Today’s Devotional Tidbit – May 21, 2007
What is Truth?
We have an emerging generation today that wonders what truth is. Actually, many in this generation are saying there is no truth, and that’s a sentiment they hold to absolutely. There seems to be some conflict there, but that’s just my subjective thought on the matter. Years ago in preaching school, I learned the “reader response theory” to interpreting the Bible. This was a method in which the written word, let’s say the book of John, is read and interpreted in the way in which the reader thinks it should be interpreted. It is up to each individual reader to bring to the text his or her own biases and personal experiences that will allow the text to speak to him or her individually. It would mean something different to every person who read it. The biggest kick I get out of this method is that one of the intellectuals that popularized this theory wrote a book on the subject. According to him, he knows what he meant by his writing, but no one is capable of interpreting him correctly so they must interpret it for themselves. That’s the theory. So when it comes to the Bible, John knows what he meant when he wrote the book of John. But since no one can really know what he meant, each person must look at his biblical writing and make it mean whatever they feel it means. That can lead to a lot of trouble, but it’s exactly what postmodernism is about. Of course, I too sometimes get confused with the terms post-modernity and postmodernism, so forgive me if I’m a little fuzzy here. But to break it down for all of us, we are living in a world where asking, “What is truth?” is one of the questions we should cherish. The problem comes when we hear people stating, “There is no truth!” It’s a battle between a question and an exclamatory statement. We can always discuss a question. It’s exclamatory statements we should be concerned about. My warning: Do not be afraid of people who question God, the church, faith, and methods. Questions are good. Let’s embrace them and engage in serious conversation, those who ask them.
In Christ y’all,