Manifold Witness, by John Franke

What is truth? Are you sure you know? Might there exist more than one truth? How should Christians respond to the diversity of truth notions within Christendom?

John Franke takes the reader on an easy to understand, yet challenging discussion, focusing on the plurality of truth. It doesn’t take but a moment of reflection to confirm that, even among Bible-believing Christians who are deeply committed to Christ and who live Spirit-filled lives, that their perspectives on what is truth differs – often markedly.  But why?

Frankes response to all this is that this is God’s intention.  In fact, as finite beings it is impossible to know as God knows. Furthermore, what God has revealed has been ‘accomodated’ (think, The Shack), indigenized to where we ‘are’ and to ‘who’ we are in our particular cultural milieu.

All this is rather humbling – and should be. When we assume that what we ‘know’ is the absolute and only way to ‘know’, we err.  More so, we make an idol out of our ‘knowing’.  Others need to hear what we experience of God and we must hear what God has given them as an experience.  Together we are enriched. Arrogantly separated we all lose.

None of this, wrote Franke, is to suggest that all ideas are equal or even ‘good’.  There are parameters within which truth exists.  It thus behooves the body of Christ to frequently deconstruct what is ‘known’ and to pursue the perspectives of what others have ‘known’ historically about God and ‘known’ today from within the varying cultures and ever-evolving traditions of ‘church’.

What Frankes has written, much like what Peter Rollins has given to us, is a useful frame of reference for thinking within Christian communities.  Christians who choose to abstain from wrestling with these notions not only deny the Spirit-given wisdom of the ages, but will predictably find themselves adding to the dysfunction of society.  Ours can only be a ministry of reconciliation to the degree that we humbly acknowledge our finiteness before the eternal and infinite God.


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