Saving Truth by Abdu Murray, published by Zondervan
“Today humans have no skin. They are all nerves.” This is not a quote from Saving Truth but I think the quote is well illustrated in this just released book by Abdu Murray. It seems many people in the world but especially in the USA make decision on the basis of their feelings. Facts are mostly irrelevant.
Two recurring phrases in Saving Truth are “preference over facts” with the corresponding end result “the Culture of Confusion”. And for the record this book is not based on feelings or “confirmation bias” this book is based on solid evidence and research.
In nine chapters Mr. Murray, who grew up as a Muslim, tackles many of the polarizing issues of the day and not only shows that many people are all nerves and no skin. Many people make life changing or life-threatening decision based on how they feel not by reasoning.
The initial chapter introduces the main theme with a question, “what if there is no fixed point of reference?” and illustrates how our culture seems to be at that point. So how do we know if we are moving at all or if we are going forward or backward.
In talking about his own conversion, he wrote, “The truth wasn’t hard to find. It was hard to embrace.” So, he reminds us that the issue isn’t truth but rejection of the truth. He tells of a young man who had become an atheist by watching YouTube videos and not once reading a book that would have answered legitimate questions about Christianity. In Mr. Murray’s words, “He wanted to disbelieve, so he turned to sources that would reinforced his own preferences….”
That seems to be a hallmark of our culture and it is certainly true of the Church and Christians as well, unfortunately. Fittingly, the second chapter of the book is entitled Confusion and the Church: Seductions of the Post-Truth Mindset. This is an important chapter in more ways than one. First, it lets the reader know this is not a book about Us vs. Them. We are all vulnerable to the cultural post-truth virus.
Secondly this chapter reminds the reader, especially the Christians, that truth must be wedded to grace. This is the calling of our Master, Jesus whose message was not the Law but grace and truth.
Subsequent chapters are specific to current issues of our day: Freedom, Human Dignity, Sexuality and Gender, Science and Faith, Religious Pluralism and a concluding chapter on Clarity’s Hope.
Each one of these issues is presented from a reasoned, evidentiary foundation. For example, when Mr. Murray writes about religion and science he presents the background of the arguments that seem to pit religion against science. He mentions and quotes leading scientists who are Christians. This book would be a valuable resource to carry around when the issue of science and faith comes up. Mr. Murray has already done a lot of research so let him speak.
I appreciate the sensitivity with which he presented gender dysphoria. While acknowledging the pain suffered by those who struggle with their gender identity he also writes there are those who are looking, not for help in the struggle, but rather autonomy. The response of the Christian regardless of the motivation should be biblically faithful compassion (page 149 in proof copy).
In the chapter on religious pluralism the writer shows that all religions are not fundamentally the same. By comparing the tenets of Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Atheism and the claims of Christ he puts to rest any idea that they are all the same. He demonstrates the reality hinted at in the title of the book Saving Truth. The truth of Christ does save.
This book is well researched with an extensive note section for those who want to follow up. The author quotes broadly from scientists like Charles Darwin and francs Crick to apologists like C.S. Lewis and an alternative rock band Crash Parallel. Mr. Murray has listened, has studied and acted on the facts rather than reacted on the basis of his feeling.It is important to recognize that not only does the truth of Jesus Christ save but that is it important that those who follow Christ have as a goal Saving Truth. It we don’t preserve the truth in our lives and in our witness, truth may be lost.