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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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46 Responses to 686

  1. Robb says:

    I believe that there is truth or I wouldn’t bother.

    That said, I am accutely aware that my tiny little mind is incapable of ever understanding everything. That wont stop me trying to get to know God (the truth) better!!

  2. pat says:

    This one brought a wry smile Jon as I’ve been at work for the last few hours preparing for a research meeting later this morning :lol:

    Robb: me too – on all 3 counts :-)

  3. dennis says:

    I once thought I had found the truth only to realise it was a lie. That said I believe that Jesus is the truth only im not too sure what that means. Guess Ill keep digging too, pass the spade Jon.

  4. Angela says:

    I do like this guy. Maybe he is wrong about where and how to find the truth, but he got the desire to find it.

    He trusts his own mind, his own opinion, that’s fine too.

    And even if it seems ridiculous for other people -who knows – it could be part of his way to find the truth

  5. jody says:

    ‘That said I believe that Jesus is the truth only im not too sure what that means’

    amen dennis :-)

    this is why the seeking part of discipleship is important. pilate says ‘what is truth’ but doesn’t stick around to discover the answer, seeking God and Truth is a long journey.

    some, i guess want to believe that it’s believing in a Jesus constrained by propositional ‘truths’ – then it’s easy to tick the boxes.

  6. jody says:

    another thing about truth that i was just thinking – i had a friend who was a church leader and who was lent on quite heavily by hierarchy to cover up some bad behaviour that they had uncovered.

    my friend dug up the truth and saw to it that it wasn’t ‘re-buried’ – but it was a hard road for them to do that when the ‘powers’ were against them.

  7. rockingrev says:

    I like this one Jon. However I have always thought that to dig for the truth you have to start by being on your knees and then you dig as an archeologist with trowel and tooth brush as you are unlikely to find a great lump of truth, just little nuggets here and there aligned magnetically pointing to Jesus.

  8. Laura says:

    I can only now think that truth is somehow found only in chocolate.

  9. rebecca says:

    Jody (#5): Pilate’s famous question “What is truth?” translates into Latin as “Quid est veritas?” This can be rearranged to give the answer in Latin: “Est vir qui adest”: “It is the man who is before you”. But I agree with you and Dennis that I’m not quite sure what that means.

    Rockingrev (#7): that is a great metaphor.

  10. Miriworm says:

    Funny how pursuing the truth you can often end up digginbg yourself into a big hole! :-)

  11. Graham says:

    The theme song of my life: ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’…..certainty but also doubt and a deire to keep looking. Beautiful cartoon- I’m still digging…

  12. Graham says:

    sorry- for ‘deire’ read ‘desire’. I write too fast!

  13. JF says:

    The engagement with Truth is very important. But it is easily confused with the inadvertent creation of one’s own ‘truth’. The latter often ends with people having to live in a bubble (see 683), lest the real truth pop up and inconveniently remind them of what they’re doing.

    The guy in the cartoon knows the truth is the light shining over the hill, but would rather not see it. He’d rather be digging his hole in the shade.

  14. jonbirch says:

    maybe the guy in the cartoon is a bit reckless in his pursuit. i like the archeology analogy above. allowing the nougats in the dirt to be revealed by the light. digging is something you need to do a bit of if you want to build a picture of where you come from. ‘time team’, ‘who do you think you are?’, the glut of programs on discovery and bbc2 tells me we have a tremendous appetite for trying to work out where we come from. it’s one of the three key questions human beings ask… where do i come from? where am i going? why am i here?

  15. The only truth is digging.

  16. Saint Jonny says:

    He should try digging at the X on the map. There’s plenty of truth down there.

  17. Robb says:

    themethatisme – As a poster on my blog rather disparagingly put it:

    “It would seem the “cool” thing to be doing is searching. Finding…not so cool.”

  18. JF says:

    Nougats, Jon (14)? Good to see that chewy confectionery getting a namecheck again.

  19. beatthedrum says:

    Darn it have i got the right shovell or do i need a spade!


