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The New York Times and The Atlantic speak God’s truth?


In search of happiness and fulfillment, we often encounter a culture that encourages us to define our own truths, suggesting that satisfaction can be found in personal, subjective realities. This notion echoes the postmodernist perspective as expressed by playwright Harold Pinter, who ironically claims, “There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false; a thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be both true and false.”

We are to live our truth and allow others to live their truth, but never should we claim the truth.

Yet, according to the empirical evidence, there is a better way to lead life than others. And unsurprisingly, this superior life was fashioned by life’s Creator.

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This reality was recently highlighted in articles published by The Atlantic and The New York Times— two outlets not typically known for promoting biblical values.

In a piece published in The Atlantic, sociology professor Brad Wilcox speaks to the “enormous benefits” given to children when born into a married, stable household. Yet, as Wilcox articulates, “Many elites today — professors, journalists, educators, and other culture-shapers—publicly discount or deny the importance of marriage, the two-parent family, and the value of doing all that you can to ‘stay together for the sake of the children.’”

Despite an unwillingness among elites to say that one familial dynamic may be objectively better than another, Wilcox’s research highlights that progressives tend to privately value the structure provided by a two-parent marriage. “On family matters, they ‘talk left’ but ‘walk right,’” he writes. In other words, our culture claims relativism because it is fashionable, but lives definitively because it is practical.

In The New York Times, opinion columnist Pamela Paul recently scrutinized the American compulsion to expedite irreversible interventions for children struggling with gender dysphoria, contending that “returning to reason” would be “the right thing to do.” Paul does not fully deconstruct the reality-denying notion that one may “transition” into the opposite sex. But she’s hinting that maybe there is a certain modus operandi to life that fosters human flourishing.

Both articles point out that there are limitations — and consequences — to living “your” truth. They signal that there are bounds worth following and ideals worth conserving.  

This echoes the Christian perspective articulated by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, where he presents the concept of a universal moral law — pointing to a divine Lawgiver and contending that objective truths, grounded in God's design, are essential for true fulfillment.

As the Apostle Paul describes in Romans, God’s invisible attributes, “namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” The New York Times and The Atlantic are not out here spreading the hope of the Gospel. They are, however, inadvertently highlighting God’s truth and design.

Vance Voetberg is a writer for Alliance Defending Freedom’s Church & Ministry Alliance, which exists to equip and empower Gospel-centered churches and ministries to boldly live out their missions and transform culture with the truth.

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