What is true?

Published: April 21, 2017

By the time this blog is published those who are interested will already know whodunit in Broadchurch. We have had some tense minutes in our family, whattsapping our way through the various episodes from our different places in the UK as the scriptwriters have introduced yet another potential guilty party (at the last count, we reckon there are at least 4 who could be on their way to prison!). Where is the truth?

At the same time on a far more serious note we have had world leaders accusing one another of various hideous crimes, and denying their own involvement and guilt. I am thinking in particular of chemical weapons.

How are we meant to work out who is telling the truth? How easily are we led on the basis of whether we warm to a particular character or not?

Maybe the Trump brigade is muddying the waters still further as they call into question any piece of news and information that they don’t like? I mean what happens when a ruling group consistently shouts ‘fake news’ each time they are undermined by a story?

I suspect that we all become yet more suspicious of any story and maybe this is simply a further development from postmodernism that questions all sources of authority.

It’s not a new phenomenon. As we know, Pilate engaged Jesus in a brief conversation that finished with the question, ‘What is truth?’ My Christian belief means that I trust in a God who is reliably truthful and who sends ‘The Spirit of Truth’, but I know that whilst I remain in this era of God’s history I will never see everything with total clarity.

I think that has to leave me with a humble acceptance of my own fallibility and my own flawed ability to always know what is true in the world around me.


By the Revd Chris Maclay, Area Dean of Forest South

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