February 21, 2014

Polemics over Truth: Why the World doesn’t Trust Us

Rondall Reynoso
nancy Pearcey
Nancy Pearcey

Nancy Pearcey is a big name in evangelical circles. I loved her book Total Truth. And her newer book Saving Leonardo is in my pile of books to read, though I admit I will probably be a little more critical as she delves into my area of expertise…art. We also have a couple of mutual friends including a few of her fellow faculty members at Houston Baptist University so I decided to connect with her on Facebook. She often has thoughtful posts but I have also noticed a trend in her posts that I see in the broader evangelical world- polemic over truth. I find this especially disconcerting given the strength of her book Total Truth.

Today on Facebook Pearcey writes the comment “The media is in bed with the administration — literally, it turns out.” Then she includes some text from the article “Reporters Have Sex With Members of Congress, Obama Admin Senior Official Reportedly Claimed” to which she links. My first thought is, “That’s horrible! The Obama administration sure doesn’t know how to keep its nose clean.” Then I read the article only to discover that Pearcey’s comment about the administration being in bed with the media is completely misleading.

The article says nothing about the Obama administration being in bed with the media literally or figuratively. The only Obama administration official mentioned in the story is the source for saying that members of the media do sleep with people in Congress. The article cites columnist Bob Beckel who on Fox News’ “The Five” “recalled one female reporter who ‘slept with at least two members of Congress’ and a female lobbyist who ‘slept with probably eight members of Congress.'” This was as far back as the Carter administration and other sources say the same thing happened while George W. Bush was in office. It had nothing to do with any presidential administration and exactly nothing to do with the Obama administration. However, Pearcey completely misrepresented it. The saddest part is that it led to comments like:

“I’m shocked. SHOCKED. This explains the Obama porn on the news every day and night.”

“The people that voted them in practice the same morales. So they probably won’t be voted out.”

“Obama will go down in history as the Great Redeemer. Just look at what he has accomplished. He makes Jimmy Carter look conservative, GW Bush look intelligent, Nixon look honest, & Bill Clinton look moral…”

The reality is that this post isn’t really about Nancy Pearcey. She is just the public figure that made me think about this tonight. This is about Christians and our relationship to the truth. We are often far too casual with it and are often misleading or even dishonest. I don’t know Nancy’s heart in this issue. Maybe, I pray, it was an oversight, an accident. But, this sort of polemic comes from Christians so often that we are either incredibly sloppy thinkers or prefer engaging in polemics over truth. Our commitment needs to be to truth. We must prove ourselves trustworthy to a watching world. Lets be frank, the world often doesn’t trust us…and we give them good reason.

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Rondall Reynoso


Rondall is an artist, scholar, and speaker. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. He holds an MFA in Painting and an MS in Art History from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY and is completing a Ph.D. in Art History and Aesthetics from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA.

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  • I use to read the comments sections of news articles online to see what people were thinking. I’ve learned that people just aren’t thinking at all. So now, I only read them if I’m in the mood for for reading something that may as well have been conjured up at the offices of the Enquirer.

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