Earlier this month, I stood before a room full of Fellowship of Christian Athlete students at a private high school and briefly addressed the difference between subjective truth and objective truth. Subjective truth, I told them, is truth that is created; it is a matter of preference; it tells you more about the subject than the object(s) in question. Objective truth, on the other hand, is truth that is discovered; it can be either right or wrong; it is true apart from the subject.
Afterward I borrowed a page from the playbook of Brett Kunkle from Stand to Reason and gave the students a quiz on the topic. I offered statements — “Reese’s Pieces are better than M&Ms. The leaves on the trees change with the seasons.” — and they responded with either “subjective” or “objective.”
They did great — until we got to the last two statements on the list.
When I said, “It is wrong to torture toddlers for fun” — a moral claim — only three students spoke. All three said, “subjective.”
“Interesting,” I told them, brows raised. “Let’s try one more. ‘Jesus Christ is the Son of God.’”
These very intelligent high school students were products of their culture. They are fired upon from every direction with the idea that moral and religious truths are subjective in nature. This idea has so permeated our society that issues like abortion are only to be discussed with caveats such as, “This is my truth, but you are free to believe differently.” This thinking is not only grossly wrong — it is dangerous.
Twenty minutes later, after a brief presentation on Christianity as an objective worldview, these students were on fire. Not only could they reasonably believe that their faith and the truths it upholds are objectively true — they could learn to defend them!
Many students lingered after the 25-minute presentation to share questions and thoughts, and departed only after the bell had rung signaling their first classes of the day. They wanted more. This was unlike anything they had heard before, and after years of nibbling on the basics, they had caught a glimpse of the decadent banquet before them and yearned to dig in!
Moments like that one — seeing the hunger and excitement and passion ignited in the eyes and minds of students of all ages — are what excite me most. I'm looking forward to more opportunities in 2012.