OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.

Postmodernity and revelation

Postmodernity and revelation

This has been a good thread to watch and read. It seems to me that postmodernity has helped us because it acknowledges the inescapably perspectival nature of truth. There is such a thing as Truth, and if we believe in God, then surely the proposition that “all truth is God’s truth” is self-evident to the point of tautology. Since the Enlightenment, the big question has been, “How can we know the truth of God?” or “How do we know what we know?” We cannot know God by observation or experiment (the scientific paradigm). We cannot know God by inference or deduction (if by “know” we mean to have certain knowledge of). In all of these things, Kant is technically right!

The big question, though, is whether or not revelation happens and we human beings are capable of receiving it. What postmodern epistemology does (for me, at any rate) is to translate “perspectival truth” into “storied truth”. In other words, the truth of God (and by truth I mean particularly the divine mystery) is truly revealed but in an inescapably storied form. This is not propositional revelation but incarnational revelation. God is revealed most clearly in Jesus, but revealed within the dynamics of the story. Jesus doesn’t give us access to what God looks like. Neither does he give us a series of propositions about God, as though he were a walking encyclopaedia on matters divine. Rather, Jesus reveals the character and will of God in the interactions of the gospel stories.

Thus our knowledge of God is true knowledge, and it is knowledge of that which, if not revealed, would remain hidden (cf Barth, who insists that God remains hidden in the very act of disclosure). The point, therefore, is that we do have knowledge of Absolute Truth (ie God) but we never have absolute knowledge of it. Our knowledge remains partial, provisional and storied. It requires faith - a correlating of our stories to the story of God in Jesus - because it is in the adventure of faith that we come to know God better. “Credo ut intelligam” - I believe in order to understand.

All Truth is God's Truth... or... By: mars-hill (26 replies) 18 August, 2005 - 11:39