In protest of the new president of the United States, TIME magazine recently resurrected one of their most infamous covers, which instead of asking if God is dead now asks, “Is Truth Dead?” The difficulty of answering that question seems like a modern problem, but even Pilate cynically asked our Lord, “What is truth?” (John 18:38). Christians are under greater pressure than we have faced in some time to relativize our claims of truth, to call them “private opinions” rather than “public facts” that must be confronted. The whole world seems to be wrestling with one of the most basic questions of humanity: How can we know anything at all?
In this issue of Modern Reformation, we assert that it is possible to know the truth: about God, about this world, even about yourself. What we know about the world doesn’t depend on a way of knowing that is different from the way we arrive at knowledge about God. The same skills of observation and reason apply to all forms of knowledge. To demonstrate this, we’ve asked several good friends to help us know what we know and why we know it!
First up is Lutheran theologian Scott Keith, who tackles a common claim about truth and religious faith: It doesn’t matter what you believe; belief itself is a kind of comfort that is not dependent on specific truth-claims. Dr. Keith asserts that Christians must rely on the historical truth-claims of Christianity in order to defend not just the helpfulness of the faith but also its reality.
Next, we’re honored to feature an interview with Stephen Meyer, director of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture in Seattle, Washington. We asked Dr. Meyer to help us understand what difference (if any) exists between scientific and religious knowledge. Along the way, he also weighed in on human agency in the method of philosophical inquiry and how to spot “fake news.”
Our good friend James Gilmore—a respected business consultant and adjunct lecturer at the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University, the University of Virginia, and Westminster Seminary California—is most recently the author of Look: A Practical Guide for Improving Your Observational Skills. We asked Jim to apply the principles he discovered to our faith: How do we use our own natural abilities of observa-tion to strengthen our understanding of Scripture and the world in which God has placed us?
We conclude with our editor-in-chief, Michael Horton, who reminds us that the Christian faith is not faith in a system of beliefs, an institution, or even in the concept of faith itself. The distinguishing characteristic of Christianity is that we call on men, women, and children to believe a person—Jesus of Nazareth—and the claims and promises he made.
In the Garden of Eden, the very first temptation took aim at truth. We should therefore not be surprised that humanity continues to struggle to understand and live by truth. Our hope with this issue is that you will be encouraged in your study of the truth.
Eric Landry executive editor