Thursday, February 17, 2011
SALT Challenge - Truth
It's time once again for another SALT challenge and Ruth picked a fabulous topic - Truth. Please stop by the SALT blog to read her write up, which focuses on not lying and on the truth of God's Word. In general, people are uncomfortable with the idea of absolute truth, at least as it applies to Christ and the Bible. In his excellent book, "The Reason for God" Tim Keller shares this quote from someone who visited his church, "How could there be just one true faith? It's arrogant to say your religion is superior and try to convert everyone else to it." My guess is that many reading that quote would heartily shake their heads in agreement. However, Keller goes on to say that if you try to explain away all assertions of truth as one or the other or something else you will find yourself in an untenable position. C.S. Lewis in the "The Abolition of Man," states the following ...you cannot go on "explaining away" forever; you will find that you have explained explanation itself away. You cannot go on 'seeing through' things forever. The whole point of seeing through something is to see something through it. It is good that the window should be transparent, because the street or garden beyond it is opaque. How if you saw through the garden too? A wholly transparent world is an invisible world. To 'see through' all things is the same as not to see." If, for example, you say that all truth-claims about religion and God are just psychological projections to deal with your guilt and insecurity, then so is your statement. The idea that you hold to is your absolute truth. Some kind of absolute truth-claim, then, seems unavoidable. It's inconsistent to work against oppression when you refuse to admit that there is such a thing as truth. Keller's also quotes from G.K. Chesteron, "the new rebel is a skeptic, and will not trust anything...therefore he can never be really a revolutionary. For all denunciation implies a moral doctrine of some kind. Therefore the modern man in revolt has become practically useless for all purposes of revolt. By rebelling against everything he has lost the right to rebel against anything. There is a thought that stops thought. That is the only thought that ought to be stopped." So we can see that everyone holds to their own version of absolute truth. The challenge is knowing how absolute truth applies to the Bible, Christ, and Christianity. This is a huge topic and one that could fill numerous blog posts so I'll simply share a quote from Bono (the singer of U2), "...either Christ was who He said He was - the Messiah - or a complete nutcase. The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside down by a nutcase, for me that's far-fetched." The truth is that Jesus Christ, who claimed to be THE truth, the way, and the life (John 14), radically changes everything about people; who they are, how they see, and how they live. If you have ever known anyone before they became a Christian, you can testify to this fact. So either they have, in their own power, brought about such changes or absolute truth can be found in Scripture and the work of Christ on the cross. If you're unsure how to respond to these ideas, begin by praying and asking God (even if you're not sure if He exists) to give you clarity on these topics, to help you understand who He is and to show you the truth about Him. Seek God while He may be found...And may He be pleased to reveal those truths to your mind and heart. Please stop by the SALT blog to read Ruth's write up and to see the other word submitted by the design team.