It's really quite frustrating to be here at the Lausanne Congress. It is almost impossible to get on to the Internet. I think that they must have not fully appreciated the demand that participants would make on the wifi.
I made a post yesterday but when I tried to post it the system crashed. So here I go again.
The theme that was being developed yesterday was the question that Pilate asked 'What is truth?' flowing from this was the question, how should we Christians best explain and convince the unbeliever about the Truth of the Gospel?
All this discussion takes place in a world where the prevailing culture where says there no objective truth. Truth today is seen as relative. "My truth may not be your truth, but it is just as valid as your idea of truth.
I'm sitting in a session that is seeking to explore how the search for truth can be put into the public domain. A Scottish film company has been working on a television series, they hope to allow people to think more clearly about the search for truth. The series asks the question "Does science leave space for God? Could our universe be invented by itself? What happens when we die? Why do we believe what we believe?"
This session seeks to take seriously the importance of the visual language to explore the truth issue. What they are seeking to do is to let the philosophical arguments about God speak for themselves.
There seems to me to be a tension in the conference between those who see the need for the church to be clear in its proclamation of the Gospel by using words and giving the answers. For this group truth is about adhering to a series of biblical propositions. I was some what disappointed to hear Os Guinness, whose books I read as a young man and found so helpful, to appear to be so dismissive of those who engaged in what might be called 'Social Gospel'. It seemed to me that the Church is often working out the principles of the Gospel truth in our works of service to the poor in spirit and the poor in wealth.
Others wish to see the Gospel incarnated from mere theoretical words to objective actions of service in the world. Often they don't see the place of the biblical proposition in helping to frame the gospel action.
For me the discovery of truth has become a journey. When Jesus said he was the way the the truth and the life, he put the journey or the way before the truth. Not because one was less important but I think Jesus was seeking to help us understand truth is more than words. It is to be encountered. He indeed is the objective truth encountered not by words alone but by the life giving vitality of the Spirit at work in the world and indeed in his person.
Jesus once told a woman 'when the Spirit comes he will lead you into a truth. Perhaps we all need to see the importance of the 'Journey' with Jesus in the process of truth being revealed. After all as John Bell once said Jesus never said he was the answer. He said he was The Way. Let's keep discovering more of the truth as we journey together with Jesus at the centre of the Church.