In college I read Francis Schaeffer, about everything he had written. I remember his talking about “suppressing the truth” from Romans 1:18, and I remember grieving over such a condition on the part of fellow Eikons. What does it mean, this “suppressing the truth”? What do you think?
It is easy to jump into hyper-individualism here but we need to pay attention to Paul’s basic sentence. What they suppress is the “truth” and the truth in this passage is the gospel (which we looked at the other day), and that gospel is the work of God in Jesus Christ the Lord to restore/save anyone who has faith in Christ. More particular, Paul is willing to lower the bar: the truth is the clarity of God’s invisible qualities, leading to worship of the One True God. Instead, the suppressors chose not to glorify God and this lead to idolatry. Such suppression leads to God permitting humans to pursue their own ends and this leads to entanglement in the wrath of God’s release of humans into diminishment.
One more point: those who suppress the truth do so by their “wickedness” (1:18end) — that is, by injustice. What Tom Wright calls the “the crucial symptom of the world’s out-of-jointedness” (432).