Your Journey Starts Here

Whether you have already read the book "Through the River" or are interested in the topic of truth and how it impacts your faith and relationships, we welcome you and look forward to interacting with you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

How you can be a Christian and use any of the truth lenses

Each of the three truth lenses we have been talking about has its benefits and drawbacks. The Rock Dwellers have confidence and security, but at the same time deal with fear, as they are always in danger of losing their position as being right. The Island Dwellers can live in harmony with the people around them, but they become increasingly isolated from each other. They do not have to endure the argumentativeness of the Rocky shore, but they cannot make headway on any topic either. The Far Shore offers the security of knowing truth, but the humility that says that we are still learning. Still, the Far Shore is not in line with our language, and has some challenges communicating without sounding wishy-washy.

The important thing to know about the truth lenses is that you can be a Christian and use any of them. Your truth lens is part of your worldview. It does not define your relationship with God. It may affect it, but it does not define it. So, a person on the Rocky Shore can view truth in the solid, uncompromising way and still have a relationship with God. So, can the person on the sandy islands know God, even though they don’t believe their knowledge can be given to anyone else. Hopefully, as we know God more and more, our truth lens will become more Biblical. That is the hope for the Far Shore and the Valley Dwellers. With the solid foundation of truth coupled with the humility that recognizes individual perspectives, we hope to be pointing to a more Biblical truth lens.

Now that you understand truth lenses a little better. Try them on. Like glasses, see what the world looks like through each pair. Take them off and have a good look at them. Are your assumptions Biblical? What truth lens will help you further your relationship with God? What truth lens will help you to obey what God asks of us in the Bible? What truth lens will help you to reach out to others around you?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Prime Time America Interview

If you want a 15 minute introduction to our book, our interview on Prime Time America is a great way to take a first step into understanding your Truth Lens.

Here are the instructions on how to download it:
Go to: and scroll down to September 17. Listen to the "part 1" audio at minute 20 and you will be there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Opinion or positivism (Rock Dwellers)?

On a radio interview today, the show host, Bob Dutko from WMUZ, asked a very good question. To summarize the idea: What is the difference between holding an opinion and being a rock dweller in our analogy of River Town? Like many things, the answer is a heart issue.

An opinion by definition is a view that’s held at arms length, knowing that there is enough evidence to invoke doubt. The question of truth lenses runs deeper. It asks about knowledge and the nature of that knowledge.

Positivism, or the truth lens held by the rock dwellers, tells them that they can know truth and know it fully, if they just work hard enough. It’s more than holding opinions, it is the belief that you are right without doubt or room for more information outside of logic and reason.

An Island Dweller and a Valley Dweller can hold opinions, but what their truth lenses tell them about their knowledge is very different. The Island Dwellers believe that their opinions are only applicable to themselves. The Valley Dwellers believe that they cannot know the whole truth fully in this lifetime, so an opinion remains an opinion as they discover truth in community.

Then comes the question. Can you be a Valley Dweller and believe in undeniable truth? The answer is yes. There exists undeniable truth, but we will never in ourselves be able to understand that truth fully in this lifetime. We can, in community, learn more truth than we know today, but we still “see through a glass darkly.” We do, however, as Christians believe in the One who does understand undeniable truth and have faith in Him and what He tells us in the Bible. In our book we share a great story and application about faith, hope and love . . . make sure to check it out.

When Humility Becomes Tolerance

We were on WMUZ in Detroit today and the show's host Bob Dutko asked a very good question. I'm going to paraphrase the idea. He wanted to know the line between humility that leads to learning and truth and tolerance that leads to relativism and a destruction of truth. Great question.

The reason it is such a good question is that the line is very thin. In our book we talk about three truth lenses (ways to understand truth) that define most people in America today. Most of modernity focused on people who live on the rocky shore. They believe truth is completely knowable. However in the past 75 years or so people have gotten frustrated with this way of viewing truth. They moved to the islands because they wanted to allow for personal truth and they rejected the idea that logic and reason were enough. The Island Dwellers defined tolerance. They said that we can know truth but it is personal. This means that my truth is not something that can be transfered to you but is only applicable to me. In that situation there is no sharing or learning. All we can do is "live and let live."

But the islands became places of isolation so people moved to the far shore where people built a community that understood truth and had a foundation but realized that much of God's truth was not yet known. The Valley Dwellers focused on the truth they know and the truth they are learning. On the Far Shore, a common foundation of truth makes it so that you can learn together in humility. It is not "live and let live" it is "live and learn." In this community humility creates a posture where we can admit when we are wrong, set aside preconcieved ideas and allow others to help us see truth more fully in the context of relationship.

So the Islands allow for tolerance and the Valley focuses on humility. Both groups might use the same language, but their motives or reasons for what they say are very different. When you are interacting about our foundation of truth, Island dwellers will try to say that the discussion doesn't matter and people can believe whatever they want. I know, I was one. But Valley Dwellers will validate truth, discuss it, understand it and then move on to deeper things that they desire to know about their world, their faith and their God.

