Garza & Snyder LIVE is:
- a radio talk show hosted by John Garza and John Snyder airing Sundays from 6-8pm on 105.1 WAVA-FM in the Washington DC area. We are affiliated with the The Public Square Network (PSN).
- an interactive webpage and blog aimed at engaging Christians and secular audiences in conversation about contemporary issues, culture and politics. We are also on Facebook and Twitter
- an intelligent and genial forum for the discussion of important issues in contemporary life from a Christian perspective.
OUR MOTTO: No Contempt!
REMEMBER: “Do not overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
- The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program is dedicated to reintegrating Christian ideas into issues of culture, politics, art, history, science, life issues and philosophy.
- The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program is dedicated to rehabilitating the image of the Christian mind and showing that Christianity has explanatory power.
- The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program invites people with differences to grapple with each other’s ideas and opinions. It is a place to refine thoughts in good faith discussion—always with the aim of developing a better understanding of the world of visible and invisible things—always with the purpose of seeking and being shaped by the Truth.
Truth Matters on the Garza and Snyder LIVE Program:
Tragically, in our postmodern age, truth is no longer valued as anything but subjective opinion or community norm. Nevertheless, truth is of momentous importance. Arguably finding the truth is the whole point of existence. Certainly, the great Greek philosophers thought so.
First, truth is necessary for happiness. It is necessary for prosperity, and it is necessary for personal identity and well-being. If we confuse our illusions with reality, we are doomed to fruitless labor, unhappiness and ultimately despair. Illusion leads us only into the cul-de-sac of meaningless, futile disappointment and hopelessness. Without truth all effort is vanity and leads to self-destructive and irrational behavior. Ultimately failing to find and follow truth is the way of self-destructiveness and suicide.
Second, as difficult as it may be to accept, all of us should be grateful for the disillusionment that follows from discovering our illusions. Men are not meant to be lost or diseased by skepticism. Rather, joy and hope, even faith and charity (LOVE), are the fruits of Truth. To be emancipated from illusion is to be free to act and think wisely and productively in the illuminating light of the real. Only Truth will carry us to the promise of happiness and fulfillment.
Third, Truth is not subjective. If logic is universal and inescapable—then Truth is at the center of our ability to think effectively. It is essential to our power to prosper and survive. With a proper grasp of true things: social, psychological, political, economic, civic, and religious—and a knowledge of how these apparently different things have simple unity, human power can serve the good, the true and the beautiful. Without Truth—worldly power calls forth only arbitrary authority and its attendant miseries of human suffering.
In ordering principles, we often become confused because we cannot order things that properly are ordered by different principles. We cannot create a taxonomy to order our principles unless there is some type of Trans-Ordering Principal over and above these principles, some Principal that orders principles. An ordered worldview requires a presuppositional First Thing from which all other first things derive. (For instance, how would we order two, three or four competing principles? How do we reconcile the Principles of Justice, with the Principles of Civic Order, with the principles of Love and Mercy?
REMEMBER: A principle means a thing that is first! If principles are first things then, we cannot reason from three major premises at the same time! Logic fails us. There must be, for logic to be effective, a TRUE FIRST THING, from which all principles derive, something that unifies principles as different as Esthetics or Just War Theory or Political Principle. Without some deeper unity that unites different categories of knowledge, we cannot live in a universe that is unified morally, politically, economically, philosophically, esthetically or scientifically. We would live under the tyranny of a multiversity: a fractured world ruled by different ideas and principles at different times and in different places.
The answer to this problem of a fractured universe is the SIMPLICITY of God.
In short, Truth is not a what, but a WHO! Jesus said: I am the Truth… Jesus is the First Thing— the Principal from which reasoning can be consistently effective.
First Principles of Christian Discourse:
Tragically, most talk radio has become a forum for shrill, nasty and mean-spirited slander and invective. This is because our culture too often embraces the idea that truth has no causal relationship to power. To state this in a different way, most of us no longer believe that power has any relationship to truth. Nowadays, political and economic power is assumed to be the only kind of real power. Consequently, liberals and many conservatives alike believe and operate on the assumption that power has replaced truth as the primary objective of serious human discourse. Power, of course, is important—but power without truth only results in confusion, human suffering and evil.
Many of us in this post-modern age believe that power is all that really exists in a world of meaningless existence directed by Darwinian survival. For these philosophical naturalists, power is the only existential assertion of being, the closest thing to a universal objective meaning in a meaningless and absurd universe. Hence, for people who embrace this premise, power is life. Power is the only truth.
In this tragic and incoherent worldview, truth is really a preferred illusion, abstract at best, at worst—impotent and irrelevant. It has no apparent means of ordering the world. Many of the best of us think that only power can order men, things, government, laws. To this way of thinking, it avails us nothing to know truth if we have no power.
