Re: [asa] Truth

From: Merv <>
Date: Wed May 30 2007 - 20:01:53 EDT

David -- I had significant motivation to tread kindly, as I have some
close friends who are pretty excited about the Truth Project as well.
But I do think it would have some good merits (which I only venture
having sampled less of it than you have -- I haven't actually gone
through the lessons but just perused a few of the overviews on-line.)
It just had a bit too much of a "pep-rallyish" feel which I'm not
comfortable with. What you said concerning an "emergent" movement was
new to me, but it makes sense. I got a strong sense that the Truth
Project is at least partly a reaction to something like that, given
their apparent commitment to see a philosophical foundation for truth
remain in place. There must be some sense that this foundation
continues to be attacked or eroded.

Dr. Siemens, I know that any "definition" ventured here in a
non-philosophical layman's domain will be far from rigorous. But we can
understand enough of the issue, I think to pragmatically maintain our
own convictions with some sense of intellectual self-respect. I agree
that there is no such thing as 100% human objectivity, in language --
or in any other way for that matter. But we can have faith that such
an objective reality/truth exists (sort of like the north star) for us
to set our sites on even if we know we can never totally reach it. To
not believe in that objectivity is to stop aiming for it, which I think
is disastrous. And that is where I would really be in agreement with
the Truth project.

Dr. Carrigan, since you actually have gone through it with your Sunday
school you are certainly more experienced with it. It sounds like you
also have fellowship with a variety of Christian stances in these
areas. I think a lot of us (I'm remembering Iain also) could provide
significant support and insight for each other in trying to interact
gently (and yet still with integrity and commitment to truth) with
Christians who diverge widely in this. I was invited to participate in
a Truth Project group, but have mostly discouraged the inviter from
thinking I would join because (as I told him) I didn't think I could be
in complete agreement with what was being promoted. But now I'm
wondering if I will / should actually accept if he persists. --Dick
Fischer, you stay out of this -- I can already see you shaking your head
in disgust. :-) I don't think It would be productive whatsoever to
go in like Rambo single-handedly waving wild weaponry. But maybe I'm
just being a wimp. In any case I don't think serious discussion can
follow surprise attacks or in "heated" exchanges.


D. F. Siemens, Jr. wrote:
> Merv,
> Truth has to be a broader concept than the quotes indicate. The passage
> deals with empirical truth, which can at best be tentative, for there is
> no guarantee that our language exactly mirrors reality. Indeed, the
> formulas in the physical sciences give more exact results than the
> measurements. And what I learned and did experiments on, Cu2S. isn't.
> As to insisting on the total truth of scripture, I note that we ruminate,
> but are not ruminants, for with us the activity is mental. However, hares
> and hyrax do not ruminate mentally, do not have the multiple gastric
> apparatus of ruminants, but are specified as ruminants in Leviticus 11:5,
> 6 and Deuteronomy 14:7. Whether the brother realizes it, folk wisdom is a
> part of scripture. This was recognized by Augustine, Calvin and those who
> formulated the confessions at the time of the Reformation. It is also
> expressed in II Timothy 3:16, which does not mention historical or
> scientific fact.
> Tautologies are also true, logically true, but tell us nothing about
> reality. Indeed, they apply equally to all possible worlds, which are all
> concatenations of descriptors that are consistent. Mathematical
> statements are also tautologies, so the modern "close enough" approach is
> neither fish nor good red beef, but it is foul.
> Dave

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Received on Wed May 30 19:56:33 2007

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