Curtis Dahlgren
If truth were "dead," how would you know that for sure?
By Curtis Dahlgren
April 6, 2017

"Jesus spoke of Truth as an existing Reality, and when Pontius Pilate said, 'What is Truth?' – as William Cowper said – 'He didn't wait for an answer.'" - CD (last week's column, in reference to TIME magazine's "Is Truth Dead?" cover)

"WHAT IS TRUTH, ANYWAY? How to think about claims, even the Resurrection" is a headline in the current Scientific American. Michael Shermer of Skeptic magazine is the author of the article, which starts out like this:

"According to the Oxford English Dictionary's first definition, a 'skeptic' is 'one who holds that there are no adequate grounds for certainty as to the truth of any proposition whatever.'" Mr. Shermer is not one of those skeptics, as he has his truths (as opposed to truth "claimed" by Christians and conservatives). CLAIM is a favorite media word. If traditionalists "claim" something, it must be fake news. Shermer cites The Miracle Myth, a 2016 book by a U. of Wisconsin-Madison professor (surprise, surprise!).

Shermer says that "the evidence necessary to justify beliefs about [miracles] must be many times better than that which would justify our beliefs in run-of-the-mill historical events. But it isn't."

But I've seen miracles! Evidently the writer hasn't seen one, and – for him – that's enough to claim to know:
miracles have never happened! He "claims"! Funny how that works.

He ends his article by saying that "maybe accounts of the resurrection never appeared in the original gospels and were added in later centuries . . . far more likely than the possibility that Jesus actually returned to life . . [and] we should prefer the more probable explanation over less probable ones [such as miracles] . .

"Perhaps this is why Jesus was silent when Pontius Pilate asked him, 'What is truth?"

There is evidence and then there is evidence. I wonder how hard Michael has been looking? "Let Mikey try it!" Or TIME magazine. Just once. Being thus "inspired" by them, I decided to re-post one of my all-time favorites:

The sermonette notes of Enoch ("My name is Jude," he said)

By Curtis Dahlgren

"I HEARD your publication is hiring a new community commentator, and I'm here to apply for the job," said the stranger. "My name is Jude."

Hey Jude! Jude what?

It's just Jude, dude.

Okay! So what's that you have there? Your resume?

This is a sample of my writing. It's a letter that I wrote to some friends back in 66.

You've been writing since 1966?

That's just 66, dude.

Whatever. But just for the heck of it, let's hear what you wrote there.

OK – "I needed to write to you guys to urge you to stand up once and for all for the faith, because certain people have turned the grace of our Lord into license. Remember: He saved our people out of Egypt, but afterward destroyed some of them who believed not. For example, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities gave themselves over to lust and suffered the vengeance of fire as a result.

"Likewise, our contemporaries despise orthodoxy and speak evil of the prophets. Woe unto them! for they have gone the way of Cain, and after the error of Balaam, who was spoken to by a dumb ass. They are clouds without water, carried about by every wind, trees without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots.

"ENOCH ALSO, the seventh from Adam, predicted all this. 'The Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints,' he said. 'To convict all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him. And there will be mockers and scorners in the latter days who will walk after their own
ungodly lusts. and then come the Last Days!'

"These are complainers, pedantic pundits, whose mouths speak great swelling words to impress people, having men's opinions in admiration in an attempt to gain advantage. But remember, you guys, the Word spoken long ago about ungodly sins."

That sounds kind of judgmental, doesn't it?

WELL DUH! What do think judgment IS?

Well it's not cool to talk about Sodom and Gomorrah. This is 2017, you know.

I hate it when people miss the point. You see this Roman coin here? There are two sides to every story; I also told my friends to have compassion and try to pull some people out of the fire.

That's interesting, but don't call us. We'll call you.

P.S. I interrupt myself to go back to the original column that I had planned to submit this week, before I was so rudely interrupted by certain events in the news this week:

Question authority? The media are now the authority and you're now not entitled to your "own facts," they say
("It's six o'clock and here's what we want you to think").

"YOU'VE HEARD THE NUMBERS – 10% OF AMERICAN MEN ARE GAY, 2.7 million children are abused, one in eight women develop breast cancer. Politicians, activists, fund raisers, scientists and, yes, magazine journalists routinely unload such staggering statistics on a trusting public. The numbers are presented as though they carry all the weight of scientific truth" . . . But too often exaggerated figures are used deliberately to mislead, raise money or advance an agenda. 'Many statistics are generated by people who have a vested interest,' notes journalist Cynthia Crossen, who is writing a book on how numbers are manipulated . . . Environmental organizations tend to present the most alarming scenarios to pump up the threat of global warming . . . "

BELIEVE IT, or not, that last paragraph came directly from TIME magazine! (April 26, 1993; "The shrinking ten percent" by Priscilla Painton and Anastasia Toufexis)!

I hate to sound like a skeptic, but -

© Curtis Dahlgren


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

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Curtis Dahlgren

Curtis Dahlgren is semi-retired in southern Wisconsin, and is the author of "Massey-Harris 101." His career has had some rough similarities to one of his favorite writers, Ferrar Fenton... (more)


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