Page 2

FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S PEN

“What is truth?” By The Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen G.W. Andrews

Dear Friends, “WHAT IS TRUTH?” In one fashion or another, this question was at the centre of two debates sponsored by Wycliffe College this past academic year. One featured a conversation between atheist-turned-Christian Alister McGrath and Christianturned-atheist Michael Shermer. It was on the theme “Is God a Figment of Our Imagination?” The second one, addressing the question “Is There Meaning in Life?”, included the apologist William Lane Craig, the psychologist Jordan Peterson, and the naturalist philosopher Rebecca Newberger Goldstein. Both events, ably and winsomely guided by Karen Stiller, drew capacity crowds at U of T’s Convocation Hall, and confirmed the fact that many people, lots of young people in university, are looking for truth. But for many, truth is elusive. One can easily see why. In the first place, we are hearing daily about “fake news.” It is difficult to trust completely the accounts of others, given that they, like we, have limitations and biases that colour their reporting. Moreover, those raised in the “post-modern” world have been taught that all “truth” is relative, and that what is true for me may not be true for you. We no longer share a 2

conviction that truth is self-evident. Finally, we are too familiar with those who use “truth” as a tool of power, as means by which to bludgeon and enslave the other. If that’s what truth is good for, who needs it? And yet, it would seem as if a hunger for truth is built into the human soul. It is persistent and unavoidable. For, as St. Augustine noted, every experience of doubt presupposes that there is something that is true. (Descartes was reportedly miffed when a friend pointed out that his aphorism, “I think, therefore I am,” was borrowed from St. Augustine’s assertion, “I doubt, therefore truth is!”) We continue to be truth-seekers at the College. In this issue you will see that it is a passion for truth that inspires our Bishops Frederick and Heber Wilkinson Professor of Church History, Alan Hayes. His sabbatical project will explore dimensions of the church’s relationship with indigenous people. It is a timely enterprise in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, and it promises to shed light on an uncomfortable and sometimes controversial topic. Truth is sometimes hard to hear. Of course, the truth that is preeminent at a theological college is the truth found in him who said, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The truth of God in Christ lies at

the heart of all that we teach, and it is now at the centre of a new Wycliffe initiative designed to assist preachers and devout lay people in engaging the set Sunday Scripture readings used by most mainline denominations. Professor Chris Seitz is our guide in a weekly podcast that takes us through each of these readings, placing them in their biblical context and bringing out the truth about God and His purposes in the world. “What is truth?” This is a question famously posed by Pontius Pilate on the eve of Jesus’ execution. His encounter with Jesus is a sobering reminder that sometimes we can come face to face with the truth and still not recognize it. This is why we are so earnest in our quest for truth, and why we continue to be grateful for those who pray that Wycliffe will stand as a beacon for truth, and that our students “may so learn truth as to bear its light along their ways, and so learn Christ as to be found in him.” With every good wish in Christ,

Stephen Andrews, Principal

Profile for Wycliffe College

Insight Magazine - Spring/Summer 2018 edition  

Insight Magazine by Wycliffe College

Insight Magazine - Spring/Summer 2018 edition  

Insight Magazine by Wycliffe College