Wednesday, January 29, 2014

God and Truth

1/29/2014—Today I began to read a section concerning Karl Barth’s understanding of truth. For Barth, the person who knows God can never be satisfied with anything less than the full truth. Nothing can be left out or suppressed. Because God is the truth.

This means that the Christian is in principle very different from the understanding of the religious believer that secularists often describe. The Christian recoils from any restriction on human understanding. God made the human mind free. No discoveries of science can threaten God’s reality. That is not because of some conception of separate realms for religion and science. It is because God is creator of all. The Christian, even more than the secularist, proclaims enlightenment to be the proper end and goal of humanity.

But the Christian is dedicated to the truth, not to relative truths in which each person has his or her own. That latter conception ultimately denies truth altogether and it is ironic that this is where the Enlightenment has led this culture.

The Christian dedication to truth, moreover, cannot lead to coercion or tyranny. God did not force faith, so the Christian obviously may not do so.

It’s frustrating to read Barth. One wants to ask, what happened to Christianity?

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