The show focused on the race against time to build the new bridge before a major earthquake strikes the area. According to geologists it is time, but the bridge is far from done. There was the usual drama over time lines and budgets, but that is not what caught our attention.
When they were interviewing one of the builders, he explained how in decades past people thought that the best way to help a structure survive the earthquake was to build it as solid and sturdy as possible. But after a major earthquake hit the area and damaged many of the sturdiest structures, they are now focused on buildings that can sway and move. During the piece, they showed how one particular section of the new bridge had at least 6 feet of sway built into the structure.
What does this say about truth you ask? Well, in the last century the truth lens of positivism ruled the thinking of scientists, builders and financiers alike. This way of thinking said that all truth was knowable and claimed that the job of mankind was to build the most solid foundation possible by accumulating truth in an effort to collect it all.
But just as an earthquake shattered the illusion of safety in sturdy buildings, post-modernity and relativism shattered the idea that all truth was knowable. People began to look at those towers of truth they had built and realized that there were many hidden holes and cracks.
Today a new truth lens is emerging called critical realism (the one we share about in our book "Through the River"). This new way to look at truth says that there is a common foundation on which we can build, however the key to stability is having plenty of give in your structure that will allow for the tumult of the 21st century. Just like the new bridge, those constructing the framework for truth today are creating an environment that establishes the truth we know, but then realizes that there is much truth that we are learning together. The new bridge is dug deep into the San Francisco Bay so that the bridge is anchored firmly in the ground. But the rest of the bridge is attached to the solid tower and is designed to learn and adjust to each earthquake that might come.
So are you building your understanding of truth as a solid structure that strives to defy the earthquake of relativism or are you building a structure that is designed to hold fast by leaving room to grow and learn?