Thursday, October 12, 2006

could it be that the greatest story might be true?

Fresh words from John Piper this morning:

"My gripe is not with lovers of the truth, but with truth herself. What succor, what consolation is there in truth, compared to a story? what good is turth at midnight, in the dark, when the wind is roaring like a bear in the chimney, when the lightnight strikes shadows on the bedroom wall and the rain taps at the window with her long finger nails? no. When fear and cold make a statue of you in your bed, don't expect hard-boned and fleshless truth to come running at your aid. What you need are the plump comforts of a story. The soothing rocking safety of a lie." Vida Winter

My main response is the feeling of wonderment that people today really believe this. And then I feel pity. And then a desire to find some wawy to shock themout of the trance. What shall we say?........the writer of this paragraph has probably never really feared for her life. And almost certainly not for her eternal life. "Plump comforts of a story" will not soothe if you have three minutes before you hijakced plane incinerates you on the Pennsylvania plains.
..... I wonder why she equates "story" with the "soothing rocking safety of a lie", instead of asking whether the greatest story might be true? Dorothy Sayers and C.S. Lewis have helped us see that the reason "myth" or "story" have such power is not because they replace truth but because they resemble Truth.

I pray that those who see themselves in this paragraph will discover that 2,000 years ago the Truth became flesh and dwelt among us. He is "hard-boned" but not "fleshless". His name is Jesus Christ. He is the center of the true story of God's saving history. It is not the "soothing rocking safety of a lie." That is why his story will bring "succor" and "consolation", not just when the wind hols and the rain falls, but when breath fails and we slip through the lips of eternity.

Praise God that the greatest written story... is true! and we get to tell it to the next generation... we get to declare his death and resurrection in our own generation until He comes again or until we "slip through the lips of eternity" clinging to the greatest story as our only hope.


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