You know you are getting old when your friends start writing books. I first met Kristi Mair, author of MORE: Truth at a UCCF Midlands Team event – I was a naive young Associate Staff Worker with Theology Network (Read: unpaid labour of love) and she was a Staff Worker in Birmingham. We hit it off immediately – Kristi’s quirky sense of humour, genuine approach to friendship and deep love of truth makes her the thinker, teacher and friend that she is. It was a privilege, then, to be sent a copy of her first book by IVP to review.
MORE: Truth is a beautifully produced, winsomely written, scripturally soaked look at what it means to speak of truth in the world we find ourselves in, and what it then might mean to continue to say, echoing and talking about Jesus, that “I Am the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6). As Kristi herself puts it,
“The quests and quibbles for truth we followed the philosophers through earlier are ultimately resolved in Christ… It is all in Christ. It is the declarative statements and actual events of his words and works, but they are centred in his person. Truth is personal because Jesus is. He has walked among us. He achieved for us what we could not: eternal life in relationship with God. This means that truth is no less than objective, it is so much more. It is also no less than subjective, it is so much more”
Before you write off MORE: Truth as ‘just another Christian book’, though, it’s worth noting that Kristi beautifully balances her winsome and wise commitment to Jesus and Scripture with a genuinely engaged understanding of both the culture we find ourselves in and the ‘wisdom’ of the philosophers whose ideas underpin and inform it. In this, she reminds us that “God loves a sincere heart in each of truth. But the challenge for all of us is is to listen to truth and not retreat into scepticism whenever truth presents something personally unpalatable to us“. The flip side of this coin is her equally valid challenge to Christians that “Listening to truth doesn’t mean we should abandon culture, but rather learn to analyse it critically“. This, then, is a nuanced book, but also an entertaining and thought-provoking book.
MORE: Truth is a superb little book. I would strongly recommend it to people of my own generation, growing up and understanding ourselves in a culture where truth often seems relative. I would also recommend it to those pastoring us, as well as those we are starting to pastor and mentor. This book would be a helpful read for Christians heading off to university – not to be afraid of the big bad academy, but to step forward boldly and confidently. I thoroughly enjoyed reading MORE: Truth and can’t wait to see what Kristi writes next! I’ll close with her final words:
“I pray we would be empowered to be that counter-cultural community of Truth-lovers, sharing the good news of his Truth-Fun gospel in all our weakness. Truth may well be an uncomfortable word to some, but let’s demonstrate that it is is the best word we could ever hope for because, in Jesus, all God’s promises to us are ‘Yes’ and ‘Amen’ (2 Corinthians 2:10). Truth has arrived. We are no longer left in the dark. Truth is real, Truth has flesh, Truth walked among us. And Truth’s name is Jesus Christ”
There are a couple of other books that pick up on themes from MORE: Truth that I think would be well worth reading:
- Mark Meynell’s A Wilderness of Mirrors: Trusting Again in a Cynical World – this is a deeper exploration of some of the themes in MORE: Truth, and would be good for digging into some of the questions raised about trust and truth.
- Rich Nathan and Insoo Kim’s Both-And: Living the Christ-Centered Life in an Either/Or World – this is a helpful, biblical and practical book that resonates with some of the ideas and suggestions in MORE: Truth.