Truth As Relationship

Vacation is over, and it is time to get back on the blogging horse again. I trust you have enjoyed my break as much as I have, and now it is time to resume exploring how our orientation towards truth as that which proves Jesus in retrospect is flawed, and offer an alternative view of how Jesus is indeed the truth.

To begin with, and briefly, I assume that in light of Jn. 14 Jesus is the revelatory point of origin for the revelation of God. That is to say that I, along with Bonhoeffer and others, consider God to be the ultimate “reality” (non-platonic sense), and in Christ that reality has been made known to humanity. This means that the ultimate reality is then the incarnate God in Christ in humanity.

Yet this kind of truth talk requires qualification. That is because unless further defined this type of truth talk can lead us to disallow the real experiences of people as untrue. But the other side of the coin causes us to question the qualitative merit of empirical truth- just because something is true does not mean that it is good. How then do we find consonance within the triadic dissonance of Jesus the truth who is not all truth but at the same time does not negate as unreal that which he is not?

I would like to propose a different way of thinking about truth theologically. What if instead of a binary conception of truth that is either a 1 or a 0-that is or is not-we consider that in light of Jesus’ claim in Jn. 14 that truth thus revealed describes the quality of a thing? What if truth is actually the relationship between an entity and reality?

I come to ask this question because I think it reveals what we mean when we say that something is true: we assume truth to be good. This subconscious equation is a by-product of our modern conditioning, the outgrowth of positivism. We tend to hold truth as the highest human value, but truth has a dark side to it. We call it evil. But evil is as true as goodness. How then do we determine the difference between what is and what should be?

I suspect that the simple answer of “let Jesus be the determiner of what is good” is on the surface accurate, but it is too broad, because it fails to account for humanity’ inability to determine what is good. Majority rules? Might makes right?

What then is good?

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