Friday, February 12, 2016

Quote: The Proper Defense of Truth

I know today’s quote is long, but I found it fascinating, as it provides a different reason than I normally hear for Christian apologetics and the need to address controversies, both inside and outside the church. How would our treatment of controversy change if this were our attitude?
“All proper defence of truth must aim after this positive result: more clearly to define and more accurately to set forth, that which is certainly believed among us. And this, in the good guidance of our God, is the higher meaning and issue of theological controversy. As every schism and separation indicate some truth which had been neglected, or temporarily ignored, by the Church, so each controversy marks some point on which the teaching of the Church had been wanting in clearness, accuracy, or fullness. And so every controversy, however bitter or threatening in its course, ultimately contributes to the establishment of truth—not merely, or even principally, by the answer to objections which it calls forth, but by the fuller consideration of what had been invalidated, and the consequent wider and more accurate understanding of it. . .We may have only partially succeeded in our effort; we may have even failed of success. But every defence and attempt at clearer elucidation, unless wholly ungrounded in reason or criticism, at least shows that defence and a clearer and higher position are possible, even though we may not have reached to it; and it points out the direction which others, perhaps more successful than we, may follow.”

~ Preface to Prophecy and History in Relation to the Messiah, by Alfred Edersheim.

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