Truth and Air
What am I doing today? Trying hard to get a little window of time to do some writing. Sorry not much blogging of late. It’s because I’m getting a new edition of Adventures in Orthodoxy ready. It will have a new title, a new publisher and a new cover. The new title is The Quest for the Creed–twenty explosive essays on the Apostle’s Creed.
My new editor is the brilliant John Zmirak and the new publisher–Herder Crossroads. For the new edition I’m writing short pieces to kick start each of the chapters.
Here’s the one on the chapter about ‘he shall come again to judge the living and the dead’
If there is such a thing as truth then it must be something, like air, which is outside myself and inside myself at the same time. If truth is only inside me, then it can only be understood by my own inner responses: what I think and what I feel: my thoughts and emotions. If what determines my truth is merely my own thoughts and emotions, then truth is fickle because not only do my thoughts and emotions contradict those of other people, they often contradict themselves. So I sometimes think and feel that chastity and temperance and self control are good and other times I think that lust and gluttony and drunkenness are better.
Therefore truth must be outside me as well as inside me. In other words, there has to be some greater standard for what is true (and therefore for what is right and wrong) than my own inner thoughts and emotions. I have to have some external standard to go by. Now, where that standard comes from is what is most interesting. Where does that external standard for what is true, what is beautiful, what is good and right originate? It must originate in a mind that is greater than mine.
If there is such a thing as external truth, then there is also such a thing as choice. I can choose to align my own ‘truth’ with The Truth. Or I can choose not to. This element of choice is at the heart of what we mean by judgment. Judgment is choice, and when we say that Christ will come to judge the living and the dead you could say he is coming to exercise his choice between who will live forever and who will die forever. How he makes that choice is what is intriguing. I, for one, think his choice is rather simple and revolutionary: he chooses what we have already chosen. His judgment confirms our own choices–and there’s a fearful thought!