Generation Z view of truth

Hey I am interested in knowing how this present Generation Z (under 22 YO) sees truth. When Jesus said to Pilate, “I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth,” (18:37-38), Pilate asked Jesus, “What is truth?”
Now apparently for the postmodern, we are told that we are no longer able to trust the certainty of truth beyond our own subjective preferences. Facts become supreme and truth becomes, “true for you - but not true for me.”
Ken Costa (one of the founders of Alpha course) said: “Millennials (22-40YO) can hold two moral propositions that are mutually contradictory and not feel uncomfortable …because that is what happens all day long on social media. They have an expressed view today because someone has persuaded them one way, but it might not be the same view tomorrow.”
I heard recently that for Generation Z are so uniformed about the claims of the Bible concerning truth that they reply to the questions: “Jesus rose from the dead - so what?” “Jesus died for me - so what?” “The Bible is true - so what?”
So for Generation Z what is truth? What is valued as truth? Is Christianity the truth?


Don’t ask me… I’m a Unitarian Universalist … we’ve been embracing ambiguities and vagaries of human existence for centuries!!!

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I haven’t heard anyone discussing Generation Z view of truth. Millennials get all the attention. Good question though. I’m sure people who work with youth are talking about it.

And the oldest millennials are 35 not 40. The generation begins at birth year 1982. So technically my brother and I are different generations, which is weird, but true I think. We didn’t have a computer in the house until I was a junior in high school, but my brother did all his schoolwork on one. I didn’t have e-mail at home until I was out of college, but my brother used it all through high school. I used libraries and books to do research, he looked online. We had very different experiences with technology and connectivity and availability of information during our formative years. This paragraph is all kind of a tangent, but FWIW…

If Christian (and other) thinkers down through the centuries are correct about this, then truth remains the same regardless of the many approaches each of our generations took in trying to understand it. (Even to claim that universal truth doesn’t exist is a universal claim toward a truth since it is trying to claim that on behalf of all.) Christians who are scientists and scientific thinkers (and along with their colleagues more generally) have common cause with Christians in this. Because to deny the existence of universal truth (apart from individualized pretensions toward it) flies in the face of science. I think that’s one of the reasons that theistic religions and science have meshed so well at their cores.

I have a question: what comes after generation Z? Do we start in with the Greek letters?

Here’s a great article on this topic:

I’ve been thinking about setting up a Venn diagram of truth as held by YEC, vs ID vs EC, and it would be interesting to see visual representation on Gen Z 's view of truth as contrasted. I tend to get bogged down with the details, but if I get a chance, or if anyone else gets a chance to through something out, it would be interesting to crowd source.

I’d pick Radiolab over Teri Gross. These kids have good taste.

Thanks for the feedback… yes I must admit I thought millennials were under 35… I looked it up somewhere and those were the dates/ ages given… anyhow, it is arbitrary I guess. I will keep chasing up…apparently in a very short time Gen Z will be ‘the’ culture…and I think I heard say they already outnumber Gen X which makes sense…world’s population is increasing!
Thanks again

Thanks for your response. I guess my concern is, if there is 'a’universal truth… what claim does this truth have over us… or more specifically, how can I make this claim applicable in the lives of Gen Z? Now of course as Christians one would say that we would need to align our perception of truth with the Truth. And I guess that is the difficulty in trying to reach that next generation.
Thanks again.

Brad, GREAT article. For me some of the highlights were:

“So much of what passes for Christian in our culture is driven by answers, not questions.”

“Christians like to put answers at the end of their questions. Scientists like to put questions at the end of their answers.”

Science podcasts are popular because they offer paradoxes, questions that are not always answered

“scientists are seen as impartial and objective. Religion doesn’t have that same reputation.”

“The ability to hold competing answers in unresolved tension, the embrace of mystery and paradox, these are the marks of a mature faith. Certitude cannot drive the process if we want young people on board.”

“Christian mystics have always held that most of the deep truths of Christianity come in the form of paradox. The mystics remind us that any worthy discussion about God should lead us not to claims of certitude, but to a sense of mystery, wonder, and awe.”

“It seems like the embrace of paradox should get a little more airtime in the Jesus-conversation.”

Lots to chew over, …any more great articles like this?


Phil I am VERY interested in your idea… I can’t conceptualise it as you obviously can…and coming from a maths background a Venn diagram sounds like a really good idea…please let me know when you work on it!

I think of it this way: we accept a mathematical truth such as 2+2=4 as being universal. So when I go to the grocery store, I am not permitted the option of deciding that my pair of $2 items in my cart should total up to $3 and not $4 like everyone else has accepted. So in that way universal truth is applied to me independently of my own acceptance of it, and regardless of whether or not my convictions differ. But it even goes one step further … maybe I have such charisma that I could get everyone in the store (in the world!) to agree that 2+2=3 instead. Even in the face of this unamimous (now worldwide) conviction the reality still stubbornly persists that 2 items plus 2 more items makes a total of 4 of those same items. So even a world-wide social construct still has reality to reckon with. Truth is that which corresponds to reality. Now, since our only access to that reality is through our senses, communications, and social constructs … that’s where the unavoidable trouble starts. Nevertheless it remains a faith conviction for most all of us that such independent reality does exist.

As far as demonstrating the applicability of it to the latest generation … I think it is important to model in our own lives how it applies to us and how important it is to us. If we fail at that (or just try to put up a good act in order to sell something), then (to use Gamaliel’s wisdom as recorded in the New Testament), it will fail – as it should. If we are living it for real, the relevance to others will take care of itself.

Or (if the Christian view is right) … God takes care of it … rather than “it will take care of itself”.

Is this a science and faith post?

It is a spinoff topic I split, not a user generated OP. But in any case, yes. The article Brad posted, which directly relates to the question being asked, is a science/faith article. Youth ministry is a science-faith topic these days.

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