ARTICLE: Jesus' Peculiar Truth

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I was invited to the InterVarsity chapter of our campus for a discussion on Christianity in the university. One of the leaders felt I was being "wish-washy" and challenged me. She said, "After all, as Jesus says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6), no one comes to the Father but by me.' Can you say, 'but by me'?" she asked.

"Yes," I responded, "but isn't it curious that Jesus did not say to his disciples, 'I am here to tell you about the truth?' He says, 'I am the truth.' "

Increasing numbers of Christians are decrying rampant moral and intellectual "relativism" within our culture. Our culture is undeniably in sad shape, intellectually and morally, but I'm not sure "relativism" is the problem. In "No Place for Truth," David Wells argues forcefully that evangelicals are called to push the truth, to speak up for objective, absolute truth, regardless of how people feel about it. Feeling is not the issue, according to Wells, the issue is: "Is the gospel true--objectively, absolutely true--or not?"

Wells has a point. The concept of absolute truth is a necessary corrective for a society wallowing in pop-psychotherapeutic, feel-good strategies. After all, most of us are not conditioned to ask, "Is this true?" but rather, "How do I feel about this?"

But I'm not sure that putting the matter in this way is the best strategy for the church today. It fails to do full justice to the peculiar truth that is proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Recently I heard a Christian apologist argue that either Christianity was objectively true, accessible to anyone with rational sense, or it was a preposterous lie. "If I say it is raining today," said the apologist, "that is either true or it is not true. It can't be almost true, ...

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