my journey with truth

an insight into “why”

Posted on: September 6, 2010

So one of my friends is really pushing me on why I’m writing this blog, why it’s named what it is, and why I want to share this stuff.  I guess there’s a little ‘what’ in the mix, too – what is it really about?

In a certain sense, I’m not sure.  I feel a strange compulsion after having had experiences where the world didn’t implode and my life didn’t explode upon saying what I really think, admitting to truth, sharing openly instead of half-heartedly or with fear of judgment.  But then another insight into ‘why’ came tonight when I was reading for my preaching class.

Professor Lischer’s book, The End of Words, finishes up with something to say about reconciliation.  It draws on Karl Barth’s statement that we preach “one mighty truth of the reconciliation” which, naturally, has 3 phases (preachers are really drawn to 3 illustrations, points, phases, etc.  I know my 2-4 grade teachers always emphasized 3 body paragraphs/points for TAAS Test essays).  The first truth of the Gospel, the good news which we should preach, is that through Christ the world is reconciled to God.  The second is that through Christ we become reconciled to one another, brother and brother, sister and brother, enemies and frienemies (my paraphrase).  And the third phase of reconciliation is that through Christ we become reconciled to ourselves. “We were not created to be torn by doubt, guilt, and personal conflict,” believe it or not.  To be fully human “is what God intended for us all along” and “to embrace one’s humanity is not mere humanism but good theology,” (p. 136).

In other words, we’re humans, not God – we’re a little less than perfect sometimes.  We think things we probably shouldn’t think, we say things we probably shouldn’t say, we do things we probably shouldn’t do sometimes.  But more fundamentally, we worry about being someone we can never be sometimes.  We betray ourselves, not just others.  We think we need to be something other than human.  Maybe we actually long for that.  And sometimes reconciling ourselves to our humanity, even forgiving ourselves is one of the hardest things to do.  Alongside just being ourselves.

So I’m trying to be myself in this blog, through this blog.  I am trying to encourage more truth-telling in the world.  Professor Lischer also notes that “A young Reinhold Niebuhr confessed to his diary how hard it is to tell unpleasant truths to people you have come to love.”  Amen and amen.  But also “reconciliation cannot occur apart from truth-telling,” (145).  I’m trying to reconcile myself with the truth of who I am, humanly and very openly.  And I’m a divinity student, for crying out loud – if this is ‘good theology’ then I guess I should take a crack at it.

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  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh

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