Session 8, Del Tackett — 2012 National Conference
The eighth session of the 2012 Ligonier National Conference was a plenary address by Dr. Del Tackett titled “When Worlds Collide.”
Here are a several highlights from his message.
The real conflict is between contradictory truth claims
Physical worlds are not really colliding. Nations rise against nations and human beings against other human beings, but those are not the real conflicts. The real conflict is between contradictory truth claims. There are many worldviews, which are sets of truth claims that purport to describe reality. Obviously they cannot all be true because they are contradictory.
The idea behind postmodernity is very old
Jean-Francois Lyotard defined postmodernism as incredulity to all metanarratives. Postmodernism scoffs at any suggestion that there is a larger story that gives an all-encompassing explanation for everything. But while postmodernism is a recent phenomenon, this idea is very old. God taught Adam and Eve the larger story. Satan said it was not a good story and was, in fact, an attempt to oppress them.
The “story” of today’s generation
Young people today have been raised in a story that says, “It’s all about you.” We live in a world filled with manipulators. Everyone wants to manipulate everyone else to enhance his or her own story. This leads to the death of relationships, to isolation, to alienation, to a rejection of authority, and to loneliness. True relationships are built on sacrifice. When we find out we cannot convince others to honor our scripts, we become angry, hateful, bitter, depressed, and despondent.
What does this have to do with the Christian mind? Everything. All of us are prone to attempt to write our own scripts, and all of us may experience having our scripts trashed. We must believe God’s metanarrative and live on the basis of it.
Dr. Del Tackett is the author and architect of Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project, a nationwide initiative advocating the importance of developing a Christian worldview. He is a former director of technical planning for the U.S. National Security Council, and is currently an adjunct professor at New Geneva Theological Seminary and Summit Ministries.