“Because the church is the community of people whose humanity has been rescued from its self-destructive tendencies, the New Testament repeatedly calls believers to honor the contours of our created and redeemed nature. The ethics of the Kingdom do not call us to abandon our humanity, but to fulfill (in Christ) all of its capacities. … Since we were created to delight in the truth, local churches should be havens from whatever patterns of mendacity the world honors. And since we are made in the image of the Logos, created by a speaking God, surely Christians, of all people, should strive to display the best and brightest patterns of speech.”-Ken Myers
The local church cannot be a haven from whatever patterns of mendacity the world currently honors if the individual Christians are merely passively reflecting or actively embracing that culture. We can only offer a haven from such mendacity if we are deliberately developing and nurturing biblical thinking, free and independent from worldly trends. It’s not enough to notice what those patterns of mendacity are. We must actively embrace and nurture the opposite.
Mendacity: deception, falsehood
What patterns of mendacity does our world honor? Careful- it’s easy to answer with what amounts to our own pet peeves and political bugbears. It’s harder than one might think to spot the world’s current pet deceptions- When you are deceived, you don’t know it, because, um, you’re deceived. We absorb trendy falsehoods and patterns of deception and fallacies with our air and water, we take them in as unspoken assumptions without ever even noticing that we’ve swallowed a foreign body to Christianity, or what’s wrong with it.
See C.S. Lewis In the introduction to On the Incarnation: De Incarnatione Verbi Dei :
“…Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books. All contemporary writers share to some extent the contemporary outlook—even those, like myself, who seem most opposed to it. Nothing strikes me more when I read the controversies of past ages than the fact that both sides were usually assuming without question a good deal which we should now absolutely deny. They thought that they were as completely opposed as two sides could be, but in fact they were all the time secretly united—united with each other and against earlier and later ages—by a great mass of common assumptions. We may be sure that the characteristic blindness of the twentieth century—the blindness about which posterity will ask, “But how could they have thought that?”—lies where we have never suspected it.
…None of us can fully escape this blindness, but we shall certainly increase it, and weaken our guard against it, if we read only modern books. … Not, of course, that there is any magic about the past. People were no cleverer then than they are now; they made as many mistakes as we. But not the same mistakes. They will not flatter us in the errors we are already committing; and their own errors, being now open and palpable, will not endanger us. Two heads are better than one, not because either is infallible, but because they are unlikely to go wrong in the same direction.”
By modern, here, I would suggest that we consider anything less than 125 years old to be ‘modern.’
(slightly adapted repost)