Good communication and resources show the Gospel’s truth.
Abdu Murray is North America director of Ravi Zacahrias International Ministries and host of the radio program/podcast “Embrace the Truth with Abdu Murray.” He offers thoughtful and rightfully concerned Christ followers clear and insightful information on the post-truth society in which Americans live. He also speaks regularly at universities and has observed how students’ questions have shifted away from factual issues to social and cultural ones.
“Questions about sexual, gender, and religious identity seem to dominate. What’s emerging isn’t a quest to find out the facts that might give credibility to the Gospel, but a quest to see if the Christian message can actually compete with a secular view that humanity is the determiner of right, wrong, and a better society,” he says. “In other words, what I began to see was that people have taken to the idea that humanity can replace God.”
OVERCOMING FUZZY TRUTH
Murray has also noticed that confusion has morphed into virtue. The author sees those who are confused sexually deemed as heroes today. “Those who see morality as a fuzzy category are considered progressive. And those who are confused about religious claims—saying that all paths are equally valid roads to God—are considered ‘tolerant.’” The flipside, Murray explains, is that those who do maintain certain moral and sexual boundaries are considered bigots, regressive, and intolerant. Murray notes that this confusion is sadly affecting much more than the ability to converse.
“Truth is no longer the standard for our discussions. We are beginning to lose our ability to reason. We are beginning to lose our integrity. And as we elevate ourselves to godhood, we are losing our sense of moral accountability and human value,” he says.
LISTENING WITH PURPOSE
Saving Truth is Murray’s remedy to help make clarity and truth attractive to the culture again. He writes that we are living in a post-truth world where individuals elevate feelings and preferences above facts and truth. “A post-truth person might think, ‘There is objective truth, but I don’t care because my personal feelings and preferences matter more,’” he writes.
Murray encourages Christians to be mindful of how to listen and communicate their beliefs to others, to find out what people care about and what their real questions are. “Often, Christians are answering questions people aren’t asking. They’re answering questions they wish people would ask. But when we listen carefully we can find boulevards for the Gospel and address the person’s actual concerns in intelligent and emotionally impactful ways,” Murray says.
He exhorts Christians to lovingly show others that they understand where they are coming from, especially when believers do not agree with them. “When we see another person not as a debate opponent but as someone for whom Christ died to save, we can more compassionately convey the Gospel message in a way that speaks directly to that person and their struggles without compromising the unchanging truths of Scripture.”
Murray wants to encourage Christian booksellers with his own story of how he was changed by their ministry. “God transformed my own hostility to the Gospel into a zeal to defend it through good books and resources. The Bible says, ‘In the beginning was the Word.’ We serve the Word made flesh, who St. Augustine described as the Word, ‘without whom all human eloquence is mute.’
“The words in the resources responsible booksellers offer depend on the Word. It was Blaise Pascal who said that we need to make the Gospel attractive: ‘Make good men wish it were true, and then show them that it is.’ The smiling, compassionate faces of those who offer reliable resources can be the warmth that makes good people wish the Gospel were true. And the good books they offer can be the means by which they show others that it is in fact true.”