Chaplain Chats – What is Truth?

The world of our students is moving at such a pace that keeping up with cultural trends can be difficult for both parents and students. I try, as a Chaplain, to keep connected to the movements and influences that are happening all around us. But sometimes culture moves and many of us only become aware until after it has changed: blink and you miss it!

Yet some things stay the same and one question being asked is very similar to another asked several thousand years ago. We know about this two-thousand-year-old question because it is recorded in the most read book in history. In the Bible, we follow a conversation on the last day of Jesus’ life, when he is talking to a very powerful man, Pontius Pilate, who was the Roman governor of Judea. Their back-and-forth is a fascinating read, with Jesus responding to Pilate’s inquiries by telling him that truth seekers would listen to Jesus. This drew a question from Pilate that is still being asked today, especially by our students. Pilate retorts, “What is truth?”

In this modern world, the rise of artificial intelligence, the growth of private online interactions and the increase in media spin is causing our young people to return to this same question. We can now hear recordings or watch videos of people saying or doing things that are entirely generated by artificial intelligence, while ‘fake news’ channels can show a ‘real’ image that can support two contrasting views. This blurring of reality is leaving young people and all of us in this culture distrustful of any truth!

In caring for our students, I can only point to and display the one thing that has continued to remain true for me, and so many others for so long: Jesus is the truth.

Peter Chase
College Chaplain • Pastoral Care

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