Having just began reading Total Truth, it is amazing to see the insights that Nancy Pearcey brings in the first couple of chapters.
I had never noticed how so much of the world seeks to seperate the spiritual from the natural and present us with two versions of “truth.” This plays out in so many of today’s debates whether it is gay marriage or intelligent design.
So much of life is based on the classical Greek philosophy that life is tiered and seperated. Virtually everyone seperates life into two categories whether it is today’s break down of truth vs. value, supernatural vs. natural, or the reglious seperation of grace vs. creation.
You see this in every piece written on creation and evolution. Some where in the article, in an attempt to placate both sides, the writer will make some statement like: “The realms of religion and science do not have to be forever in conflict. They both offer much of value and importance to each of us.” I agree that religion and science do not have to in conflict (that is a preconcived bias in and of itself, not allowing for the fact that those who believe in intelligent design have any science with them), but they cannot both exists truthfully and claim opposite realities.
We cannot somehow find “truth” in two mutually exclusive claims. Truth is not and cannot be held down and divided into sections, yet that is what everyone (including most Christians) seek to do.
Delve into any debate on creationism, gay marriage or virtually any hot botton issue and you will hear the vestiges of the old Greek philosophy rearing it’s head. “That may be true for your religion, but not for me.” “Evolution does not have to exclude religion. They can exist simultaneously.” “You cannot legislate your version of morality or truth on everyone else.”
The schism seperating the two “truths” is found even in churches. Where sacred and secular and viewed across inescapeable gulfs. Churches create huge list of “do nots” for their members in order to not appear secular. Those going into “the ministry” are viewed in high esteem.
This tiered approach to reality is unstable and prone to collapse. What happens when two “truths” collide? Do we simply ignore the conflict and sweep it under the rug, content with being accepted by the bulk of our culture? Do we dare committ the unforgiveable cultural sin of judgment and decide between two things that claim exclusivity? Can we venture to violate the one solid command of our current culture – tolerance, meaning acceptance of any and everything? We must if we hope to ever grasp any real concept of truth beyond the vague, shifting mist that our culture loves to claim as “truth.” Do we give up the comfortable, yet inconsistent mist for the uncomfortable, yet reliable rock of absolute truth?
What Christianity needs is to present a unified truth, or “total truth” as Pearcey puts it, that brings together all areas of life and joins them under one banner. The Truth put forth in scripture is not simply religious truth, but socialtal truths.
This does not mean we force everyone to live by the Ten Commandments and Mosaic law. We do not change or convince by force or rule of law (that is the easy way that too many have taken and seek to take now), rather we impact culture with persuasive arguments with reasoned debate. We seek to understand God’s Truth for all His creation and relay that to a world desperate for consistent answers, for Total Truth.