Increasingly, Western culture embraces confusion as a virtue and decries certainty as a sin. Those who are confused about sexuality and identity are viewed as heroes. Those who are confused about spirituality are praised as tolerant. Conversely, those who express certainty are seen as bigoted, oppressive, arrogant, or intolerant. In Saving Truth, Murray seeks to awaken Westerners to the plight we find ourselves in. He also challenges Christians to consider how they have played a part in fostering the culture of confusion through bad arguments, unwise labeling, and emotional attacks.
Post-truth has now blossomed into a Culture of Confusion. Confusion is embraced as a virtue and clarity shunned as a sin. The answers to life’s questions no longer need to correspond to reality. They need only cater to our desires.
But as our culture has embraced confusion and shunned clarity, have we found ourselves to be better off? The divisiveness of our rhetoric is corrosive. Those who disagree with us are “them.” Facts often seem to be a problem to get around instead of the useful tools they once were. And if someone takes a stand we disagree with on a particular issue, we label them in the most uncharitable way possible, never mind whether they may have a point.
I remember the pervasive anxiety of the Cold War in the 1980s. The world worried that something would ignite tensions between the USA and the USSR, initiating a nuclear war. The Cold War could suddenly become hotter than a thousand suns, quite literally. During that time, people in power claimed to know the way forward. Conservatives, liberals, moderates. Capitalists, socialists, communists, and anarchists. So many voices claimed to be able to lift us above it all. They did little to ease the anxiety. Popular musicians wrote a song about the “Land of Confusion.”
Thirty years later, do we not find ourselves neck-deep in the Land of Confusion? Men and women of power claim to be able to guarantee our unfettered freedoms, even if it may mean trampling on the freedoms of others. These same men and women of steel seem preoccupied with rights but often say very little about responsibilities. Yes, there are voices demanding truth and accuracy from our leaders, and rightfully so. But our demands for truth are so often selective – we want truth when it’s convenient or when it supports our point of view. When we look at our world today and see all the questions being asked amid a culture not truly committed to sound answers, it’s hard to image a land more confusing.
The confusion tends to swirl around certain questions: What does it mean to be human? What is human freedom and is it the same as autonomy? Do our rights have limits? Is there a transcendent meaning and purpose to human existence, or are we the measure of all things? We need clarity in our day to rightly answer these questions, to be informed individuals, honest scientists, and fair politicians. We need answers, not just questions. Yet as we ask questions, the Culture of Confusion’s answers are inadequate and don’t provide satisfaction. They don’t bring us to dry land. The Culture of Confusion’s answers only give birth to more questions. G.K. Chesterton presciently observed this phenomenon in his masterpiece Orthodoxy: “Free thought has exhausted its own freedom. It is weary of its own success.” Thus, “we have found all of the questions that can be found. It is time we gave up looking for questions and began looking for answers.”
Taken from Saving Truth by Abdu Murray Copyright © 2018 by Zondervan Used by
permission of Zondervan. https://www.zondervan.com/
Saving Truth is on sale May 8th, 2018. You can purchase it here.