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What Happened?

If you had to sum up an entire year with one word, what would it be? So much happens within a twelve month period, that might be a difficult assignment. However, there are people out there who fastidiously do it. Every year!

Imagine that you’ve been asked to distill 2016 down to one word. Do you remember what was going on then?

Recently, author, Bud Ahlheim, referred to this in a piece he wrote for Pulpit & Pen (an online blog):

“The word of the year selected by Oxford Dictionaries (other groups do it too, such as the American Dialect Society and Merriam-Webster) is, according to Oxforddictionaries.com, ‘a word or expression that we can see has attracted a great deal of interest over the last 12 months.’”

In 2016, after surviving the worst political season in history, what word could best describe the year?

Are you ready? It is: Post-truth

“This hyphenated adjective, says Oxford Dictionaries, is defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeal to emotion and personal belief.’” Interesting to say the least! This provides a great segue to a few questions that can generate discussion:

Questions for Dialogue

1. How does a church that is all about truth survive in a “Post-truth” age?

2. Why is “fake news” or false information so attractive?

3. What biblical stories underscore the importance of truth-telling?

4. Is it enough to just be truthful?

5. Does “Truth without skin” have any value?

6. What is the best response to a culture that devalues truth?

7. Which is more important, truth or love? (1 Corinthians 13).

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About Rich DuBose

Rich DuBose

is director of Church Support Services for the Pacific Union Conference

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