Time for Truth by Os Guinness

I thoroughly enjoy reading Guinness. He always stretches me, gives marvelous quotes, and is usually on the money in his evaluations. Time for Truth is no exception as it deals, in overview fashion, with the beliefs and consequences of postmodernism. What Guinness does so well is to carefully document the past philosophies that have taken us to where we are today. The Western world did not just wake up one day and decide that “truth” was out and “relativism” was in. No, it began with the thinkers in the past and has slowly filtered down to the people on the street, many of whom have never heard of postmodernism or Nietzsche. Books like these are important for two reasons – to tell us how we became the people we are today, and to warn us of what we might become tomorrow. Little errors in thinking can ultimately lead to huge heresies if not checked and challenged.

There are a few things that bother me, however, about all of Guinness works, including this one. First, on the annoying front, he almost never uses footnotes, and as a result his quotes cannot be verified without incredible effort. I guess Guinness expects us to believe that he is a man of integrity and thus can be trusted, but still, most serious readers want to know his sources.

Of more serious nature is his lack of discernment concerning Catholicism. Pope John Paul II (and other Roman Catholic thinkers) is a favorite source of Christian enlightenment to Guinness – never mind that by the test of Scripture the Pope is not a Christian at all. Either Guinness chooses to overlook this important tidbit or, more grievously, he does not have a strong handle on the Gospel message. Guinness is not alone in this error – it is becoming increasingly hard to find an evangelical author who does not quote, with favor, either the Pope or Mother Theresa. Nevertheless it is a sober breach of “truth” especially in a book on truth.