absolute truth

Some of the objection in the mind of the pluralist is that every claim to absolute truth must be, in the end, oppressive. Because if you claim to have the truth, then you will use that truth as power and coercion to dominate and oppress people. And it is certainly true that any community which claims to possess the absolute truth must inevitably, if it gains power, become oppressive. But the Christian claim is not such; although in the course of history it's been wrongly understood as such.

{The church has screwed this thing up big time. there have been points in history where the church has used its position of power to oppress. But take this illustration: if you go to see a Junior High perform a Shakespeare play, please don't leave that place saying "Shakespeare is a hack... I'm never going to read any of his plays again." The problem wasn't with Shakespeare - it was with the people who represented him in the play. So just because the church has screwed this thing up numerous times throughout history, don't throw the story of God out with those who tried to live it out and made a mess of it.}

The claim of the Christian community is that in Jesus the absolute truth has been made present, and that the relativity's of human cultures, and that the form which this truth took was not that of dominance and imperial power but that of one who is without power or rather whose power was manifest in weakness and suffering. The church, thus, does not proclaim to possess absolute truth - it claims to know where to point for guidance for the common search for truth.

Jesus, as the truth, does not show up with power to oppress; he doesn't show up as an imperialistic ruler who conquers his enemies with power and force. He shows up as a suffering servant who doesn't use power to oppress but actually lays aside his power, is oppressed himself, dies for his enemies and prays for their forgiveness while he is dying. So the one who is absolute is humbled. He suffers and dies. He is one who is marked by grace, truth, mercy, and justice.

- a sermon i heard today


  1. Really like the Shakespeare analogy. Who is the speaker?

    1. it was JR Vassar from Apostles Church in NY. i don't remember which sermon i was listening to but they're all awesome. He's a really good speaker!