A commentator on another site suggested that we did not have to take seriously Jesus’ statement that he is they way, truth and life (John 14.6) because Jesus may not have actually said it. It was most likely, he said, a gloss added by a later redactor. My response was that we have to deal with the text as it is and not try to dodge around it by treating it as it might have been or we wish it were. That seemed to upset somebody writing as “anonymous” who immediately assumed that to deal with the text as it is means to fall into the literalist camp of the inerrancy crowd.
That kind of knee jerk reaction gets us nowhere.
As pastors and teachers we must address the text as it is presented to the people in the pews as well as those who have no exposure at all to Christianity or the bible. One of the things I like about being Anglican is our preference for wallowing around in the text, subjecting it to close examination, questioning not just each other but God as well about its meaning. In the end it is the text that we have that bears the illumination of God’s truth and provides the tools for receiving revelations yet to come. That is why we are willing to call it holy and name it the Word of God.
Dealing with the text as we have it forces us to deal with uncomfortable questions, and not just about the red herring of homosexuality, but of the ongoing questions of good and evil, theodicy, the nature of the human condition and the meaning of salvation. Dealing with the text as we have it forces us to address its relationship to non-canonical books. Dealing with the text as we have it forces us to address its relationship to the oldest known texts in Greek or Hebrew – neither of which I am competent to do. But most of all, dealing with the text as we have it forces us to address the same questions and concerns that are present in the minds and hearts of those in our care.
So don’t just blow off John 14.6, or any other passage, because it’s difficult. Deal with it.