Friday, March 21, 2008

Out of the Closet

Confirming rumors that had circulated during the eighties, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Communist leader of the Soviet Union, has acknowledged his Christian faith for the first time, paying a surprise visit to pray at the tomb of St Francis of Assisi.

According to the UK Telegraph Mr Gorbachev, accompanied by his daughter Irina, spent half an hour on his knees in silent prayer at the tomb.

There's more on this at the link. Word has it that Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, and the rest of the New Atheist crowd, are not happy with the news.


A Man For All Seasons

The actor who played Sir Thomas More in the 1966 Academy Award winning film A Man for All Seasons has passed away at 86. A Man for All Seasons was about the conflict between More and Henry VIII over the king's authority over the church. It was a powerful film and Scofield was a powerful actor. It was good historical drama excellently performed. I encourage you to mark the passing of a great actor by viewing Scofield's signature performance if you get the chance.

There's an informative piece article about Scofield here.


What Is Truth?

This Good Friday offers an opportunity to reflect on Pilate's question to Jesus: What is truth? Jesus, you recall, had just told the Roman official that he had come into the world to bear witness to the truth and that everyone who loves truth hears His voice.

Pilate's question is still echoing through the halls of academe today. The notion of an objective truth-for-everyone has come under unprecedented assault in the last thirty years. Many people no longer believe that there is any such thing as a truth that's true for everyone. Truth is whatever has "purchase" with you, whatever the consensus of your community believes. Your truth is not necessarily my truth and vice versa. The late Richard Rorty once remarked that truth is whatever your peers will let you get away with saying, but, as Alvin Plantinga noted, a lot of Rorty's peers didn't let him get away with saying that.

In such an intellectual ambience Jesus's claim that He is the way, the truth, and the life is revised to mean that he is a way, a truth for those who wish him to be but for those who don't he's pretty much irrelevant.

The fact is, though, that truth is not simply a matter of one's own subjectivity. If Jesus was indeed God incarnated as a man then he was so whether anyone believes it or not, and if His death on the cross on that first Good Friday was an atonement for the sins of mankind it was so whether anyone believes it was or not.

In the bewildering kaleidoscopic flux that is post-modernism the incarnation and the cross are epistemological lifelines. They're truths we can believe in and they're true for everyone.