So as you are on your truth journey, be looking out for the fine line between humility and tolerance and be serious about pointing out the differences.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Foundations of Truth

Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV)
"And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."

So many times in life we settle for the basic truths of the Gospel. We stop at the things that we hear every Sunday. We ponder them but don’t ask, “What does God want me to learn next?” In doing so we miss out on what God really has for us.

It is vital that we understand the foundations of our faith. Nothing can be more important. But the foundations are just that. They are the beginning, the base. The question we have to ask ourselves is “What does God want us to build on that foundation?” The fruit of righteousness Philippians talks about is the result of what we build on this foundation.

We love this passage because it marries love and knowledge so seemlessly together. As we know more about God we are compelled to love others. And as we love others and humbly engage with them, God promises to be faithful and reveal new truth. That is what authentic relationships are all about.

Think about the last time you learned something new. What was the situation that surrounded your insight? Most likely it involved someone sharing something that they were learning and you then were able to grapple with a new idea in a new way. It might have been an author through a book, a speaker at a conference, a friend over coffee or a teacher in a classroom. The setting doesn't matter.

They key is that as we love God and love those around us, God uses our posture of learning to reveal His truth in powerful and life-changing ways.

So here is the question. What are you doing with the solid foundation you have received in Christ? Are you seeking deeper insights as you grow closer to God and reach out to others? What is God teaching you that is transforming your life for His glory?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A review on amazon

Check out this review written by our mentor Jim Reapsome:

Jon and Mindy Hirst take you through our cultural troubled waters with a canoe and a paddle. They help to identify and avoid serious rapids that impede our understanding of how culture bound we are. This is not an easy canoe trip, but as you cross this river you will learn much about yourself and your assumptions. Give it a hard stroke and you will be rewarded.--Jim Reapsome

Pluralism—threat, acceptance, or opportunity?

In our society today, we all have to come face to face with pluralism. We live among many cultures and viewpoints.

We can see this as a threat to the way we are used to thinking and struggle against it. Maybe this feeling is not on the surface, because we know that pluralism is tied to our freedom, but deep down we feel threatened.

Or, we embrace each viewpoint as equally valid even if they are contradictory. We learn to live with a sense of unsettledness to protect our freedom to think.

Critical realism, however, offers a different way to approach pluralism. This humble approach to knowledge can see pluralism as a learning opportunity. There are things we know and things we are learning together.

We do not have to accept every idea wholeheartedly, nor do we have to reject the sender when we conclude we do not like the message. We can hold an idea lightly as we spend time trying to understand the issue more deeply.

So how will you view pluralism in your life; as a threat, as something to be accepted, or as an opportunity for growth?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Launch Announcement

We are excited to announce that our book is now on sale at Amazon and other sites. We are so excited to share this content with you and hope to have many good discussions on this blog and on our facebook group.

Purchase your copy today!

Become a Fan of the book on Facebook:

Follow our daily #TruthTeaser on Twitter at:

Look forward to the conversation and to learning about truth together!

When Someone is So Close to Truth

This morning I was reading in a devotional book called "10 Minutes a Day with Jesus" written by my friend and mentor Jim Reapsome. The devotional I read today was focused on Jesus' brothers. They were so close to their Savior, but for most of the life of Jesus, these brothers were not open to His message.

We all know people who are so close to the truth don't we? We have people in our lives who see witnesses of the truth lived out daily and who have read the truths in the Bible but who have not made them their own.

What a challenge to our own process of growing in knowledge and truth! Many of us wonder, what is keeping these dear ones from connecting the dots.

Some people want to have the full picture before they will accept anything. They search, define, process and consider until they feel they understand it completely. In our book we call this group the Rock Dwellers. They spend their time adding up truth and subtracting untruth in an effort to produce a crystal clear image of what is real and true.

Others only explore truth as far as it relates to their personal experience. They believe in truth but define it subjectively. In our book we call this group the Island Dwellers. They live on real islands where things can be known but there are no bridges to connect with others.

The final group believes in shared truth that we can all know but takes the view that there is much we are still learning. This group is called the Valley Dwellers in our book and they live in community and humbly journey together in search for greater truth.

Think about those who are close to the truth but have not opened their hearts yet. What are the barriers for them? Is logic their barrier? Is personal preference a barrier? Is the infinite possibilities of truth a barrier? The sooner you understand what their truth journey looks like, the sooner you can come alongside them and encourage them in their search.

Who knows, you might be the person God uses to move aside the barrier and open up His truth to them in a powerful way!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Truth Teasers

As we launch the book this month, we have a fun little treat for all of you. If you follow our Twitter feed at, we will be posting daily #TruthTeaser tweets. These will be short little thoughts that help you get into our book's topic and focus.

You can also review the past #TruthTeaser tweets by going to the Twitter search page:

Enjoy and please RT (ReTweet for those of you non-twitterers out there :) )