“We live in a country in epistemological crisis,” David Brooks laments in his most recent op-ed in the New York Times. Brooks acknowledges that this is not just an American problem but has become a global crisis. “All around the world, right-wing populist parties are floating on oceans of misinformation and falsehood. What’s going on?”

I share Brooks’ lament and alarm. The erosion of truth in public life only seems to be accelerating. I see it in my own church and community, and it’s taking its toll, especially on the way we show up with each other.

One of my deep convictions is that we, as Christians, are called to be truth-seekers and truth-tellers. It’s part of our holy vocation as stewards of culture. We care about language–not just the words we use but how we use them. We care about the exchange of ideas. We care about wrestling with reality and not just confirming what we already believe or want to be true. This is not to say that Christians have a corner on the truth (we have plenty of our own family squabbles about all the nuances of what is truth). In the words of my good friend J. Todd Billings: “As Christians we don’t claim to own the truth; rather, we claim that we are owned by the One who is the Truth.”

This is why I read The Twelve regularly and consider it such a privilege to be a contributor. In my view, The Twelve is seeking to create a healthy online space where we can, daringly and humbly, pursue the truth together in all its nuances and paradox and yes, even tension. I’m grateful for the thoughtfulness and vulnerability exhibited by the chorus of writers, and their willingness to invite us into a kind of honest wrestling with truth as we think deeply about theology, culture, politics, art and daily life. We can disagree with each other without being divisive, push each other without being polarizing (or at least try our best), and strive to let our words and ideas point to the One who is the Truth.

Thank you for being such a faithful reader of The Twelve. We are grateful for you!

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Brian Keepers

Brian Keepers is the lead pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa.

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