I have a nice cup of coffee beside me, worship music going, and all of my kids are still asleep. My blinds are cracked and natural light is streaming through. Can I freeze this moment and at least make it last for a few hours? I woke at 5 am. Honestly, I often give up sleep to prioritize a window of time to start my day where I can sit, think, pray, write, etc. Sometimes I just go out and sit in a lawn chair on our driveway so that I can see the sunrise.
This morning is a little different though. For the second time in two months, I have the wonderful privilege of standing in for one of our elders at Diamondhead Community Church. He often goes out and preaches in churches that do not have a pastor. Over a month ago, he asked me to teach on having a biblical worldview. We have talked extensively and he knows that this is something I care deeply about. For this second time, he asked that I continue the talk. I am honored! It starts at 9 am, so I am up finishing my preparations. It is so important to me to do all things with excellence (1 Cor. 10:31; Col. 3:17, etc.).
I have decided to focus on the events in NCAA Division I swimming. Lia Thomas, formerly known as William Thomas, swam for the University of Pennsylvania’s men’s swim team from 2017–2021. However, after transitioning to being a trans-woman, Lia swam for the women’s team at the same university and won the NCAA Division I championship in the 500-yard freestyle event. This sparked an intense conversation on so many levels, particularly concerning how fair this is to the other contestants that are biologically female. After all, one cannot deny that while William was an average-to-good swimmer in men’s competitions, she immediately won the NCAA Div I championship in an event after transitioning.
So how does this apply to what I am teaching? In USA Today, Lia is reported to have said: “I transitioned to be happy, to be true to myself.” The key word here is “true.” Focusing on John 18:28–38, I will focus on Pilate’s question: “What is truth?” This will plunge us into the term “expressive individualism” which was coined in 1996 and is discussed in great detail in two of Carl Trueman’s books (one academic in nature, the other written for a non-academic audience). Let me say clearly: I am more convinced than ever that Christians, especially evangelical and Reformed pastors, need to be be reading and deeply reflecting on what Carl Trueman has to say. So, we will look at how expressive individualism has won the day in people’s thinking—unfortunately, I detect this often even in the way that Christians think about various aspects of reality including moral issues—and how this, in many ways, is diametrically opposed to a biblical worldview. Regarding truth, a biblical worldview affirms the following:
•Truth is discovered, not created (total rejection of any postmodern notions)
•Truth is objective and therefore universal, not subjective and local
•Truth is not decided by the individual person
•Truth is not decided by a specific culture
•Truth is not decided by reason although reason can help discover it (after all, our reason was also affected by the Fall, thus it is corrupted along with our will and cannot be fully trusted)
•Truth is not decided by a person’s feelings no matter how “right” they seem or how strong they are
I pray that it is helpful as we seek to “love the Lord your God . . . with all your mind.”