01 February 2013

No honesty without truth

Every Friday, to commemorate the stellar contributions to internet apologetics and punditry made by our founder and benefactor, Phil Johnson, the unpaid and overworked staff at TeamPyro presents a "best of Phil" post to give your weekend that necessary kick.

This excerpt is from the blog back in November 2008.  Phil decries the postmodern deconstruction of "honesty" and the false humility that it produced.

As usual, the comments are closed.

Among the many words (and concepts) that have been deconstructed and redefined for these postmodern times is the idea of honesty.

You know: doubt is the new "humility"; free-thinking is the new "tolerance"; moral apathy is the new "charity"; and now querulousness is the new "honesty."

To the postmodern mind, "honesty" has come to mean the uninhibited venting of every egocentric feeling, every nagging doubt, every petty complaint, every subversive thought, and every negative passion. Maturity and discretion used to keep people from indiscriminately expressing certain potentially-destructive thoughts aloud—much less broadcasting them to the world. In fact, a natural—and valid—sense of shame kept most of our ancestors from publishing detailed memoirs of their own crimes and misdemeanors for all the world to see (cf. Ephesians 5:12).

But nowadays you can blog a detailed account of your latest argument with your spouse; post it so that everyone from here to Timbuktu can read it; claim you are simply journaling a candid confession—baring your very soul for the cathartic effect such unbridled candor brings; and then just luxuriate in the warmth of countless flattering comments from voyeurs who will enthusiastically congratulate you for your "refreshing honesty."

As if such "honesty" were in short supply these days.

There are forums in every corner of the Internet where people enthralled with that style of honesty go to exhibit the mischief in their brains for one another's benefit, and to enjoy one another's fulminations. You've got the pub-themed group blogs on the dark side of the Christian blogosphere, countless forums and e-mail lists that serve a similar purpose, and plenty of participants all around who are happy to reinforce one another's petulance—all in the name of transparency.


See, the thing is—real honesty is about truth. And if your attitude toward truth ranges anywhere from angry contempt to blithe indifference, you don't get to pat yourself on the back for your "honesty," no matter how unrestrained or exhibitionistic you let yourself be with those things you'd probably be better off seeking private help for.

"A fool vents all his feelings, but a wise man holds them back" (Proverbs 29:11).