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More on Truth…

As a follow up to my post yesterday on Chuck Colson’s critique of the Emerging Church and truth, I thought I’d share a few other thoughts that I have been having on the issue.

One of the distinctions that Karl Barth draws is the difference between being something objectively true and subjectively true. What is interesting is that Barth doesn’t speak of “objective truth” but rather of something being “objectively true”. In other words, the proposition is not itself the Truth, it’s a statement about the Truth. ( I feel as though I’m starting to play word games here)

Example: Jesus Christ is the Lord over all things

Jesus Christ is the Truth, and that statement is objectively true for all people and things in Barth’s view (and I agree). So, Colson is right to say that Jesus Christ is the Lord whether we experience him or not. The Lordship of Jesus Christ does not depend on our acknowledgement of it.

However, Barth adds that something that is objectively true becomes subjectively true in someone’s life when they encounter and experience it. Here’s another example

From the time I was born (and before that) Jesus Christ has been Lord over my life, whether or not I realized it or accepted it. However, that objectively true statement (Jesus Christ is Lord over my life) didn’t become true “to me” until I was encountered by it, until it became subjectively true in my life. It was only through this subjective knowing (knowing in the here and now) that I came to understand the objective nature (that it was true prior to my knowing of it). I disagree with Colson and D.A. Carson here, in part because they’re speaking of objective truth, and I’m speaking of something being objectively true when it comes to the Truth, Jesus Christ.

More later…

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