This little corner of my blog is dedicated to truth-talk. I have listed some essays here that might help guide the discussion on truth whether it be from a philosophical perspective, biblical perspective, or from a cultural perspective.
The purpose of the Aletheia Project is simple:
Facilitate informed discussion on the nature of truth from many different perspectives
Questions and discussion points:
- What does the Scriptures have to say about truth?
- Does truth have an “essence”?
- Is the question of truth a meaningful one?
- How does a person’s view of truth impact their lives?
- Does our culture’s view of truth impact the way we live or the way we perceive the world?
- Is it possible to know truth?
- Is it meaningful to have a debate on “absolute” vs. “relative” truth?
Discussion about truth is more necessary than ever in my own tradition – conservative Christianity. Brian McLaren in a recent Christianity Today article questioned the value of discussing absolute truth in contemporary evangelism. Doug Groothuis in Truth Decay proclaimed that the correspondence theory of truth is the only biblical view of truth. J.P. Moreland in his plenary address to the Evangelical Theological Society in 2004 declared that not only were postmodern views of truth and knowledge “confused,” but he went on to say that postmodernism, itself “is an immoral and cowardly viewpoint.”
I was cruising in my car recently and heard James Dobson on the radio discussing a recent poll that very much disturbed him. I do not recall the exact statistic, but it was something to the effect that a majority of Christians do not believe in absolute truth. This baffled Dr. Dobson so much that he was having difficulty speaking or saying anything. He clearly could not even begin to conceive of any Christian not believing in absolute truth, and he seemed reduced to lecturing his audience about how important absolute truth was. One of the things the Dobson reaction illustrates, I think, is that there is a broad gulf of understanding between the varying viewpoints. If someone like Dr. Dobson has a hard time understanding the thinking of a majority of Christians, then clearly there is a great divide.
In the philosophical world things are just as diverse, perhaps more so. There are traditional robust theories of truth, which themselves are diverse: The correspondence theories, coherence theories, pragmatic theories, etc. There are deflationary theories that question whether it is appropriate to talk of truth even having a nature. Recently there have been various advocates of pluralist approaches to truth. And add to this certain “existential” theories of truth, like Kierkegaard or Heidegger where truth is defined in terms of the subjective state of the individual, not in terms of an object to be defined. This is to say nothing of Nietzsche’s perspectives on truth.
The essays, resources, and any ensuing conversations of the Aletheia Project are dedicated to intelligently discussing the question Pilate asked so long ago: What is truth?