Os Guinness Presents Lecture on Campus as Part of the McKinley Visiting Scholar Program
February 10, 2005
On Thursday, February 10, William McKinley Visiting Scholar Os Guinness spoke about "Time for Truth - Living Free in a World of Lies, Hype and Spin." As a theologian, he lived for 10 years in the Buddhist culture, later sat at the feet of a Hindu guru after studying at Oxford University and has authored over 20 books including: 'Prophetic Untimeliness: A Challenge to the Idol of Relevance' and 'Long Journey Home: A Guide to Your Search for the Meaning of Life.'
His focus on a universal truth was manifested in his argument that truth no longer means what it used to. He stated that the world sees truth as relative, dead and subject to power and varying perspectives.' To supplement his argument, he gave two 'companion crises,' which relate to truth: character and ethics.'
'In the modern discussion, it is worse to judge evil than to do evil,' said Guinness.
He explained two arguments directed at the careless people of the world, which he split into groups of Christians/Jews and 'citizens.'' To the Jews and Christians he asserted, 'Without truth, faith just descends to the swamp of popular beliefs that aren't worth believing.'' He also stated, 'Truth, at the end of the day, is a matter of theology, not philosophy.'
To the 'citizens' he said, 'Without truth, there is only manipulation,' as well as, 'without truth, there is no freedom.'' He explained what he meant by true freedom by stating, 'we are most free when we are most free to be what we are meant and designed to be.'
Finally, he gave two challenges that result from truth: to shape our desires to truth or to shape truth to our desires.' Guinness explained how shaping one's desires to truth may be uncomfortable and challenging, but will eventually be liberating.
'To people who say truth is dead: Without truth there will be no humanity or freedom,' Guinness declared.