Monday, May 17, 2010

Original Truth

As I was thinking about my previous post and that nothing said in it was actually original to me (only how it was said could be called original), I began to recall that no truth I've proclaimed is original to me. All my thoughts find their source in the words others have spoken. As this train of thought continued, I realized that no truth is invented or is original to whoever said it; it lies outside of the one proclaiming it.

This is why those who see truth and proclaim some aspect of it no one has ever seen before are called "insightful," not "creative." Insight is the gift of being able to look at what is already there (God, the Bible, the world, mankind) and see an element about it that no one has really seen or expressed, and then sharing it with others. I learn new truth when the truth already present is apprehended and then communicated to me in a way I can understand. The truth-teller points away from himself, not at himself.

Therefore, when shown a wonderful truth we have never seen before, the Author of that truth should receive the glory, not the messenger bringing that truth. However wonderful he might be, he did not invent or create the truth, and if the truth is so marvelous that we praise the one to discover it, how much more should we praise the one who made it? The one bringing it, though recognized, should fade away as the One from whom the truth found its origin receives the greater attention.

It is like a marvelous piece of music written by Bach but found and reintroduced by Mendelssohn. Who gets the praise when Bach's music is played? Bach does, not Mendelssohn. Though Mendelssohn is mentioned and praised for discovering Bach's music, Bach is the one who gets the most glory of the two.

In the same way, when a great man like C. S. Lewis shares a truth that is marvelous and eye-opening, God, the author of the truth, should get the praise. Though C. S. Lewis is recognized for his discovery of that truth and praised for it, God should receive the greater focus. He created the truth found within the essay, "The Weight of Glory"; should He not receive the greater praise? I believe C. S. Lewis would prefer that, especially now as his sin nature has now been fully eradicated.

This is how truth-proclaimers remain humble, by recognizing the true source of the truth that they proclaim. Even if I, or you, or anyone else do stumble upon a droplet of truth, we have to remember where the droplet came from, and look up, and recognize the hand of the Creator behind it.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Former TMC prof CDub Smith has been quoted (by Dr. Behle) as saying, "You don't have one single original bone in your body. Now cite it." Maybe that physical/nature illustration helps to put things into perspective: all good is ultimately from God, and He is the one who allows us to see truths or to have life at all!