He doesn’t think of doctrines as primarily ‘true’ or ‘false’, but as ‘academic’ or ‘practical’, ‘outworn’ or ‘contemporary’, ‘conventional’ or ‘ruthless. Jargon, not argument, is your best ally in keeping him from the Church.
C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, Chapter 1
Like a lot of people, I grew up with an education that was steeped in objective truth. This is the keystone principal that guided all public education.
We should all be grateful for the focus on objective truth. That seems to be the one thing missing within a world of “fake news” and individualism.
Yet, we have to be careful not to go too far.
Yes, truth must be objective, but many truths–especially the spiritual ones–must also become subjective without losing their universal truthfulness. What I mean is, we have to work towards belief with our whole hearts and not just our minds.
While this might not be the way C. S. Lewis would phrase it, rereading the first chapter of The Screwtape Letters made me realize the dangers of exclusive attention to academic, objective truth.
We need to challenge ourselves and others to ask not only objectively, “What do Christians believe?” or “What should a Christian say or do?” but “As a Christian, what do I believe?”
We can certainly accept something as objectively true even if it is difficult to believe. A much bigger challenge and a hurdle for atheists and outsiders is to accept something as subjectively true in our hearts.
There is a balance that we must achieve and model for others and it only comes through active learning and discovery.
You cannot be a passive Christian.