Eight Dimensions of Truth & Journalism
This is the basic theme in all of Scripture: God is continually seeking man out to talk with him, from the story of Eden until the proclamation of the new heavens and the new earth. In the same way the concept of covenant is based on two-way communication.”
The Incarnation points out that God moves into the receptor’s frame of reference, i.e., taking on culture, language, space, time, etc., really to try to be understood. He goes beyond the predictable and the stereotype in his communicative efforts. He uses the language and thought patterns of those with whom He speaks.
Jesus being described as "the Word" of God helps us understand that the most fundamental, and precious content ever to be communicated and re-formulated again and again is God’s plan for redemption of Man. Our challenge is to have a deep and intimate understanding of this fundamental Truth – and to be stewards of this Truth in all aspects of our lives.
So, as journalists, we are commissioned to be seekers and communicators of TRUTH. John 8:32, where Jesus says to those Jews who believed in him, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” His words are linked to verse 36, where Jesus continues, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
I believe that there is indeed such a thing as Truth, and that it can be found and known. And it can, therefore, be defended. And, I am convinced that there is an inherent liberating power in truth that sets us free– free both as journalists (freedom of the press); and free as Christian believers (freedom of religion); and free as believers in Jesus Christ (spiritual freedom).
2. THE DEMISE OF TRUTH
But this postmodern world, like Pontius Pilate, questions whether truth indeed exists, and if it does, whether it can be known, defended and followed. “What is truth,” Pilate asked.
The postmodern world says Truth, like God, is dead. Postmodern philosophy rejects all claims of objective truth. Lying is impossible since it presupposes objective reality, and there is none.
This is Darwinian philosophy gone to seed, reaping a twisted, mutant ethics that conceives of humans as merely intelligent beasts who cannot be held accountable for their actions. If moral standards have disappeared, then who’s to judge?
No truth. No culpability. No lies. No crime.
But opposing the postmodern construct of the Demise of Truth is the biblical and traditional value of truth and journalism. As journalists who are Christian, we believe that lying and dishonesty are part of humanity’s sinful nature. We believe that the human heart is deceitful. As the prophet Jeremiah put it, “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). That’s the bad news. And very regularly, it is the daily news: Sex, lies, murders, theft, fraud.
But please think for a minute about this: The good news is that, if there is dishonesty and wickedness, then the mirror opposite is honesty and righteousness. If there are lies, there is truth. The Bible teaches it, and traditionally, journalists have tended to believe this. As Georges Braque once noted: “Truth exists; falsehood has to be invented.”