This is from Jacques Ellul taken from his book The Humiliation of the Word.
Now here is the amazing thing: this is a godsend for us. How could we live if our senses advised us that the reality in which we live does not really exist in the final analysis, that it is only a tangle of whirlwinds and illusions? How could I walk if my senses showed me nothing but emptiness in front of me? How could I eat if my senses showed me the utter unreality of what I am eating? Not that everything can be reduced to the impressions of my senses. That is not what I mean. My point is that sight and touch, the senses of certainty, give me the guarantee indispensable for living, concerning a milieu that is strange and foreign to me. My certainty is false as far as exact reality is concerned, but this certainty allows me to live.
Physics or mathematics can teach me many things about reality, but they cannot contradict the unimpeachable evidence of my senses. What do I care about the fact that chemistry can give me the exact formula for the wine I am drinking? That has no effect on the great pleasure I derive from it. (Moreover, when chemists claim to be able to reproduce wine, vanilla, orange extract, etc., on the basis of their exact formulas, the result is always horrible -- at least for those with a sense of taste. In order for me to live, my senses must be right in spite of the scientific analysis of reality
The opposite is just as true. What would become of us if we could grasp truth with unvarying precision and express it without the slightest imperfection or without any uncertainty? What would happen if the means were perfectly adequate for expressing truth? Such a situation would be dreadful and completely unlivable. We would be pinned down once and for all in a butterfly museum. We would be there in all our splendor, unable to move any more, because everything would be said, closed up, and finished: perfect.
We have seen the horror that has resulted in the course of our history every time a person or group has claimed to express truth in its entirety, believing their word to be identical with the truth, or that truth could not be "elsewhere" or "other." This attitude has given legitimacy to all dictatorships, oppressions, falsehoods, and massacres. One person’s word against another’s is the only possible fragile pointer to truth, like a compass quivering in its case. And quite apart from human pretension to have a proud, exclusive corner on truth, even if we could seize truth as it is and transmit it without wasting any of it and without confusion, truth would crush us of its own weight and prevent us from living. In order to live, we need truth to be expressed by the most fragile agent, so that the listener remains free. The uneasiness which enables us to keep going involves knowing that we will never be able to grasp truth in its entirety, or be able to bring our adventure to a close by identifying our life with truth.
Some people, including Christians (I think particularly of my Protestant friends), have the profound conviction that truth is "there." They say, for instance, that "the word of God is expressed in the Bible." Even so, I must be prudent enough to say that this word is conveyed through human language: witnesses who pass it on to other witnesses. And when I hear it, I understand it with my words, my verbal images, and I speak it with my language -- and I am not God, fortunately. If this were not so, human life would be closed. By these statements, I do not reduce the value of revealed truth in the slightest; on the contrary, in this way I respect it and recognize its special dimension and the depth and permanence that make it truth. If I claim to grasp and express it in its entirety, then it is no longer truth.
The connection between Word and Truth is of such a nature that nothing can be known of truth apart from language. This truth establishes itself over the duration of generations (Hebrew toledoth), in the ebb and flow of words, through our fellowship and our misunderstandings. This is where this marvelously human life is located. The most reliable thing speaks to the most uncertain world; my most flexible means expresses what is irrefutable.