Posted by: smstrouse | March 24, 2017

From ‘Is God Dead?’ to ‘Is Truth Dead?’


I was only sixteen when the iconic Time “Is God Dead? cover appeared on April 8, 1966. I wasn’t at all theologically adept then, but I do remember being intrigued. After all it was 1966 and “Question Authority” was becoming the mantra of my generation. And something obviously connected because I’m writing this as I’m attending the God Seminar sIMG_1833ponsored by Westar Institute.

Remember the Jesus Seminar? Here’s me dropping my bead into the box to vote on the question of whether “Is God Dead” has lost its freshness and radicality? And yes, it’s the same box and beads from the (in)famous Jesus Seminar.


I voted red on that question. But the question of the death of Truth is another story. Time editor Nancy Gibbs wrote in the new Times issue that just like many said they believed in God in 1966, many today “would say they believe in Truth, and yet we find ourselves having an intense debate over its role and power in the face of a President who treats it like a toy.”

Maybe this debate is even bigger than the one about God. My answer to the “God is dead” question would be “what’s your understanding of God?” We would do well to put to death some of our previous understandings. And it’s OK to have differing definitions, especially when we can have healthy conversations with one another about them.

But Truth? We’re not talking here about different claims of religious truth; we’re talking about facts. Not “alternative facts,” true facts. I know, that’s redundant, but some people today don’t seem to get that.

I hope there’s as much – or more – uproar about this issue of Time as there was about the 1966 one. I hope that members of the Truth Seminar forty years from now won’t even be talking or voting about this, that they’ll be laughing and remembering that short time when the country went crazy and declared Truth dead.

We’ve got to make that future a reality. We cannot allow Truth to be killed off.






  1. I remember the whole “Is God Dead?” kerfuffle well, almost to the point that it could well be marked as the starting point for the whole conservative Christianity’s imagined “America’s attack on Christianity”. Wonder if those same people are as upset about the Death of Truth? Probably not.


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