Wednesday, January 31, 2007

 

What is Truth?

I just left my philosophy class. We talked there about how things attract us and about what "attractive" is. We did not come to a satisfactory conclusion, but on my walk back from the class room, I engaged in a bit of reflection and thought. I thought about truth. Please indulge me a bit as I share my rambling thoughts on this topic.

The Gospel of John uses "truth" a lot. Pilate even asks that famous question above in John 18:38, just after Jesus said that he had come to testify of the truth. So, what is truth?

Peter Kreeft says that truth is saying about what is that it is, that truth is saying what is real. Ronald Nash says that truth is "a property of propositions that correspond to the way things are." Andreas Koestenberger says that telling the truth is representing the facts accurately. Some in today's post-modern world would claim that truth is in the eye of the beholder, that it is a personal possession determined by the independent individual.

John's Gospel presents truth in this way--in chapter 1, verse 14, he describes the Incarnation as an event in which God's self-revelation (i.e., the Word) became flesh and lived among humans. This Incarnated Revelation of God is described as full of grace and truth. If truth is the way things actually are, then God's Word was full of reality, full of what is. Jesus is later represented as saying of himself that he is "the way, the truth, and the life" by which means alone can individuals come to have a relationship with God.

John describes Jesus as truth.

Think about that. He is the sum total of all propositions that correspond to the way things actually are, he is the great representation of reality, he is what is real!

He is Truth.

Truth in this sense (not the post-modern one) is an absolute standard to which all of reality is ultimately compared. Something then is true or real only insofar as it accurately corresponds to what Jesus is and what Jesus reveals about God.

If it is not true, it is not Jesus.

Any aspect of my life that does not correspond to Christ, that does not reflect his character is false. It is not true. It is a lie.

My mother used to say the "the truth is true." While this syllogism may have its share of logical problems, it is nonetheless accurate. What is true is real. It is true.

According to John's Gospel, Jesus is the final standard or measuring rod by which reality is judged.

If it isn't Jesus, it isn't true.

That hurts a bit as I look at my own life. How much of the stuff that I entertain as "real" is actually false when compared to Jesus? What lies do I continue to live while claiming to know the truth?

In John 17 Jesus prays to God that he will sanctify Jesus' followers in the truth. Jesus adds "your (God's) word is truth."

I think I understand the Psalmist now. In Psalm 139:6 he says "such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it."

I am boggled by this idea--if it does not correspond with Jesus, then it is false.

How much have I allowed in my life that is not "real" or "true"?

I'm afraid to try to answer honestly!

What is truth?

Think about it.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

 

Some C. S. Lewis Quotes

"The central story of my life is about nothing else . . . I call it Joy. . . . It might equally well be called a particular kind of unhappiness or grief. But then it is the kind we want. . . . All Joy reminds. It is never a possession, always a desire for something longer ago or further away or still about to be." Surprised by Joy

"In reading Chesterton, as in reading MacDonald, I did not know what I was letting myself in for. A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful about his reading. There are traps everywhere--'Bibles laid open, millions of surprises . . . fine nets and strategems.' God is, if I may say it, very unscrupulous." Surprised by Joy

Thanks for reading!

 

What I am listening to this week . . .

Here are the CDs in my player at the moment:

1) U2--All that you can't leave behind

2) Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians--Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars

3) Louis Armstrong--The Jazz Collector Edition

4) Jazz for the Quiet Times

5) U2--Rattle and Hum

Thanks for reading!

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