Two millennia ago, Pilate uttered one of the most profound questions that we still ask in the modern era. As Jesus stood before him, Pilate asked: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). That we have continued to struggle over this question points to its enduring nature.
Many today would say that truth, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder — or perhaps the heart. Driven by emotion and controlled by our passions, we have become a society obsessed with looking inward for truth. If a man claims to be a woman, our culture will say, “Well, that’s his truth.” If someone disagrees with us, we might say, “Well, that’s just your perspective.”
And, of course, it might be. That’s the heart of the matter, isn’t it? How do we know when someone is telling the truth or when someone is just giving us his perspective? Where is the truth to be found? Is it really found within the wicked human heart?
The irony of Pilate’s question is that Truth with a capital “T” stood right in front of him. “What is truth?” Jesus is Truth. And so Jesus stands at the heart of this — and every — issue of The Lutheran Witness.
The inspiration for this issue of LW came from one of LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew Harrison’s letters to readers almost two years ago. He mentioned a book by Carl Trueman called The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. It is an excellent book about the contemporary obsession with identity. He wrote a “lighter” version of it called Strange New World in which he details the collapse of Western culture and asks how we reached the point where the phrase “I’m a woman in a man’s body” makes any sense.
This issue of LW explores this topic for Lutherans, centered primarily around truth. Christopher Esget finds the ground of all truth in Christ. Because of Christ’s work, our lives have meaning and direction. Peter Scaer shows us how the loss of truth affects the weakest among us. When emotions run the day, then the truth of human life in the womb is lost.
William Cwirla returns to a topic on which he wrote a decade ago, showing how we cannot pick and choose our truths. Matthew Rueger discusses the prevailing sexual immorality in our culture. This also stems from a loss of truth, a loss of understanding about who God says we are.
This issue should challenge you. The secular culture will influence us. Of course, we cling to God’s Word and pray for strength to withstand the temptations Satan sends our way. We hope this issue will help you examine those areas in which you struggle to find the truth and point you to the Truth who was crucified for you.
In Christ our Truth,
Roy S. Askins
Managing Editor, The Lutheran Witness