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What is Truth?

An apologetic foundation for anyone attempting to evangelise a postmodern neighbour.

What is Truth? – Evangelising the Post-Modern World

By: Joshua Madden

Modern philosophy has limited the understanding of reason, resulting in a radical scepticism concerning our capacity to comprehend reality as it truly is and fostering an atmosphere of nihilism and uncertainty.

In What is Truth?, Joshua Madden presents a compelling case to address these concerns and provide a solid basis for those who wish to spread the Gospel to their postmodern neighbour.

To effectively communicate the Gospel’s joy in today’s context, Madden suggests that individuals must rediscover the potential to know objective truths about themselves and the world. Madden concludes that this groundwork, known as the preambula fidei, makes it possible to truly know the living God, who has revealed Himself in Christ.

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Evangelising the Post-Modern World

What is Truth? Joshua Madden

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Powerful Quotes from What is Truth?

“The modern turn away from objectively known truth is a turn down a road which ultimately dead ends in nihilism. If truth cannot be known with any certainty, and if the human experience does not obtain to reality, then what can remain to modern man’s approach to life but a radical scepticism? And if the fundamental attitude of our time is one of scepticism, even in regard to the everyday, the ordinary and the natural, how could it not be one of even greater scepticism of the supernatural?”

“Is faith reducible to blind obedience, holding sway over the mind in dictatorial fashion to the exclusion of reason and rational judgment? Or can the mind come to knowledge of things … such as the reality of objective truth and the existence of God? Furthermore, is faith truly incompatible with reason?”

“No longer is the existence of God seen as an acceptable thesis, nor even a possible one… No longer can we assume general goodwill and a common ground in the widespread confidence that there is some kind of transcendent good beyond us that we may not know.”

Read an Extract: The Roots (and the Flowering) of Modern Nihilism

The modern turn away from objectively known truth is a turn down a road which ultimately dead ends in nihilism. If truth cannot be known with any certainty, and if the human experience does not obtain to reality, then what can remain to modern man’s approach to life but a radical scepticism? And if the fundamental attitude of our time is one of scepticism, even in regard to the everyday, the ordinary and the natural, how could it not be one of even greater scepticism of the supernatural? As stated by St John Paul II and already quoted above, “[n]ihilism is at the root of the widespread mentality which claims that a definitive commitment should no longer be made.” It is claimed that God, existence and reality cannot be known by us, that we simply have our own concepts of things, and that one is as good as any other. The ordinary person on the street is happy to “live their own truth”. In what is certainly a statement most indicative of modern thought – and what may prove to be the most culturally enduring statement of his career – American supreme court justice Anthony Kennedy infamously declared the following:

“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”

Continue Reading This Extract on the CTS Blog

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