Whether we realise it or not, we all live on:
The Edge of the Otherworld

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Truth and stories

'You've heard it said, 'An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,' and well, if you want to believe that, it's fine by me. Of course, it doesn't mean what you think it means - it's about just sentencing rather than revenge - but if your interpretation is somehow beneficial to you, I'm sure we can work round that. Correct me if I'm wrong, though, but I think we can take the teaching a little bit further. Let me float this one by you and see if it sinks: don't take revenge; give willingly to the person who wrongs you. What do you think of that? No pressure now...'
I don't imagine the people would have been amazed by Jesus' authority if the Sermon on the Mount had been delivered in such a style. Thankfully, Jesus was not afraid of offending people. If he thought they were wrong, he told them so because he cared about them and he wanted them to get it right. He still loved them and, although he was often exasperated with the lack of understanding he found, he saved his anger for the real hypocrites and those who claimed to know better.

Absolute truth, however, is out of fashion. Who am I to say that I'm right, after all? Surely followers of other religions have an equal right to be right? Then again, if we can't all be right, perhaps we must all be wrong. But what's the difference, as long as we have faith in something, right?

Wrong.

Either Jesus is the Son of God or he is not.

Stating things in these bald terms seldom wins friends or even converts because it makes people defensive and sometimes angry. These days, having an opinion about anything as 'personal' as religion is often taken as bigotry.

This is a gnarly problem. What I consider to be a major selling point of Christianity - the fact that Christ's claims are true - is a real turn off to a large number of those who are yet to get to know God. It means that evangelism is going to have to adapt, attracting followers to Christ, rather than convincing them. This isn't a bad thing in itself...

...it's just going to take a lot more imagination.

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