An Emerging Headache

I am currently reading a book by Tony Jones called The New Christians: Dispatches From The Emergent Frontier (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2008). I understand what Jones is reacting to, and I share many of his concerns, but some of his “dispatches” give me a splitting headache when I think about them.

Take for example Dispatch 13, delivered after a brief discussion of Stanley Fish:

Emergents believe that truth, like God, cannot be definitively articulated by
finite human beings (p. 153).

So, Tony, is that a definitive truth? It seems that you cannot escape a truth claim even when you claim to have no truth claims. The notion is self-defeating (or self-refuting). If Dispatch 13 is false, then there is some truth. If Dispatch 13 is true, then it proves itself to be false, because it is a definitively true statement.

He states the notion another way on page 154: "…“truth” is not the hinge on which the biblical narrative turns."

There’s only one response to that from someone raised in rural Tennessee: “Really; is’at so?” Here we have a true statement about the Bible that says the Bible does no depend on truth. Another self-defeating statement. I must stop typing now, my headache is getting worse and worse.

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