Religious Studies 2 (1):129-136 (1966)

The philosophical problem of the relation of symbol to truth is far from solved, but there have been significant advances toward its solution. It is the common Christian understanding that God is Truth , and that all truths must ultimately find union in him. This is to say that all genuine truths must be compatible. The true conclusions of genuine science must be compatible with the true conclusions of genuine theology. Or, to bring this general statement to a more particular level, the true conclusions of Biblical scholarship must be compatible with the true conclusions of the natural sciences. When this compatibility is lacking, and it so often is, we must assume that the conclusions of one field of truth-seeking or the other do not partake of the Truth which is God. And there is no guarantee that theology as a field of truth-seeking cannot err. Another characteristic of genuine truth is that it is not dependent upon any particular environment or milieu —either social, cultural, philosophical, or even theological. Unless we are to make the common but dangerous division of sacred and secular, of holy and profane, claim that these areas of human experience have nothing to do the one with the other, compartmentalise our thought, and ask, ‘What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?’, it must be concluded that there is no one specifically Christian milieu . Genuine truths must be true at all times, in all places, and for all men. But since we are not gods, we must hold these truths in what St Paul called earthen vessels , vessels shaped and moulded by our particular milieu
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DOI 10.1017/S003441250000264X
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