And therefore, Lord, your judgments are terrible, because your truth is not my property nor the property of this man or that man; it belongs to all of us whom you publicly call into communion with it, warning us in most terrible terms that we must not hold it as private to ourselves lest we be deprived of it altogether.
– Augustine, Confessions, Book 12, Chapter 25
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
Truth is a Person who upholds all truthful propositions, ensuring that they correspond to reality. How? By holding all reality together. (Colossians 1:17) Coherence, then correspondence, and therefore truth.
In a sense, truth is subjective. But, experience-wise, there is enough commonality to suggest that truth is not merely subjective. Truth is objective, and therefore it is a very practical thing and eminently livable. Truth finds corroboration in all of reality. Corroboration is abundant and builds confidence. But after all is said and done, Truth is self-authenticating in the same way that light simply shines, provided our eyes are healthy. (Matthew 6:22-23) When Truth speaks in power, there can be no doubt. We grasp Truth, because it first grasped us. (Matthew 16:17)
(Note: Feature image is from daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com)
In his book Principles of Conduct: Aspects of Biblical Ethics John Murray writes about the reserve required of a truthful person:
No warning or plea is more germane to the question of truth than that we cultivate the reserve and exercise the caution whereby we shall be preserved from rash and precipitate judgments and from the vice of peddling reports that are not authenticated by the proper evidence… The man of truth is the man of resolute, decisive conviction; he is also the man of scrupulous reserve. “Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people” (Leviticus 19:16)
Here’s how N. T. Wright, in his book Simply Christian, deals with the “It’s true for you, but not for me” dismissal of the Christian faith:
Saying “It’s true for you” sounds fine and tolerant. But it only works because it’s twisting the word “true” to mean, not “a true revelation of the way things are in the real world,” but “something that is genuinely happening inside you.” In fact, saying “It’s true for you” in this sense is more or less equivalent to saying “It’s not true for you,” because the “it” in question – the spiritual sense or awareness or experience – is conveying, very powerfully, a message (that there is a loving God) which the challenger is reducing to something else (that you have strong feelings which you misinterpret in that sense).