a week, all year long, for 13 years. However, many students do not have the opportunity to receive a biblical worldview education. They are in an educational environment that embraces post-truth and its offspring ranging from evolution, to gender fluidity, to Keynesian economics, to naturalism, and so much more. You can make a difference by joining with Renewanation and your local Christian school to help more children develop a biblical worldview education.
Mark Koscak is Director of Development at Providence Academy in Johnson City, TN. Mark spent 20 years in the business world in various leadership positions before he was called full-time to raise funds for Providence Academy. He is the creator and director of the Christian Storytelling Concert (christianstorytellingconcert.com), a scholarship fundraiser that edifies the Christian community through story and song. Mark also helps a variety of other schools and ministries with their development programs. Mark is married to Beth, and they have two children who attend Liberty University.
1. Oxford Dictionary, Word of the Year-2016, en.oxforddictionaries.com.
2. David and Jason Benham, “Eerie Biblical Pattern Unfolding as America Denies Truth,” March 30, 2017, benhambrothers.com.
3. Steve Jordahl, “Barna Detects Dangerous Breach in the Wall,” March 16, 2017, OneNewsNow.com.
4. “Barna Survey Examines Changes in Worldview Among Christians over the Past 13 Years,” Faith and Christianity, March 9, 2009.
5. Al Mohler Jr., “The Post Truth Era Welcome to the Age of Dishonesty,” The Briefing, July 19, 2005, albertmohler.com.
6. “Temples of the State: The Very Religious Mission of American Public Schools,” Fire Breathing Christian, February 13, 2016, firebreathingchristian.com.