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What, or who, is "the truth"?

"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8.32


Rather than to encourage his disciples, Jesus makes this invigorating statement about the liberating dynamic of truth to challenge those who feel threatened by the way his message undermines what they have grown up to believe and want to get rid of him. But how many people today regard the Church as champion of "the truth that sets you free"? The impression many of us get is that Church is a bastion of entrenched attitudes and convictions which have long outlived their relevance and are only retained by those who cannot bear to face reality.


Such misgivings are not restricted to strangers of the Church, many of whom couldn't care less, but are increasingly expressed by Church people. '(un)certain' by Olivia Jackson gives voice to some of them. The book is based on extensive local and international research. Its subtitle offers an insight into its principal conclusion: A Collective Memoir of Deconstructing Faith. Those of us who remain loyal to Church, even if we have our differences, might feel we have enough on our plates without getting distracted by revisionists airing their doubts. But what if they have a point?


The message of the New Testament is that "truth" is not a set of rules or a list of propositions. It is alive and active and human and divine and revealed and embodied in a person: Jesus. That being the case, what have we to fear from a sincere seeking after truth? Whatever pitfalls and blind alleys it might lead us through, if we know where it is taking us and that it is a good place - the best indeed - what not embark on the journey? Of course, an obvious objection would be: why embark at all if we are simply going to end up where we started? That maybe so but, if you want people to enjoy your hospitality, sometimes you have to be prepared to go out and collect them!

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