  20. jonbirch says:

    haha, jf… hmmm, i meant ‘nuggets’… as you well know!!! :lol:

  21. jonbirch says:

    anyone remember ‘golden nuggets’ the breakfast cereal?.. made the milk go green. :-?

  22. Caroline Too says:

    I think that I’d advise the guy to stop digging…

    I’m not at all sure that the idea called ‘truth’ is very helpful to
    find, instead

    I’d urge him (or bald her) to look for ideas that are


    these are much more helpful to someone trying to live within a
    community of faith

    and if (s)he was bemused by my downplaying of ‘truth’, then I’d
    point out

    that in the new Jerusalem, we will have all eternity to explore the
    infinity of God, and that’ll do for me.

  23. subo says:

    Dig all you like, you can’t monopolise the truth

  24. dennis says:

    21! we still have golden nuggets!! they are staying in the cupboard until someone eats them, thats the rule.

    Can you still buy nougat that pink and white stuff with nuts in?

  25. Lewis says:

    Golden nuggets never made my milk go green!?! they were gorgeous…. Especially when for some reason they started putting in chocolate ones too.. that was the best…

  26. Sophie says:

    nougat the pink and white stuff is still plentiful – i think especially so at seaside places.

    Also I think that worrying things happen when we think we (and no one else) has THE TRUTH. I used to be all black and white about everything (and I still am a bit about some things), but now I’m more comfortable with mystery.

  27. Bo says:

    This reminds me of the documentary about the life of Keith Green.
    He was a hippie searching for the truth and the meaning of life along with all the other hippies.
    But once he found the truth in Jesus, his friends were not so eager to follow.
    He got quite upset with them, saying they claimed to be searching for answers, but they really didn’t want to find them, otherwise they would have listened to him.

  28. Welshdisastergirl says:

    I’m so glad that we can keep ‘digging’ for the truth…

    or maybe that the truth is so massive we don’t get it

    i love that the big G is so massive we never stop being challanged.

    It might get a bit boring if we knew ‘the truth’

  29. beckyG says:

    When I did the truth, I often dig myself so far into a hole that when I find it, I can’t get out of the hole I dug for myself.

  30. JF says:

    “The real truth is so wonderful”

    “For me what matters is the truth”

    Our friend Richard Dawkins said both those things. He seems to have a better, clearer relationship with the Truth than some of the comments on this thread.

  31. beckyG says:

    30. Depends on the topic – Dawkins is a brilliant scientist but many of his theological conclusions that have been discussed on other cartoons are quite lacking.

  32. jonbirch says:

    i agree jf… then fundamentalists are always happy with their truth by definition. :-) dawkins, as a scientist is digging for truth constantly… it’s his best feature. :-)

  33. Linus says:

    @CT – you do realise your last sentence is a truth statement =P

    @JF – now you’ve got me really confused; i had you pegged as a total relativist postmodern thinker and here you come out all guns blazing for absolute truth. So am i right in thinking your worldview includes the belief that something that is really genuinely true is true for everyone? But you see God as a metaphore, not real in a concrete way, only real as an idea in people’s heads? This PoV is very interesting and i have loads of questions… but i guess they mostly come down to… ‘so how does Jesus fit in to this?’

    @Jon: Love your post about the three questions – relly insightful i think. I do still believe it is somehow hardwired into people to seek their source and their purpose. And as for the future, well, all creation groans for redemption. “You can live for weeks without food, even a few days without water, but not five minutes without hope”

  34. buzz says:

    well i looked at this and thought ‘what the hey?’

    the reason why i think asbo jesus is stunning is it makes me think outside of what i know, challenging, thought-provoking and a good flippin’ laugh. congratulations jon you are a wonder.

    wouldn’t it be great instead of having pastors/ministers teaching/droning at church to flick one of these beauties on the screen. the church wouldn’t be the same – yay!

  35. Caroline Too says:

    You’re quite right, Linus

    and isn’t that good news?

