Where is the line between beauty and truth? NT Wright reflects on doing truth.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- Wright tells a story about preparing to flying to New York for a conference paper and finding out that his father had just died. His conference presentation was about the question of the soul. This brought to mind the notion of the “truth.” How does personal experience change the way that we see the “truth”?
- Sometimes, the “truth” is a power play in order to control others.1 Wright says that there is a relationship between truth and power. In the Gospel, the words truth and power are often used, but they don’t merely “correspond” the way is, but to what the world will be. How can we see the truth of God not just merely as what is in the world, but what God is doing in the world?
- How can the church demonstrate that the “truth” is not merely reality, but “redemption”?
- Wright talks about the need to marry truth with beauty. He says that often artist seek to portray the ugliness of the world and claim that they are simply portraying the reality of the world. On the other hand, other artists portray the wonder and transcendence of the world, but often “collapse into a sentimentality.” Bringing both the brutality and the transcendence together is a “truthful” display of beauty. How can the church make space for both sides of truth and beauty?
- How can our Christian witness embrace both sides of this truth?
1. Wright talks about the “correspondence” theory of truth in philosophy. This theory says that truth is the correspondence between the mind and realty, e.g. I say, “the sun is shinning outside.” If this is the situation in reality then this is the “truth.” However, in post-modernity truth-values are often challenged in relationship to persons and context, i.e. those that hold the meaning of “truth.”
Questions written by Phuc Luu.