Paul Little on “the suggestion that the pursuit of truth is more important than attaining it”

I would be the last one to suggest that we as Christians have all the answers to the problems of the world, or even all the answers to the problems in Christianity. By no means! One Christian, the French philosopher and mathematician Pascal, pointed out that the supreme function of reason is to show people that some things are beyond reason. However, our Lord, referring to himself, said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Surely he meant that we do have some absolutes on which to base our lives and destiny.

Without these absolutes, we have very little as Christians to offer today’s world.

I am disturbed by an attitude that I sometimes discover among Christians as well as non-Christians: the suggestion that the pursuit of truth is more important than attaining it. These people don’t really want any answers because that would end their game. For them, the search is everything. Truth itself is less attractive–a fact they often rationalize as: truth is unattainable. As a result they equate almost any answer with a pat or contrived answer.

This, to me, is dangerous thinking. An answer that is valid is not necessarily pat. “Patness” is betrayed by the attitude in which an answer is given. A pat answer comes out like the recorded song that plays when you put a nickel in the slot. The answer which takes into consideration the background of the questioner and his question and which cogently addresses itself to the point is not a pat answer. We can’t alter the facts to make them fit others’ presuppostions, but we can present them as a challenge to their intellectual integrity. Let’s not shy away from an honest declaration of the truth which we have received.

Paul Little, How to Give Away Your Faith, p. 113-114

About cteldridge

A beggar trying to tell other beggars were the Bread is.
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