“What is truth?”
It’s one of those questions I wish Jesus had answered Pilate verbally, rather than simply standing there in front of him, giving him the opportunity to see the One Who Is Truth before Him.
I believe fully in the principle that Jesus Is Truth. He is the definition of truth, the One Who defines truth and falsehood, right and wrong, life and death, by the fact of His very being.
But we live in a generation that has forgotten about truth. And in many situations, has gleefully forgotten about Facts as well.
It’s frustrating as someone who’s been trained in the modern school of apologetics, which focused on demonstrating the truthfulness and factualness of Scripture and the claims of Christ against those who declared them to be untrue and non-factual. There are a host of arguments ready-made for this sort of discussion (with big fancy names like The Ontological Argument, the Cosmological Argument, the Teleological Argument, the Historical Argument, etc) gathering dust in a drawer somewhere, because the battle has shifted away from the familiar turf of “What is real or true?” to the far less familiar turf of “what is entertaining or at least interesting?”
Indeed, the most pressing question on the minds of Post-modern Americans today has less to do with what is true or factual than it does with whether or not something is an interesting belief or story. The frontline in the cultural war has to do with Making A Good Impression. I am convinced Americans have fallen prey to all kinds of disinformation, distortions, propaganda, and outright falsehood only because the fiction is told with a little more flash and flare than the facts.
Part of the problem, though, is that we’ve allowed our stories to become obscured by the passage of time. We’ve lost the sense of passion, the color and wonder such stories once engendered, and like the images of the Sistine Chapel above, the beauty of the stories has been marred.
I believe this is where the Christian fiction writer has an opportunity to present these stories again. We can change the names of the characters, the settings, the events, and so forth–but stay true to the themes in the best possible way–and if we do so, we can tell a better story of Truth than can possibly be imagined by anyone else.
My prayer is that God will so expand our imagination that the best stories come forward, and we can win the battle of the impression as well.