Yet there is a kind of cowardliness in this assertion. For opposed to this nihilistic idea is another idea, one that the materialist cannot fully grasp-indeed it is counterintuitive to his worldly way of thinking—but that idea, the one Christians have long asserted, is that Truth is the inescapable order of reality itself. It exists independent and apart from our assertions. We have only power to acknowledge it and genuflect before it. Our assertions one way or another are irrelevant to its existence—such that even the best and brightest are not the defenders of Truth. Truth will take care of itself. Rather those who argue for Truth argue not to assert-but to save people from the tragedy of being hurt by lies and self-deception. In this regard, there is power in Truth that we fail to comprehend, because it is a power that governs independent of assertion or effort. So that even when Truth appears to be powerless—even when the very utterances of stubborn fact and unbendable metaphysical first things have been known to overcome the world—the Truth prevails not because we defend it, but because it is the invisible, inescapable order to creation itself. In short Truth is not just power—it is the source of all Power.
Truth, we assert, in opposition to the prevailing culture, is not only capable (which is to confuse Truth as a potential thing rather than an actual thing) but will of necessity, move an intransigent world on the invisible fulcrum of fact and eternal law. The only real question for us is how many people will get hurt before the Truth is acknowledged. That is why argument and effort matter in this world-not because Truth depends on us, but rather because the lost depend on us.
Our Duty on The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program:
What we of The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program are striving to accomplish—if imperfectly—is to stop the ranting and pejoratives—and engage in honest debate. Without a desire to know what is right, wrong, true, and false we humans are without hope. Too often, we allow our passions and ideologies—our worldviews and our practical goals to interfere with acknowledging this fundamental fact of human existence. We cannot escape the personal existential duty to seek and to find the Truth.
We of The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program hold that Truth is universal, objective and knowable and that it is the pre-eminent duty of all men and women to seek it. If we do not follow the Truth, which is to say, that which corresponds and coheres to reality, if we do not pursue Truth with diligence and enthusiasm—we are cheating ourselves of the mysterious glory of what life is meant to be: a genuflection before the Objective Truth itself—a service to the One Thing that exalts us into something greater than we in our material senses can ever be in our subjective existence. In addition, while we realize that this may sound like a highly spiritualized cliché-it is nothing less than what Socrates—a pagan—and Plato and Aristotle once said 2,400 years ago. It is who Jesus is.
This notion of the pre-eminent and central duty of serving this Truth is the lynchpin of our Western Heritage. In fact, it is the centerpiece of Judeo-Christian Civilization.
Method and Missiology on The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program:
The very process of honest discussion is hard. The issues of the world: economic, social, political and military are complex and difficult. This cannot excuse us from the duty to engage in good faith dialogs that peel away confusion. The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program therefore, is a dialogue of ideas, thoughts and worldviews with the singular hope that Truth overcomes the world.
The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program is more concerned with asking the right question than telling the audience how to think—although that may occasionally happen, simply because we on this side of the microphone also have opinions also. Ultimately, it is our purpose to discuss important issues in a thoughtful and civil manner—to invite those of opposing views to explain why their view is better or more credible than our Christian model. We will strive to be polite—until rudeness requires the conversation to end.
Civility on the Garza and Snyder LIVE Program
Participating and calling into The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program means being willing to argue an intelligent and convincing case for what you believe—using facts and reasons. It means a good faith dialog and a willingness to have ideas and beliefs examined and challenged. It means eschewing ad hominems and invectives and slander. It means listening to your opponent’s arguments and ideas and addressing them forthrightly in an attempt to understand why you disagree or why an opponent’s views are either incoherent or why they are logically and forensically sound. It is a place where assumptions are exposed and explored— and where we may engage in the joy of reasoning together in the give and take of cordial, brisk and vigorous debate.
Last and not least, being a part of The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program means undertaking contention, controversy, disagreement and ideas with candor and good will—with no conscious purpose to humiliate or insult your opponent. Christ condemns contempt! Any discussion of politics and culture that engenders contempt is directly contrary to Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount! The Garza and Snyder LIVE program is a place where we should disagree without being disagreeable.
Last, we aim to be a pleasant, friendly place where men and women who disagree may participate and listen with hope of growing intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. This is the purpose of The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program.
Democracy on The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program:
Finally, it is our contention that a free, open and intelligent discussion of ideas and opinion is essential to the health and vigor of a free society. Those who live in the bondage of dictatorship, or in the thralldom of Marxist or religious despotism, or in the prison of personal rage, tragically cannot engage in the great public discussion of how we should govern ourselves. These unfortunates have no choice over the laws that govern them, the culture that influence them or the political and spiritual authority under which they are ruled. Force and uninformed passion is sovereign in their world.
For us, however, who live in a self-governing society—we Americans and other free people-our discourse on The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program is the life’s blood of liberty. It is the heartbeat of our civic republican government. Without it, we can aspire to little other than being subjects of arbitrary and unjust powers.
Without free, intelligent discourse, human beings cannot achieve the full measure of intellectual, civil or spiritual maturity. But in a rigorous, sound Public Square, a politically sovereign people may pursue and achieve happiness, or to state it in less abstract terms, we may discover Truth. We may work for the good. We may seek the beautiful. We may proceed in the exhilarating hope that wisdom and prudence are attainable. We gain the power and discipline over ourselves to ordain and establish just government. And more—if we learn and grow The Garza and Snyder LIVE Program—we may prosper and leave to our posterity a legacy of prosperity, justice, and citizenship in a free society.