Can You Really Be on the Wrong Side of History?

August 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

Some are fond of labeling those whose opposing views seem dated or dogmatic as “on the wrong side of history.” There are plenty of problems with this argument—some of which Kevin DeYoung highlights well in his post What’s Wrong With the “Wrong Side of History” Argument? DeYoung refers to this common progressive retort as a phrase that “seeks to win an argument by not having one.”

980459_16649221-1But what ought to be the most obvious fault in that argument is this: History is a book that is continually being written and rewritten. It’s an irresolute judge who refuses to cast a final verdict. Placing someone on one side or the other of “history” is folly, of course, because “history” has yet to choose a side.

There is, however, a verdict that we can realize now, and that is the verdict of truth. You can be on the right or wrong side of truth and you can attain truth, as long as your understanding of truth is absolute, unchanging and grounded in the nature of God. Recall this dialog between Roman governor Pilate and the Son of God, two-thousand years ago.

“‘You are a king, then!’ said Pilate. Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to Me.’ ‘What is truth?’ retorted Pilate.” (John 18:37,38a)

Pilate was staring Truth right in the face—a face Pilate would have bruised and spit upon. We can do the same. We can choose a side of truth. As far as history goes, however, the jury is still out.

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