The other day I was sitting in a coffee shop and couldn’t help overhearing an interesting and intense debate on the other side of the room. An older gentleman was trying his best to aid an inquisitive college student who had some hard-hitting questions. She asked about scripture, about authority and about the church. One question kept popping up: “What is the difference between truth for you, truth for me and truth with a capital T?”
I have encountered the question in my own ministry and I find it to be distracting and unhelpful, in part because it assumes that individual judgment trumps a community of people committed to truth-telling. We too often become enamored with trying to identify abstract propositions of faith and forget that truth is first and foremost about not lying.