Book Review: Whatever Happened To Truth? (Köstenberger)

Whatever Happened to Truth?Whatever Happened to Truth? by Andreas J. Köstenberger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The book “Whatever Happened To Truth” is a collection of articles compiled and edited by Andreas Köstenberger on the idea of Truth.  It answers the questions of:  what is truth, what is happening to truth and how should the church respond to the cultural influences upon truth.

The argument from Köstenberger is that truth is a person, a crucified person, rather than some abstract ideology found in human philosophy or spiritual dreaming.   In other words, truth is theocentric and Christocentric.  One could even go so far as to say that truth is crucicentric.  The idea of truth is found in the Words and Actions of God as they are expressed in the Bible and fleshed out in the life, death and resurrection of Christ.

With this said, Albert Mohler discusses the impact of culture upon truth.  From the deconstruction of truth to the death of the meta-narrative he shows how truth is under attack and impacted by culture.  He calls forth to the reader that the bride of Christ is subtly conforming to the spirit of the age when it should be truthing in love against the culture.

Following Mohler’s assessment of culture, J.P. Moreland gives a stinging critique of Post-modern thought, the daughter and offspring of modernism.  He critiques Post-modern thought as a “cowardly viewpoint of intellectual pacifism.”

Finally, Vanhoozer fleshes out the theodrama of God.  The idea of a theodrama is his way of presenting and describing the Bible’s meta-narrative.

This book is of great significance in our post-modern day and age.  It is vital because truth is linked to the person of Christ and him crucified.  Therefore what is at stake is not an abstract concept of truth but the very person, ministry and atonement of Christ.  As Christians we confess that Christ is: the head of the church, the meta-narrative of scripture and the essence of truth.  When the absoluteness of truth is questioned, it brings uncertainty and a deconstruction of Christ himself.  No truth, No Christ, no salvation.  

While we can celebrate some of the deconstruction of the Constantinian age to a post-Constantinian age, we cannot embrace the affects and the presuppositional ideologies of post-modernism.  Furthermore, we do not reject post-modernism in favor of modernism, for modernism is rooted in the Enlightenment and has the same ideological DNA as post-modernism.  Rather, the church appeals to a scriptural foundationalism for the source of its epistemology.  As in Albert Mohler says, “A scriptural foundationalism is not grounded in the finite human subject as both modernism and postmodernism attempts to do, but instead is rooted and grounded in the Bible’s own presentation of the triune God.”

The Word is our original source of truth and the bedrock foundation for the church.  May we resonate with Köstenberger when we respond to the question, “Whatever happened to truth?” by saying, “’The truth is just fine, thank you.’  Jesus, the Word, continues to speak to those with ears to hear in his word, the Scriptures.  He has returned to his glory with the Father and awaits his return from there at the Father’s appointed time.”

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