Culture Shifts : We Aren’t In Kansas Anymore

It doesn’t take a genius to see that the times are changing.  This world is a totally different world than the one I grew up in.  We are debating issues now that were taken for granted ten years ago.  We are watching a new morality that looks a lot like the old immorality.  I admit, when I watch the news, I sometimes turn to my dog and say, “Chance, we sure aren’t in Kansas anymore.” 


Life is now not what it used to be, and we are forced to navigate the currents of radical moral change.  This is especially true for those of us who endeavor to help the next generation thrive as faithful believers in this context.  To do that, I believe, we must note some shifts in culture that will affect all who seek to live faithfully and effectively for Christ.


The first shift is a change in the minds of some as to the nature of truth.  I admit, I was skeptical when my professors in seminary used to teach us about this.  I kind of chuckled inside when they warned me that many were embracing a new understanding of the concept of truth that had a wide impact on our lives, but now it seems that joke is all on me.


At the risk of being too simplistic, I believe there are predominately two views of truth alive today. The first view is what I call an objective view of truth.  Those who hold this view believe that truth is something objective outside of us to which we must conform.  Truth is not ours to create, instead, it is ours to discover and respond accordingly.


The second view of truth is a subjective view.  Those who believe in a subjective idea of truth believe that truth is not something outside of us, but something within.  We do not discover truth; we create truth based on our unique cultural moment.


If you wonder which view of truth our contemporary culture embraces, I have two words for you—Gender Identity.  Perhaps no other issue illustrates our shift like this one.


In previous generations, gender was limited to two choices, and God picked.  It used to be when a person was born.  The doctor filled out the birth certificate as either male or female, because gender was a fact we discovered, not a truth we created.  


Now, when a baby is born, the doctor does not need to look.  All he or she has to do is get the birth certificate and write “to be determined.”


This leaves children dangerously, morally confused, for they were never meant to make up the rules, and the pressure to do so is breaking them.  And, it is part of the reason we have sky high depression and anxiety among teenagers.  And, it does not position them to flourish.


After all, if Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life, (and He did), there can be no true education—no intentional search for truth—apart from Him.  If a person is to flourish in the world God has made, Jesus must be at the center of our search for knowledge and wisdom.


That is why we at CLA never get tired of saying that we are a Christ-centered, classical school.  We are anchored in truth with Jesus at the center, because we know that the path to human flourishing is paved by the truth of God in Christ.


– Dr. Shane Arnold, Head of School