People often send me questions. I’m going to try my best to respond to them from time to time. Here’s one below…
“In one of your articles you state that “‘Jesus said ‘I am the truth,’ which we mistakenly turned into some kind of a theological proposition about God, the gospel, eternal life, etc.” If you do not believe it is a propositional statement about God what do you think this is?”
It is particularly a Western phenomenon to think of “truth” as something the mind grasps in the form of a concept. When Jesus said “I am the truth,” he was indicating a reality that can’t be lassoed by the mind. There is a context in which Jesus made this statement, which is a part of the meaning itself. It is an unnatural thing for his words to be plucked out and fit into some sort of topical or systematic theology.
Systematic theology is a discipline that attempts to formulate an orderly, rational, and coherent account of the Christian faith and beliefs. It is also called Dogmatics. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this as long as it is recognized that they are only pointers or indicators of truth and not truth itself. There’s an axiom that says, “When pointing at the moon, don’t confuse your finger for the moon.” Anything anyone can say or write about truth is a finger pointing at the moon but not the moon itself. Even Jesus’ words were indicating a truth, which can’t be verified as true or false like a typical propositional statement.
So what was the point in Jesus saying it?, you ask. The intent of Jesus’ teaching was to awaken people to the way things really are. That awareness happens at a deeper place than mental cognition. When Jesus said, “I am the truth” he was not serving up a propositional statement about God to be verified in the mind as “true” or “false.” He was strumming a chord to awaken our soul.