Act-Truth > Fact Truth
I was reading a complimentary copy of In Defense of God’s Law by Jean-Marc Berthoud, translated out of the French into English by Molly Anderson Orr. In the notes by Mrs. Molly Orr she commends the book with a profound quote by the not “always orthodox but always vivid wordsmith George MacDonald” who says,
“act-truth is infinitely better than fact-truth; the love of the truth infinitely beyond the knowledge of it.” (p. XVIII)
It is also as I read in my prayer time this morning from Precious Remedies for Satan’s Devices p.244 in the Banner Edition,
“Knowledge without wisdom is like mettle in a blind horse, which often is an occasion of the rider’s fall, and of his bones being jostled agains the walls. It is not the most knowing Christian, but the most wise Christian, that sees, avoids, and escapes Satan’s snares. ‘The way of life is above to the wise’ saith Solomon, ‘that he may depart from hell beneath’ (Prov. 15:24). Heavenly wisdom makes a man delight to fly high; and the higher any man flies, the more he is out of the reach of Satan’s snares.”
It is also the same thing that C.S. Lewis writes in Abolition of Man,
“The heart never takes the place of the head: but it can, and should, obey it.” (p.19)
Lewis is describing the problem of men without chests where the objective facts are replaced by hearts (another problem altogether). But the matter I am quoting of it here is to illustrate the proper role of men with the right sentiments to the truth (which is what Lewis is commending; everything in its proper place).
Douglas Wilson described it something like,
Education is getting your kids not merely to conform to or approve the standard, but to love the standard; and to love the standard is loyalty. Education is older birds teaching younger birds to fly. (Video interview on Canon Plus app).
The point is all the same, a love for the truth that acts— Act-Truth is infinitely greater than Fact-Truth.
Lewis also says,
“The head rules the belly through the chest.”
This is Lewis’ idea behind Men without Chests. To have a Chest is to have the right rational and reasonable response to the objective facts in the head. Truth therefore is meant to be affectionately obeyed, and it these two things cannot be interchanged. It is not how we feel about the truth that becomes the truth, but the way we feel about the truth has rules, rules of affection.
Much more can be said. The point I am restricting myself to in this post is simply that Act-Truth is infinitely greater than Fact-Truth. We must love the truth, and promote such, not merely know the truth. A house built on the Rock is not merely knowledge of the truth, but it is coupled with a love for the God of truth so as to obey him affectionately.