Searching for Truth in “The Truth Project” — Introduction

As a result of my recent move from beautiful Monterey, California, to the Middle East, where I’m experiencing an extremely high workload, this blog has been considerably quiet since my graduation from the Defense Language Institute last November.  It’s extremely tough to find the time to sit down and untie the various threads of thought generated by the several books on evolution and theology I’ve been reading in what little spare time I have.  So, the very fact that this blog has any new content at all since fall 2009 has everything to do with the prodding of Undeception‘s Steve Douglas.  As Steve wrote to me, “[something’s] usually better than nothing.”  So please take an excursion over to his wonderful blog and thank him personally.  😉
This new series that I’m launching, which features my takeaways from Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project, doesn’t focus solely on the creation/evolution debate.  The Truth Project, hosted by Dr. Del Tackett, is about the importance of discovering and holding to a biblical worldview.  I’m inclined to agree with Del and I’m fairly confident that there is much in the DVD series onto which I can comfortably hang my hat.  However, the question is begged, What does it truly mean to possess a biblical worldview?  Surely, there are just as many “biblical worldviews” as there are Christian denominations.  And certain of those myriad of “biblical worldviews” will impact one’s views on the creation/evolution debate directly.  It just so happens that the “biblical worldview” suggested by The Truth Project (hereafter, TTP) to be the biblical worldview rams headlong into a denial of both scientific truth and objective reality (especially when it comes to discerning the true nature of the Bible).
The group with which I’m watching the series meets weekly on Friday nights, so you can expect a new blog post every week (Insha’allah!) for the next 3-4 months.  Hang on to your hats, folks.  This should be an interesting ride …

11 Comments

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11 Responses to Searching for Truth in “The Truth Project” — Introduction

  1. I'm game! Do you have a Twitter?

  2. Awesome! I've been wary of the "Truth Project" and FoFs bashing of anyone who doesn't profess their exact version of "The Truth." I'm pretty sure most of their Truth is heavily influenced by stuff that isn't straight from God's mouth, and thus isn't the Truth.

    I look forward to it! It's always encouraging to find more thinking Christians.

  3. My husband and I watched TTP several years back at our former church. I think they did a somewhat reasonable job at trying to be objective. There is some bias towards the evangelical POV, but it is, after all, an evangelical production for the purpose of educating other evangelicals. It will be interesting to see what someone with your POV will find in the series (I'm over here thanks to Steve, btw).

  4. Vince:

    I do have Twitter, but only because I was forced to obtain an account for government purposes. However, I don't access it much.

    Annkia:

    I do like the concept of The Truth Project, but I think that in the process of attempting to determine what is true, we must be willing to admit that we might not possess the entire truth. I know that sounds a little post-modern, but I mean it to sound more humble than post-modern. My worldview comports to TTP's to a considerable degree; thus, my real aim with this series is to not bash TTP but rather to moderate its grandiose claims and bring it in contact with objective reality.

    Heather: We all have our biases, which is something that Del Tackett fails to admit. This is TTP's biggest problem. So far, I have yet to find the smallest hint of humility in the series.

  5. RBH

    Like the other commenters, I'm looking forward to your remarks on TTP, Mike.

    And I got a Twitter account, tweeted just once (wincing at the verb form), and gave it up: I have to ration my obsessions. 🙂

  6. I went through TTP last year. I found many things about it to be quite distressing. For one, according to Tackett, there is indeed just one version of "The Truth" and anything that is not in total agreement with it isn't just mistaken, it's EVIL.

    TTP also presents a dominionist point of view that is contrary to what my own denomination teaches; I am concerned that this TTP is presented as some sort of generic Christian approach when there's an obvious political/doctrinal agenda.

    Anyway, when you get to the 2-part presentation on science, you'll see the direct influence of the Discovery Institute. It's heavily weighted toward their version of Intelligent Design (and Darwin is relentlessly demonized; no surprise there).

    My church has just started the series that's a spin-off of TTP: it's called True U, and it's designed specifically for high school and college kids – teaches them how to hold on to their faith in face of the opposition they'll encounter. That's a great idea, but once again, it teaches them that evolution is a lie. In fact, the first two episodes are hosted by Stephen Meyer of the DI.

