We make the distinction here on Literaritea between Truth and truth. One is capitalized; one lowercase. You might think of them as “Big-T Truth” and “Little-t truth” when you are speaking of them. Look for Truth to be bigger in size than truth to help distinguish them (when we’re making the distinction).
So, what do we mean by Truth v. truth? We’re indebted to a favorite college professor (Mr. Ethan Pettit) for this clarification, and must give him the credit! Here is a short summary of the differences:
- Truth: “Reality as God has ordained it, from the order of His creation and the fall of man. There is good, and that is God. There is evil, and that is the nature of man. There is redemption, and that is Christ.” We certainly believe that “all truth is God’s truth,” and that all mankind has been created in the image of God–therefore, the “nature of man” as evil is more that all mankind has been tainted by the original fall from grace in the Garden of Eden (“in Adam’s fall we sinned all” as the old New England primer puts it). Literature which reveals ultimate goodness and the idea of a Creation, shows the effects of sin (and shows them AS sin), offers the hope of redemption–all of this falls under the umbrella of Truth. Needless to say, if there is overt reference to God Himself, a clearly identifiable Christ figure, the presentation of the gospel–these would fall under this category, too. The line between Truth and truth can be fuzzy; when we analyze works for Truth, we are essentially examining the worldview present within them.
- truth (as common grace): any instance of Truth reduced to the common insights or perceptions of mankind as evidenced in Creation of the common nature of man. This includes such “ideas” as the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”) and general knowledge such as that reflected around us in the world (gravity).
- truth (as truism): ideas that are commonly recognized and accepted among men but may or may not be accurate according to Scripture (God helps those who help themselves). Ben Franklin is king of this sort of truth!
Does this mean we only read “Christian” books since they are the only ones which contain Truth? No! In fact, as we hope to demonstrate, some “Christian” books are very much not the best examples of the combination of Truth and Story. We’ll cover Story (and story) in another post. For now, the works below are all examples which fall into either the Truth or truth category. This is a continuum; some books straddle the line.
Truth (some classics and some brand new examples!):
- Narnia (an ultimate, powerful “God” figure; a perfect Creation marred by evil; a final triumphant battle in which good wins; a definite Christ-figure/redemptive storyline…)
- The Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia: WOW–what a terrific picture of love, sovereignty, sacrifice, and strong MEN and WOMEN
- Lord of the Flies: talk about effects of the fall! This book shows us creation (a near perfect island paradise), the fall and its many destructive effects, and the hope of redemption (the ship at the end)
- Brothers Karamazov: Just read it if you doubt us 🙂
- Old Mother West Wind stories by Thornton Burgess: cute stories about anthropomorphic animals which always carry some sort of moral
- Aesop’s Fables always have a moral!