Honest Christianity: True or Truth?

true truth

How much difference is there between something being true or being truth? I don’t mean to be pedantic, but this paradigm has been helpful for me in engaging with for some, some of the more contentious parts of scripture.  I have a very high view of the inspiration and infallibility of scripture but I wonder if some Christians have not helped themselves or our faith by misunderstanding or misrepresenting the type of literature that Jonah, the creation narrative or the story of  Noah and the flood might be.  Did they really happen like we were told as children?

What has helped me to be honest in my faith is to call these texts truth rather than true. I am not saying they definitely did not happen exactly as they read but I want to be both open to them not being  true but clearly holding truth.  I do not want to be wishy-washy, but taking this approach facilitates me holding scripture in the highest of regard, while being open to what the original writer with God’s inspiration meant to communicate.

I believe in a literal virgin birth and the death and resurrection of Jesus, and if I ask myself could the Trinity have made, the earth in seven days if they had wanted,  a human being live in the belly of a whale, the whole earth be flooded, the answer is absolutely, unequivocally, YES. But it may not have happened like that and this approach means it does not shake or undermine my faith or the authority of God’s word for me. If God is God, then what’s the problem of these and even more outrageous seemingly impossible unlikely things happening or truth emerging though authors telling stories about things that may not have literally happened as the story says to communicate some deep truth about our loving, relational seeking God?

 

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2 thoughts on “Honest Christianity: True or Truth?

  1. interesting post, for many years I think theologians have asked us to take account of the literary genre of particular texts but this doesn’t make its way to the ordinary pew sitter like me who then have little to combat our own doubts or the questions of others. I probably do not share the same emphasis as you on the inspiration of Scripture as this still seems highly problematic to me, but I do agree it is far more healthy to do some of our theological reflection not based on a literal historic reading of texts that were never meant that way but is the product of a modernist approach to things that the ancient world wouldn’t have recognised. We may discover something much richer and deeper that way.

    • Amen to that! Although i am not sure terms like “literary genre” is a term often said by the ordinary pew sitters!! Perhaps if you supported a proper London football team (Fulham does not count), you would have a better appreciation of inspiration!!!
      Here’s to a richer and deeper and a more honest Christianity.

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