Roy Abraham Varghese

The objectives of the journal Truth, An International, Inter-disciplinary Journal of Christian Thought, have been well described in the Foreword and the Preface. The journal will focus, writes Dr. Bright, "on the positive task of presenting classical Christian theism and "baptizing" all that is best in modern thought while remaining loyal to the definitive divine self-revelation in Jesus Christ." "On another level," he continues, "it heralds the emergence of an era in which contemporary cliches and superstitions, such as the views that science has made religion irrelevant and that, intellectually, the Christian Faith belongs to the Dark Ages, will be swiftly laid to rest. This is so because the Directors and Advisors of the journal include some of the most creative and influential minds of our time who are at the cutting-edge of modern thought."

Truth is intended to be an inter-disciplinary, non-specialized quarterly journal for the academic community (students, professors, scholars) with a distinctively Christian perspective-though there will be non-Christian contributors too-and seeks to provide a critical analysis of crucial contemporary intellectual issues. The issues discussed will be scientific, philosophical, literary, historical or theological in nature. Political and economic affairs will be left to the mercy of those hapless journals, think-tanks and governments already studying them-though we will have studies of world-views and belief-systems underlying various political ideologies and systems.

The journal is, in some respects, the end-product of two conferences held in Dallas: Modern Thought and the Turn to Theism (March 7-12, 1983) and Christianity Challenges the University: An International Conference of Theists and Atheists (February 7-10, 1985). At both conferences, internationally known theistic and Christian thinkers explained the foundations of the Christian Weltanschaung. The second was notable inasmuch as it involved atheist and Christian thinkers from various disciplines in intense discussion of the most fundamental issues-a historic and unprecedented event. The Institute for Research in Christianity and Contemporary Thought, an international organization of Christian thinkers (and thinkers sympathetic to theism), was formed between these conferences. The members of the Boards of Directors and Advisors of Truth belong to the IRCCT. Truth, a subsidiary of Truth Inc., is being published and distributed in cooperation with the IRCCT, the International Christian Graduate University, Dallas Baptist University and the International Institute for Mankind. The journal will also work closely with organizations that have similar objectives like the International Academy of Philosophy and the International Foundation for the Human Sciences.

The Directors of the journal are committed Christians who are in general agreement with its overall objectives. The Board of Advisors is made up of thinkers who are either non-Christians sympathetic to the Judeo-Christian world-view or Christians sympathetic to the objectives of the journal but not necessarily willing to be identified with all of these objectives. The journal also has a Board of Respondents which is made up of atheistic (or non-theistic, as some would prefer to say) thinkers who, for the most part, may radically disagree with the positions presented in the journal. Their contributions will help make the journal a forum in which the Christian Faith can meet the influential thinkers and thought-forms of our age face to face.

Each issue of Truth will be devoted to discussion of a specific theme which is of interest to the international intellectual community and also relevant to the Christian world-view. Each issue will be edited by a thinker who is a specialist in the theme under discussion (this inaugural issue belongs to an as yet undetermined species because it covers a variety of themes and thus did not require the services of a specialist).

Volume 1 of Truth ranges over a variety of disciplines and themes: historian Paul Johnson looks for cause-and-effect relationships in the history of the 20th century and concludes that "much of the evil of the twentieth century is the direct or indirect consequence of the decline of Christianity"; statesman Charles Malik perceives the university as the most influential institution in the Western world and appeals to Christian thinkers to bridge the gulf between Jesus Christ and contemporary temples of science; philosopher Alvin Plantinga calls on Christian thinkers to display more autonomy, integrity and boldness consistent with their Christian convictions (he also suggests that philosophy may be useful as a substitute for rock music with Hegel taking the place of the Talking Heads, Immanuel Kant replacing the Beach Boys and Arthur Schopenhauer instead of the Grateful Dead); Professor Ralph McInerny contends that atheism runs against the grain of human experience and that, therefore, in the theism-atheism debate the burden of proof (or disproof) is on the atheist; psychologist Paul Vitz argues that the major barriers to belief in God are psychological and infers from case studies of famous atheists that their atheism can well be explained in terms of childhood experiences; Professor Nikolaus Lobkowicz concludes that Marxist ideology has in subtle ways conquered the West at least insofar as Marxist patterns of thinking "has gotten under the skin of Western intellectuals"; Professor Josef Seifert exposes the skepticism and relativism characteristic of much modern thought and draws on Augustine's work in laying the foundations of knowledge; astronomer Allan Sandage asserts that "many scientists are now driven to faith by their very work" and holds that there is no conflict between science and religious belief if it is understood that they treat different aspects of reality; physicist Henry Margenau gives a deeply moving account of his journey of faith (the first time he has done so in a public forum); biochemist Charles Thaxton surveys the history of science and arrives at the conclusion that modern science is a child of Christianity; astrophysicist Robert Jastrow analyzes recent work in astronomy which has forced astronomers "to the conclusion that the world began suddenly, in a moment of creation, as the product of unknown forces"; information theorist Hubert Yockey notes that many scientists are really talking religion and many theologians are talking science; Professor Norman Geisler analyzes the best known arguments against the possibility of miracles and finds that "the principle of repeatability which naturalists use to attack miracles actually boomerangs to support the miraculous" (the renowned logician I. M. Bochenski remarked to me that this paper presented the most cogent argument in defense of miracles he had come across); Professor Eleonore Stump urges more interaction between biblical scholars and philosophers of religion especially because "the seemingly authoritative historical tenets of contemporary biblical criticism are often enough based largely on unwarranted and unexamined interpretations and philosophical presuppositions, some of which constitute a denial of central Christian beliefs"; after an appraisal of recent scholarship on the historicity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Professor William Craig contends that "the resurrection appearances, the empty tomb, and the origin of the Christian faith - all point unavoidably to one conclusion: the resurrection of Jesus"; three noted Christian thinkers, Professors William Alston, David Martin, and Bernard Lonergan, briefly reflect on the foundations of their faith; Evangelical Edward Pauley and Catholic James Hitchcock explore the environs of "Mere Christianity"; Professor Peter Kreeft examines the traditional arguments for life after death and concludes that they do constitute an impressive case; the volume ends on a lighter note with my own layman's reflections on the content of the Faith. Despite the diversity of disciplines and themes, the various contributions seem to form a clearly defined pattern: they embody a Christianity which is not embarrassed or intimidated by modern thought and is, rather, emboldened by it, a Christianity which is unwilling to compromise its convictions but which does not shy away from the mainstream of modern intellectual life and, in fact, seeks to set its agenda.