    I’ve given it to you on a plate, so you don’t need to dig! :-)

    all part of the service

    Dawkins and truth? mediated through algorithms and assumptions…

  36. jonbirch says:

    buzz… you are very kind. :-)

  37. Forrest says:

    Hey jon there in #14 – “it’s one of the three key questions human beings ask… where do i come from? where am i going? why am i here?”

    And, “Might there be someone somewhere else out there asking these same questions?”

  38. gilly says:

    …..instantly read this one differently. crumbs…

    sometimes we never get the truth about somthing, someone or some situation. what then?
    do we encourage the digging to continue? or is there a time for stopping the digging?
    no definate answers, just questions and thoughts…..

  39. JF says:

    Linus – I actually had to look up some of the words you use. I used Wiki, just for speed. I’m actually quite touched that you’ve pieced together my various musings / ramblings and put a name on them. I have no idea what I am! I guess I am relativist in that I recognise the huge importance of CONTEXT in value judgements (if I can put it as broadly as that), but when we talk about Truth, I don’t like the confusion between the factual, scientific truth and “yeah, that’s true for me”.

    Just as I don’t like to confuse “It’s a Miracle” with “Wow, that chain of events which was completely within the realm of the normal world just worked out really well for me”.

    Also I don’t like to confuse “I don’t know how that happened” with “it must have been an angel”.

    How does Jesus fit in? Well there’s a big question! Again, a sweeping generalisation in the interests of brevity: I can interpret things Jesus said in terms of the NOW. This helps with my understanding that Heaven is not a place we go when we die, but a mental/spiritual place we can achieve (in little bits, but maybe more & more over time) on a daily basis.

    When Jesus said “The meek shall inherit the earth”, did he mean that there’s going to be a day where he has to give the earth to someone and he’ll then lick his pencil and say “right, who was meek?”. I rather think the meaning is that if we adopt a certain mindset in respect of wanting / demanding things of the world and of other people, then the rewards can be much greater than going round insatiably grabbing at all we can get. It’s about now, not after we die.

    When Jesus said “No-one comes to the father but by me”, could he have meant that it is impossible to achieve any aspect of Godliness unless we take on board and live according to his teachings? Again, relating to THIS life, not the next.

    I guess I must also then answer the next obvious question in a way which might disappoint many people on here, namely that I do not believe in the resurrection. While I believe there may be many different dimensions to the world and while our understanding of the world itself may only be relatively nascent, I don’t believe that the rules of the realms that we can perceive are ever bent or distorted. I don’t believe in the paramormal or the supernatural at all. Jesus’ teachings, given that they relate to my LIFE and not a time after my death, are none the less important for that. The fact that Jesus died doesn’t detract from his life.

    I would never say “God is a metaphor; just an idea in people’s heads”. That is an over-simplification of something so much more important. But I guess it is closer to my belief than if someone says God is out there, impacting on the physics of our world.

    I really worry about people who believe in the next life but don’t seem to believe in this one.

    Well, that’s more than I intended to write, but hope it helps.

  40. jonbirch says:

    thank you jf for your honesty… i for one could never be ‘disappointed’ by an open response like you have given to the question. i dare say you’ve opened up some wonderful things for thought and discussion. i consider your response to be loaded with integrity and very much respect and appreciate that. :-)

  41. Pat says:

    JF – as Jon says, some wonderful openings here for discussion :-) I absolutely agree as to the importance of being aware of the contextual element of all thinking and discourse – though I’d also extend that to what you call ‘factual scientific truth’ :-D since I believe that all observation and description is interpreted, whateverthe domain it’s carried out in :-)

    Like you I don’t believe in the ‘supernatural’ or the ‘paranormal'; but at the same time, I don’t believe that all that exists is confined to the material realm – consciousness might be a good example of that (though of course not everyone would agree!).

