Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Pontius Pilate - moi??

I started watching the BBC drama "The Passion" on Sunday night. I missed last night's episode, but will catch up with it later in the week.

One of the things that struck me was that Pilate was different from how I'd imagined him. This reminded me of last year's Archbishop of Canterbury's Lent Book. "Power & Passion" by Samuel Wells was very good. He looked at various characters from the Passion stories - including Pilate.

The chapter on Pilate ends with this paragraph:

"Does Jesus stretch our imaginations? Do we allow him to challenge our instrumental notions of truth? Do we take the risk of letting him dismantle the deftly prepared PowerPoint presentations that tell us how to make our companies, organizations, or families richer, safer, fitter, stronger? Does it suddenly begin to strike us that we are Pilate in this story, saying to Jesus, "Don't distrub my carefully ordered world. Don't look at me like that. I'm not powerful. I'm not a manipulator. I'm not a person who finds it best to avoid asking why. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not.... Am I?"

Something to think over this Holy Week.


That Hideous Man said...

What does this author mean by an "instrumental notion of truth"?

Endlessly restless said...

Good question - I had to re-read part of the chapter to refresh my ageing memory. Wells uses the 'instrumental notion of truth' to describe the attitude which says that "Something is true if it works, if it gets you to the next place. No one ever discusses what the final place is."

As I read this the rich young ruler came to mind. While it could be said that he was interested in the 'final place', was he really open to the answer?

Rich young ruler... moi?