:: Wednesday, November 27, 2002 ::
Truth: For God or for us...or for no one?:
In a recent workshop for Gen-X Evangelical pastors and youth leaders, John Franke, of Biblical Theology Seminary in Hatfield,
Pa., described two major streams of thinking among current theologians. The
first group says there is absolute truth, but only God can know it;
human beings, coming from their own social and cultural perspectives,
have to be open to learn from one another. Those in the second group
say that not only is it impossible for humans to know absolute truth,
it's not desirable, because such claims often result in attempts to
control or repress others."
My first thought after reading this was that the dichotomy set forth here is almost begging the issue. What is the point of being a Christian if one at the same time claims that either we can never really know truth because of our "cultural perspectives" or that we can never know the truth because it doesn't even exist?
The Church Fathers have always taught that not only do humans have the capability to know truth, but it is the very purpose of our life! Even St. Paul writes that "what can be known about God is plain..." (Romans 1:18-21).
Truth is never a concept to wrap our intellect around and neither is it an emotional state one desperately tries to hold onto....Truth is a Person. And Truth is Personal! It implies relationship....("God does not desire the death of a sinner, but that he should repent and come to the knowledge of the truth"). And of course, the word "know" in Greek has very, almost nuptial connotations....(Adam "knew" his wife...) etc. To know something or someone implies a deeply personal and communal LIFE.
In "The Abolition of Man," C.S Lewis makes it clear that our social and cultural heritage in no way tarnishes our ability to pursue and recognize truth. Theologians who capitulate to the zeitgeist that says that humans by nature of their "cultural perspectives" are unable to see truth, do their protestant brethren a gross disservice. For if this is true, what purpose do missions work have? And of course how could we know that this is true? Could it be our own modern American society is a cultural perspective that blinds us to things as well? When does that epistemological roller coaster ever end?
:: Karl :: 8:15:00 AM [Link] ::