Tuesday, September 13, 2005

On Jesus Being the Way, Truth, and Life

Doug's right on.

I had a conversation today where the typical question presented to people who hold to a non-foundational approach - Wasn't Jesus' statement 'I am the way, the truth and the life' a foundationalist presupposition.

I can't count the number of times that people have used this statement to suggest an exclusivist view or foundationalist view (there may well be an argument made for these positions but this passage is not it).

It is so maddening sometimes, not in the case of this conversation today, but it drives me mad.

It would be like taking the other seven 'I Am' statements in John and thinking of them as literal statements - Jesus is really bread, really a vine, really a shepherd, or a door.

All of those are much better than that. Jesus was likening himself to Torah in the Way, Truth and Life. That was how the Torah was referred to, so Jesus was saying that he was as Torah.

There is great significance to this, all of which, in my opinion, are lost by the foundationalist perspective.

So the next time I hear someone say there must be absolute truth because Jesus said he was truth I am going to invite them to my house to hang a Jesus door, or prune the Jesus vines.


Twyla said...

Ha!Haha! Great. Thanks for the answer I needed. Great post.

Sled Dog said...

But doesn't Jesus conclude that statement with an absolute concept?

I am the way the truth and the life, NO ONE comes to the Father but through me...

Jon said...

Ryan, I'm going to have to remember that one. The Jesus door and the Jesus vines! Great answer.

Brian Aaby said...

Ryan, you say "Doug is Right on"... Assuming that means you think he is right about this view... I would love for you to put into your words what you believe about this... It is scary (to me) to see Twyla state that this is "the answer" she needed. I wonder what her question is...? What if she is questioning the Deity of Christ and this poor proof texting invites her to deny the Deity? I am not saying that this is the case, but what if? Again, it is not my role or your role anyway, it is the Spirits, but we are still responsible. This "Foundationalist" (or whatever Doug has said) view is supported throughout Scripture. Jesus is the absolute truth of the Father. Scripture both warns us and supports this view that Jesus is the way to Salvation (only)--see Col. 2:8-9 below.
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.
9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form,

Sorry if I offend, but I have really struggled with the apparent complete support of what Doug said and I, for one, believe in this he may be introducing a philosophy that opens the door for the denial of Deity.

Twyla said...

Ryan ~ just to clarify...thanks for the answer to lighten up the conversation when someone gets just a little too earnest in insisting their view of the interpretation of the Book is the only one allowed. Peace.

Danae said...

haha... Jesus vines. how funny. you a funny man.