The two staff members guarding the jail unit where Jeffrey Epstein apparently killed himself fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours, according to this morning’s New York Times. They then falsified records to cover up their mistake. The two employees were placed on administrative leave yesterday and the warden of the jail was temporarily reassigned.
Next month, the remains of FBI bank robber John Dillinger will be exhumed. For eighty-five years since his death, conspiracy theorists have claimed that the FBI killed a body double. DNA testing could confirm the corpse’s true identity.
Conspiracies have always been with us. Some are fostered by people in power who want to stay in power, as when the religious authorities claimed that the disciples stole Jesus’ body (Matthew 28:11–15). Most, however, reflect a distrust of power by those who do not have it.
What percent of Americans believe in absolute truth?
Stated very briefly, the idea is that our minds interpret our senses, but since our minds and senses are personal and subjective, our truth claims must therefore be personal and subjective as well. This theory gained currency in the eighteenth century with German philosopher Immanuel Kant and became pervasive in Europe through the influence of Friedrich Nietzsche and others.
It did not become popular in American thinking, however, until after World War II. European intellectuals began teaching more commonly in American universities; American scholars began studying more frequently in Europe; advances in global communications bridged longstanding cultural gaps.
How are Christians to advance biblical truth in a culture that doesn’t believe in truth?
We can proclaim the fact that “all Scripture is inspired by God” (2 Timothy 3:16 NASB), but skeptics will liken us to Muslims who believe the Qur’an or Mormons who believe the Book of Mormon. Evidence for the veracity of Scripture is outstanding (see my “Why do we believe the Bible is actually the word of God?”), but some will (illogically) claim that such evidence is just “our truth.”
In a post-truth culture, it is vital that we demonstrate the truthfulness of Scripture by its relevance to our lives. When we show others the difference God’s word has made in our character and compassion, the Holy Spirit will use our witness to draw them to our Lord.
There was a day when people believed that if something was right, it must be relevant. Today, if it’s relevant, it might be right.
In a very real sense, we are back where we started. The first Christians had no completed New Testament, no church buildings, and no social status in the Roman Empire. Their strongest arguments were their personal integrity and public ministry. When others saw the relevance of Christian truth for their lives, they were drawn to their faith.
How to be an “incredible witness”
Now it’s our turn. Whatever we learn about the death of Jeffrey Epstein, the world deserves to know about the resurrection of Jesus. The people you meet today are more likely to believe Christ is risen if they see the risen Christ in you.
Henry Blackaby: “What an incredible witness it is to a lost and fearful society when the Christian acts like a child of God.”
Let’s be such a witness today, to the glory of God.
Read our latest contributed article: I interviewed author Mary DeMuth on the topic of her recently released book, We Too: How the Church Can Respond Redemptively to the Sexual Abuse Crisis. I encourage you to read her inspiring, challenging answers.