Watch and write a 2-3 page summary on Greg Boyd’s sermon on “What is Truth?”, along with your thoughts.
What is Truth
Boyd (2018) discusses the nature of truth, noting that individuals are living in an era characterized by a crisis of truth. Crisis of truth refers to difficulties among individuals in discerning what is true or not. In the contemporary world, people are bombarded with information from various sources such as media outlets, social media, the church, friends, and other sources. It is increasingly difficult to tell which of these sources stands for the truth. In addition, individuals are at a loss on where they can obtain true information. Previously reputable sources of information such as the church and media outlets are no longer the sources of truth. Instead, people view information coming from such outlets with skepticism.
Boyd (2018) examines how the historical account of the crisis of truth. During the late Renaissance period (1500s and 1600s), there was a state of perpetual warfare lasting about three decades and resulting from religious intolerance. The political elites resolved to end the religious warfare by coming up with a series of treaties, the notable one being the Peace of Westphalia treaty. This treaty barred people from engaging in any form of religious intolerance and instilled in people the need to respect each other’s differences. This created a pluralistic society where individuals held different beliefs. Prior to the signing of the treaty, individuals in a particular society held similar beliefs. As such, they could not tolerate anyone who had a contrasting opinion.
The emergence of a pluralistic society induces tolerance to contrasting opinions from other people. In addition, it sensitizes individuals of their culture’s influence to their beliefs. In a global society, it becomes difficult to have absolute truths because of the influence of culture. As such, individuals can only talk about their personal truths. This brings about the concept of truth relativism. This concept holds that absolute truths do not exist; truth is always subject to some particular external influence such as culture and language. In other words, truth will vary depending on the place and period. Since there is no absolute truth, individuals can have their own truths that contrast with other people’s version of truth without having any problems (Boyd, 2018).
Boyd (2018) highlights five key elements surrounding truth relativism. The first element is that religious beliefs pose great danger to the society. The second element is that truth relativism is self-contradictory. This is because if there is no absolute truth, it is not easy to tell whether the statement itself may be a lie. Thirdly, truth is narrow. The singularity occurs because there is only a single version of truth. Fourthly, there exists some shared reality among individuals concerning the truth. The shared reality comprises of the moral code. Lastly, it is only Jesus who said absolute truths.
In summary, the truth is relative in nature. What holds as the truth for one individuals may not apply as the truth for all individuals. Those who hold absolute truths have a narrow-minded frame of thinking. For instance, those who believe that their religion is the only true religion may end up committing various atrocities among those who do not subscribe to their belief of the truth. Terrorists commit inhuman acts against those who do not subscribe to their views for they hold absolute truths concerning their religion. What holds as the truth for one person will depend on the culture, language, and other influencing factors. As such, people are likely to interpret information from media outlets, social media, and other sources using the relativistic concept of truth.
Boyd, G. (2018). What is truth? Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lroxsCoY70#action=share