    I would put soul into the same category – something that is rooted in and arises from my actual material existence (as opposed to something created in another realm and taking temporay residence here)but is not reducible to it. For me that fits in with what you say about the possibility of realising the Kingdom of God in the here and now, both in terms of my own personal growth into God and also (equally importantly)in the transformation of the world in which I live by the way in which I live in it. Which it seems to me is what the biblical themes of salvation are alluding to – not some privatised event but communal transformation, wellbeing and health: those right-relationships with God, neighbour, community,wider world, created order that are enshrined in the biblical concept of shalom

    As to where a ‘next life’ fits into all this, I believe that creation will eventually be renewed and that I will be part of that – but however that happens will, I think, require a special act of God. But, like you, I think the imperatives indicated by Jesus are for us in the here and now of our material existence, not primarily connected with getting ourselves ready for a future phase of existence (although not disconnected from that either!)

  42. JF says:

    Thanks Pat. What does “creation will be renewed” mean? This makes me ask
    1. What is / was “creation”? and
    2. What was creation like when it was ‘new’, assuming a renewal will take it back to that state?

  43. Pat says:

    Ah…..a good question JF and, to be honest, I’m not entirely sure what I meant when by ‘creation will be renewed’ :oops: But, starting from your other 2 questions and thinking out loud (and therefore probably not very coherently :-D ) …..

    ….I take creation to be a decisive and deliberate act of God which initiated the material realm – in other words the bringing into existence of material possibilities . I think that what was spoken into being by God in that initial moment was undifferentiated matter (the basic atomic constituents if you like) I think this was, through a deliberately chosen and embraced restriction on the part of God, then given the space and freedom to develop as it could. So ‘what was creation like when it was new?’ could be an unanswerable question since one could say that it is always new because it is always devloping.

    What will it be like when it’s renewed? ‘I don’t know’ is the honest answer – partly because while I think, for a variety of reasons, that it will be still exist in a material form, the limitations of my current existence make it hard to imagine exactly how a different one might play out (just as the early christians went through debates about whether we’d still have teeth and digestive tracts and, if I remeber rightly, concluded that we would but they’d just be for show rather than functional :lol: ). In as far as I can think/hope or say anything, I guess it would be to express an idea that somehow, all the good and beautiful that has been actualised through the ongoing processes of creation – both in the created world and in each person – will be retained and become fully realised and expressed, and all the evil and dross will be destroyed. What that will actually be like, what it will mean, I can, at present neither conceive nor articulate.

    I’m not sure if that makes any sense :???: but it’s where I’d begin from in trying to answer your questions.

  44. Paul says:

    The digger needs others to help find the truth. Or is that taking the ‘AS’ out of ASBO?

  45. Linus says:

    @ 35. haha that’s brilliant – “CT, finding the truth so you don’t have to since march 2009″ =D

    JF thanks for taking the time to reply and for making it such a generous and gracious one – i really appreciate it and all that you bring to these discussions =]

    I didn’t mean to pigeonhole you – far from it; it was the enigma that was intriguing. I just used those words cos i find these concepts really hard to express without using the jargon. I guess that’s why my God as a metaphor statement was pretty crude and simplistic, too – these are hard things to put into words. Please help me to do that better.

    Given we’re coming from such differing perspectives, the thing that struck me most was how much i’d agree with what you said. I love the Christian Aid slogan: “We believe in life before death” and agree with it wholeheartedly.

    I guess i’d say that its both-and in terms of interpreting what Jesus said – that how we apply it to our understanding of the world today is important, but so is how He and the peeps around him understood what he said to mean.

    i guess i’d say i don’t believe in the supernatural or paranormal either, but that my definition of natural and normal might differ to yours.

    and I guess that i would say that resurrection is important to me and that, as i understand the available evidence, i reckon Jesus did overcome death. I guess that i’d say that the hope i get from that is something i would like to advocate for, but i aim to “do this with gentleness and respect”.

    Like Jon, i’m not disappointed by your honesty and openness – quite the opposite – i love that people can share differing points of view here and feel able to do so. i love it when people feel free to say what they really think. Its a good sign of something worth investing in. Thanks again for being part of it. Grace and Peace =]

  46. gilly says:

    ( the more i think about this one, the more unsettled I am by it.
    seems to me that digging for truth is resulting in a bleak and lumpy landscape with no one or onothing around. except dirt and mess.)

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