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  • Writer's pictureKent Brandenburg

Inside Voice or Outside Voice

Sometimes I speak of a contrast between an inside voice and an outside voice. The inside voice becomes the outside voice. Temperance requires holding back from saying everything in your head. Keep it to yourself. Maybe you shouldn’t even be thinking it in the first place. That’s all good, but it’s not what I’m talking about as an inside voice and an outside voice.

I’m asking instead, from where does meaning arise, from an inside voice or an outside voice? For most of history from the Lord Jesus Christ up until at least the nineteenth century, people agreed that the basis or grounds of truth, goodness, and beauty originated from outside of man, not from his inside. Truth, goodness, and beauty comes from God, so they are transcendent. Because they are defined outside of man, they are objective, not subjective.

What is truth, goodness, and beauty do not change in meaning depending on how people feel or even what they think. Some people reject God and also then reject meaning for life. This took off in the 19th century with what’s called “the Romantic Period.” Personal feeling took on a place of authority. You decided what was true, good, and beautiful based on your inside voice, mainly what you felt about it.

Then instead of God, outside of you, telling you Who He was, He could be who or what you wanted Him to be. This resulted in the explosion of new religions and cults in the 19th century. It’s only become worse. Now people think their truth, their goodness, and their beauty is truth, goodness, and beauty. Because of this, even if people aren’t atheist, they become apathetic about God. He just doesn’t matter that much, because so many different opinions exist about Him.

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