Friday, April 11, 2014


Aletheia = truth + phobia = fear

You often hear the postmodern narrative that people are afraid to be wrong. Embrace the chaos of uncertainty. It frees you from the oppression of having to know.

Hmm. Interesting, of course, as it really does free you from this. The problem is that you have to know that you don't know in order to be uncertain. Are you certain of your uncertainty?

All kidding aside, there are people who need to believe they know because it makes them feel secure in life. They are unteachable because they are afraid to lose that security. I, of course, don't see postmoderns as being any different in this regard. They suddenly seem to be quite certain about many things when you press them to believe otherwise, so much of this is a canard.

But what is interesting is that it has created something else in this group that, I personally think, is much more dangerous to life: the fear of knowing the truth.

You see, as long as I don't know what's true and good, I am not accountable to it. I don't have to be convicted about it and change my life. I don't have to get into conflicts with people over it. I don't have to love through it. There is no sacrifice needed because no change is needed. I can make my life what I feel is comfortable for my thinking and practice without commitment to the boundaries of the truth that may take me where I do not wish to go.

But if I know the truth, then I'm obligated. I'm obligated to challenge myself and others. I have to enter into that conflict and maybe lose friends and family over it (remember that sword that Christ brought?). I have to alter my life, sometimes in radical ways that are far beyond what I would like. I have to give up the comfort of uncertainty, the comfort of ignorance that allows me to proceed according to all sorts of unspoken presuppositions about life about which I am quite, unknowingly, certain anyway.

If I live in ignorance, I can keep believing the lies I believe. If I live in uncertainty, I can keep living against God's will. After all, who knows His will anyway, right? I get to redefine love in a comfortable way, in a way that doesn't require me to pick up my cross. I can pretend that I love people without truth and live my comfortable life that way. I am secure. Ignorance is bliss.

Hence, these people are afraid to know. They don't want to become those rigid "know-it-all" people who are certain of what is true and good because they are afraid to do so. They loathe those people for displaying otherwise in their lives. That's why postmoderns are so intolerant of people who say they know the truth and what is right, specifically when what is true and right is in opposition to what postmoderns believe and do.

To believe something to be true is to die to the self that wishes to create a more comfortable reality. Death is a scary thing. Hence, aletheiaphobia is rampant in our culture.

There is, no doubt, a need to be humble toward God's revelation, since it is only by it that we might know with certainty through faith. No one should be dogmatic before he has given the Word and different sides their voices. But a greater fear lurks in the darkness: a fear of the light.

"Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed." (John 3:20)

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