The following is an extract from “Leading Without Power” by Max De Pree.
What is the nature of truth? The New Testament says – and I believe – that truth is a person. I think truth is also a quality. The poet John Keats would have us believe that truth is beauty, and in many cases it is. Truth can at times be a promise. Truth can be communication. There are many wonderful ways in which to think about the concept of truth.
Eberhard Jungel, an East German theologian and philosopher, wrote a perceptive essay after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In it he said, “If one begins to analyse why totalitarianism finally failed, one should seek the decisive cause in its objective untruthfulness.” We’re familiar with the objective untruthfulness of government, of corporate advertising, of dysfunctional families. We are almost adjusted to it. The great sadness of denying truth is that we all become accomplices in our own spiritual demise.
On some community bulletin boards people put their own advertisements up, their own versions of the truth. I will never forget the one that said, “For sale, wedding dress, worn once, by mistake.” This is the opposite of objective untruthfulness.
Truth is by nature elusive and hopeful and luminous. It seems to me that in our most private moments, we all know truth in our hearts.
Rev Peter Morphew