The views expressed by the various contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsoring organizations or of the Boards of Directors and Advisors-and vice versa.

After this solemn disavowal we may wonder if there is anything at all that the Directors and the sponsoring organizations, at least, hold in common. They share, it seems to me, the common core of Christian belief which C. S. Lewis christened "Mere Christianity." One remarkable feature of the journal is the fact that it brings together Christian thinkers from denominations which are usually considered worlds apart, in particular Catholics and Protestant Evangelicals. To those with parochial perceptions it will come as a surprise that Dr. Billy Graham once said: "I have found that my beliefs are essentially the same as that of Orthodox Roman Catholics. For instance, they believe in the Virgin Birth, and so do I. They believe in the blood atonement of the cross, and so do I. They believe in the Resurrection and the coming judgment of God, and so do I. We only differ on some matters of later church tradition."[1] Echoing this conviction Archbishop Fulton Sheen said in an interview: "I think the closer we get to Christ the closer we get to one another. That is why one feels very much at home with a real Christian. Our differences as Protestants and Catholics are lovers' quarrels. Husbands and wives do not fight about their love for each another, it's about a damaged fender or a high meat bill. Their love for one another is never in question"[2].

Crusty old controversialists and perennial polemicists will not take kindly to the prospect of any such convergence of convictions. But what is foolishness and a stumbling block to them is wisdom to those who have become aware of the underlying unity among those whose minds and hearts and lives are centered on Jesus Christ.

Future projects of the journal include a seminar to be held in Yale, New Haven, in January 1986 on Artificial Intelligence and Human Mind-participants will include Sir John Eccles, Professor Henry Margenau and Professor Robert Jastrow- and a conference on the historical and theological significance of the New Testament narratives, Jesus Christ, God and Man: An International, Interdisciplinary Conference, to be held in Fall 1986. The dates for both events have not yet been finalized. On October 26, 1985, the journal will be hosting a lecture by Sir John Eccles on The Wonder Of Being Human in Dallas..

The publication of this issue was primarily made possible by the generosity and vision of seven people and I wish to express my deep gratitude to them: William Garrison, Bud and Jane Smith (all of whom made the journal and the conference Christianity Challenges The University economically viable), W. Marvin Watson, Cindy Brinker and Jeff and Zan Talburt. At various other levels and in various other ways the following people were of vital assistance in bringing this project to fruition: Brad and Deanna Anderson, Glenn Avant, John Clem, Ann Dodson, the Fedoryka family, Preston Garrison, W. William Harris, Daniel K. Hennessy, Ron Linam, Jon Shannon McClure, Steve Meyer, Burke Muldoon, Nina Jean Obel, Ruben and Caroline Ortega, Ralph and Mary Schutzmann, Steve and Bev Terrell and Cleal and Mitzi Watts. I wish also to thank my family, in particular my grandfather, M. M. Varghese, for their constant inspiration and dedication and, "this above all," for introducing me to the Joy and Peace and Love of Jesus Christ. Lastly, for sustaining me in this Joy and Peace and Love I wish to thank Stan Oakes, Ron Jenson and Dr. Bill Bright, faithful warriors in the Campus Crusade for Christ, a tidal wave of God's love sweeping through the world.


  1. Quoted in Curtis Mitchell's Billy Graham: Saint or Sinner (New Jersey: Fleming H. Revell, 1979).
  2. "Bottom-line Theology-An Interview with Fulton Sheen," Christianity Today, June 3, 1977, p. 10.