By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST NEWS Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – October 4, 2015) — According to the Barna Research group, one-third of all adults believe that “moral truth is absolute and unaffected by the circumstances”(1). On the surface, this sounds great. “That’s about 34% of people that believe in truth,” some would proclaim. But pause for a moment. This means that 64% of people do not believe in truth or absolutes, or are unsure if they do. Think of it this way: the prevalent worldview is that people think truth is relative; that there is no such thing as absolute truth.
Interesting. Try telling this to a mathematician calculating what 1+1 equals. Or to a pilot that bases his flights on gravity, geography, and physics. Or to a doctor that needs to determine where the spleen is in a surgery. Or how about a person asking a teller how much money they have in the bank?
In each of these situations, people don’t want relativism to be the root worldview. No. We want facts, reason, and truth to rule!
But for some reason, in the area of religion, truth happens to be relative.
According to Dr. Norman Geisler, “nature of truth is crucial to the Christian faith. Not only does Christianity claim there is absolute truth, but it insists that truth about the world is that which corresponds to the way things really are”(2).
Simply put, truth is important for two concrete reasons.
First, the nature of truth. Truth is that which corresponds to reality, matching its objects, and is knowable. Christianity rests upon the fact that the Truth-giver—God—has truthfully communicated truth to people, both in the world (general revelation) and in His word (special revelation). Furthermore, the truth God gives corresponds to life as it actually is and is a knowable reality, meaning we can grasp and grapple with the facts. At times we can merely apprehend rather than fully comprehend. But to deny that truth exists is in itself a truth claim.
Second, the absolute nature of truth. Here, Geisler points out “orthodox Christianity is predicated on the position that truth is absolute.” God in His nature does not change—He is truth, and His truth remains steadfast, past, present, and future. And since God’s words and actions correspond to His nature, God will do nothing that is contrary to that nature. There is an absolute truth to God. And because of this, God is true to Himself and His creation.
It’s worth saying again: truth is important.
As St. Augustine reminds us, “When regard for truth has been broken down or even slightly weakened, all things will remain doubtful.”
Like all good witnesses that take a stand in a court of law, lets commit to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth—especially as it relates to the Christian faith. Let’s get in the habit of broadcasting the truth, not breaking it down.
2. Geisler, Norman. The Big Book of Christian Apologetics. Baker Books.
Photo captions: 1) Illustration from https://sherwoodbaptist.net/bookstore/products/your-mind-matters-to-god-series/294/ . 2) Brian Nixon.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon or https://twitter.com/BnixNews
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