John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

My Bias

Everyone is biased. Anyone who says otherwise is trying to sell you something. So, I should go ahead and put my cards on the table. I grew up in a Christian home. My father is a preacher; that makes me the son of a preacher man. I was always in church. Heck, I can walk most churches blindfolded. I know the feel of hard, wooden pews. I know the sound of tile floors and the smell of stale classrooms. I am very familiar with church life and church culture.

I know all the Sunday School stories of David and Goliath, Abraham and Isaac (yes, that one still bothers me a little), Jonah and the big fish (it was very important to my teachers that I remember that it was not a whale – whales are mammals, and we cannot have the biblical writers getting their categories confused). I learned to recite the books of the Bible about the same time I learned to recite the alphabet. I am steeped in this belief system. I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t on the “inside.”

As I have previously said, I believe the Christian faith is true. I believe that, in many ways, it is the only faith that is true. I desperately want it to be true. I need it to be true. It is the core of my life. Without it, my life would crumble into a million little pieces.

Stating that explicitly is not stating my bias, however.

Wanting something to be true – needing something to be true – does not make that thing true. Even so, none of what I have said thus far negates the viability or integrity of my faith. It does not prove it; it does not disprove it.  I believe the Christian faith to be true, regardless of whether anyone believes in it or not. I believe this because I believe it has been shown to be true – deep breath – in an objective sense.

Objectivity is a loaded term. For now, I am stating my bias, and here it is: I am biased in favor of truth and away from falsehood.

Now, my definition of truth may differ from yours. I believe that truth is that which corresponds to reality from God’s perspective. So, you might say I’m biased in favor of the unchanging truth revealed in the Bible. Or you might say I’m biased away from relativity. Besides, I’ve found that most people are biased against relativity when it comes to how things really are. For example, if you ask someone, “Is the stove hot?” you don’t want to hear, “Well, what’s hot for me may not be hot for you.”

So, there you have it: I am biased in favor of truth and away from falsehood.

I suppose calling that a “bias” might be a distortion of the terminology. Still, there it is. What are you gonna do? Call the linguistics police on me?