I met Aidan Mackey in England a couple weeks back. He has long been considered the foremost scholar on G.K. Chesterton. I was in Oxford for a course on C.S. Lewis and Chesterton had an enormous impact on Lewis, so Aidan joined us for a number of meals.
Aidan stood up on our last evening together and asked if he could share just a couple of parting thoughts.
“People often think that because I speak with an English accent I know more about any given subject than they do. They are wrong.”
We all chuckled because, well, he was speaking to a group of Americans.
But, what Aidan said was true.
We are all so easily be taken by people that sound intelligent.
I assume that if they speak with a sophisticated accent or use big words or have a string of letters behind their name, they must know what they’re talking about.
I even do this with people who simply sound confident.
I assume that if they speak with such great conviction, they must have really given their position the thought and consideration it deserves. They obviously must know what they’re talking about.
But, is that really the litmus test for truth? Of course not.
It can’t be.
Aidan is intelligent. But, all the more so because he knows that there is more to intelligence and more to truth – than just sounding intelligent. There is more to truth than just claiming something, wanting something, even willing something to be true.
The measure of truth is the Author of truth.
The wise – like Aidan – know that.
We shouldn’t assume that people who sound intelligent are. Or those who speak confidently are right. We shouldn’t assume that every truth claim is truthful.
Let’s, instead, be wise. Let’s submit, first and foremost, to the Author of truth and the Source of all wisdom. Let’s measure the truth, first and foremost, against Him.