    I wish you well in your examination of The Truth Project Conspiracy!

  7. Thanks for your comments, Nancy. However, could you elaborate on your remark that TTP presents a "dominionist point of view"? I'm sure I'll get to the session in question, but I just want to make sure how you define "dominionist."

    For the science sessions, I actually viewed those privately several months ago. And you're right: Lesson 5 is really just one big advertisement for the Discovery Institute. I can't wait to get to that session in my series. 😉

  8. Mike:
    Thanks for the response. Concerning the Twitter account, the reason I ask is because I do most of my blog reading and interaction via cell phone and Twitter is a great way for me to keep up with the blogs that I enjoy reading and interacting with (much like your buddy Steve's blog, which I have just recently stumbled upon via Twitter).
    Let me know if you do decide to open one for the sole purpose of expaning your reading community. Thanks!

  9. Wow… I have been investigating Science, the Bible, evolution… the whole spectrum for quite some time now, especially in the last few months. I relate very closely to your stories. Our church is studying The Truth Project, and I intentionally sought out a small group where I hoped we could discuss some of these ideas. We are about to start our 3rd week, and I get the distinct impression that our leaders don't quite know what to do with me. There is so much good to learn, but I am frustrated that Mr. Tackett intentionally obfuscates the very Truth he purports to be disseminating. THANK YOU ( !!!!! ) for your blog. I just found it today, and have been reading everything for a few hours now. It is so nice to know I am not alone.

    And, bless you, also, for your service. My dad is a retired Navy Capt. and Viet Nam vet. Regardless of political views, I respect the sacrifice you are making.

    Blessings!

    -Laura

  10. Hi Mike –
    In regards to the dominionist viewpoint – well, I'm a Lutheran, and we subscribe to the two kingdoms point of view; we don't feel that we have to create God's kingdom here on earth. We'll just follow Jesus and leave that to him.

    I don't know if dominionist is the correct term, really – maybe Christian Reconstructionism fits better. And it's not just one episode, but an ethos that seems to permeate the project. There's a sense of urgency, of warfare, to obliterate the enemy. And their approach is useless as Christian apologetics – it's really presuppositional apologetics, beginning with the assumption that the Bible is completely true and that there's no need to prove it so. Wikipedia describes it thusly, and this seems to define Tackett's approach: "The presuppositional apologetics of Cornelius Van Til… holds there is no neutrality between believers and nonbelievers, that the Bible reveals a self-authenticating worldview and system of truth, and that non-Christian, non-Reformed belief systems self-destruct when they become more consistent with their presuppositions."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_Reconstructionism

  11. @Laura,

    Many belated thanks for your comments. (I'm slowly digging my way out of my email inbox.) Indeed, you are NOT alone! 😀

    Our church is studying The Truth Project, and I intentionally sought out a small group where I hoped we could discuss some of these ideas. We are about to start our 3rd week, and I get the distinct impression that our leaders don't quite know what to do with me.

    How did your church's TTP experiment go? I'd love to hear more about your experiences.

    @Nancy:

    I'm a Lutheran, and we subscribe to the two kingdoms point of view; we don't feel that we have to create God's kingdom here on earth. We'll just follow Jesus and leave that to him.

    Amen! One of the reasons I've temporarily ceased blogging on TTP is because my own views of the relationship between church and state are evolving, and the next several lessons deal with just that topic. (I hope to pick up where I left off fairly soon.)

    … it's not just one episode, but an ethos that seems to permeate the project. There's a sense of urgency, of warfare, to obliterate the enemy.

    Yes, I understand what you're talking about now, but I would hesitate to put Tackett & Co. into the Christian Reconstruction camp. From what I understand of Christian Reconstructionism, even the Hebrew scriptures should be used to "reconstruct" American society, and I don't sense that Tackett would go that far.

    … their approach is useless as Christian apologetics – it's really presuppositional apologetics, beginning with the assumption that the Bible is completely true and that there's no need to prove it so.

    Which is why I've abandoned presuppositional apologetics as the basis for examining both the natural world as well as my personal take on theology. It only works with those who already presuppose an identical foundational worldview.

    Thanks for your comments, Nancy.

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