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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Cowell

Truth




This week, at Soul Space, our reflections were on Truth. I made some fairly imperfect notes. So here are my ponderings about the things that struck me. This is my take on the conversation. I am sure that others will have seen things differently.


The One who comes from above is head and shoulders over other messengers from God. The earthborn is earthbound and speaks earth language; the heavenborn is in a league of his own. He sets out the evidence of what he saw and heard in heaven. No one wants to deal with these facts. But anyone who examines this evidence will come to stake his life on this: that God himself is the truth. John 3:31-33 from The Message

To understand that God is truth completely changes things. That isn't what we're used to hearing. If God is the truth, then we know that truth does not exist apart from love.


We know that Jesus said 'I am the way, the truth and the life'. He also said:


Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” John 8:31-32

So knowing the truth is not about knowing facts. It's about knowing God.


So it's not the Bible that is the truth. It's God who is the truth. The Bible is not the word of God. Jesus is the Word of God. The Word of God is the living, breathing, life of God and we have a book that helps us to engage with that life, but the book itself is not the life. And it's not the only way of engaging with that life. The Celts have the concept of the Big Book of creation and the Little Book which is the Bible and we can meet God, who is Truth, in either of those places.


If we know that God is truth and God is love then truth without love is simply not truth.


When the Bible is regarded as the truth, it becomes easy to weaponise it, to use it to point at people and to accuse them. There is a temptation to use truth as a function of power and not as a tool of love.


The temptation can be to substitute the truth for facts. And facts are easier to weaponise than a person. Understanding that God is The Truth makes it harder to use truth as a weapon.


We need to be careful that we don't create codices from our own experience of God and try and persuade other people that they need to experience God in the same way that we do. We can't grasp God and the moment we think we have, we're on the wrong track.


We can't grasp God.


But we can be confident that God grasps us.


The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27

Just as a boat is held by the sea, not the other way around. And even if the boat had sunk and was full of water, you would still say that the boat is in the sea, not that the sea is in the boat. So are we held and surrounded by the One who is The Truth.


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