A message about truth, from the Pastor's desk.
Man has searched many a year in his noble quest for truth. This quest of inquiry and speculation was the impetus behind the emergence of Hellenistic philosophy in the 4th century B.C. Socrates searched for meaning under the star speckled skies in Athens. Plato carried the quest further forward with the establishment of the Academy, where he engaged the thinking of his learned pupil Aristotle. It was a time of much debate over epistemology, cosmology, and theology, as well as ethics.
This debate resumed in the middle ages, by such men as Thomas Aquinas, Duns ‘the Scot’ Scotus, and William of Ockham. Galileo, Sir Isaac Newton, Spinoza and John Locke ushered in the dawn of modern science and philosophy. Moreover, the debate continues today.
Truth-- what is it? There is truth that is fleeting and hard to grasp. It has been tagged 'Relativism'. This 'truth' changes with the wind, and is whatever an individual or group thinks it ought to be. Another character trait of this type of truth is that it is always changing, e.g. what is true today might not be true tomorrow. Such 'truth' is subjective, and is formulated by one's personal impression and experiences. Reality is whatever one decides it to be. This type of 'truth' is illusory! In fact, it is no truth at all.
Another type of truth is presuppositional truth. This type of truth involves a judgment, proposition or idea that requires an agreed upon foundation of logic or principles. For example, we accept as true that 3+4=7. The agreed upon foundation is mathematical logic. Such truth is objective, yet dependent upon presupposed facts.
Finally, there is absolute truth. What is, as opposed to what is not. It is not subjective. It never changes. It is not dependent upon an agreed foundation of logic or presupposed fact. It simply is!
Where can one find absolute truth? It is all around us in creation. By this, I mean the physical world of the tangible. Consider the rocks and trees. These are rocks and trees. They are not illusory. They exist apart from presupposed facts. I recently planted a Silver Dollar eucalyptus tree in my backyard. Now, we might debate over the color of its leaf, and even the name of its specie, but we cannot argue over its being.
There is another place where we find absolute truth, and that place is in the Bible. Jesus prayed to the Father,"Sanctify them through thy truth, thy word is truth" (John 17:17). When we say the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we mean that it is the very thought our Creator wished revealed to us. It is not composed of mens' thoughts and ideas. Its thirty-six human authors wrote under Divine inspiration. Furthermore, we claim the Bible to be infallible. Christians teach, by this doctrine of inerrancy, that God has preserved his revelation to man down through the centuries, so that what we have today, in all its teachings, is free from error.
There is truth today. It is the same as yesterday, and it will remain the same tomorrow. We find this truth in God’s Word, and this truth points to Christ Jesus. The Bible is a treasury of absolute truth. It offers understanding as to the origin of our world, and the beginning of mankind. Within its covers we discover the true fallen nature of man, and God's plan for his redemption.
We find a well of wisdom as we read God's Law. We discover a purpose for living, which is to fear God and obey His commandments. We find instruction for holy living, which leads to a meaningful and joy-filled life. Moreover, if God is merciful to us, we find its greatest treasure of all. The absolute truth contained in this book can change a person's life forever. "Receive the word...which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21).
God's Word is truth! It is not subject to the whims of mens' opinions. It is immutable (Matthew 5:18). The truth of God's Word can set a man free from sin and guilt. Pick up the Bible today, and search its pages. Search them as you would a mine filled with gold and precious gems. Do not just kick the dirt. Get out the pick and shovel of inquiry and judgment, and diligently dig! See what you find.