Part 3: Truth in religion
This blog is part of a series. You can start the series by going back to the September 1, 2014 Introduction called A Case for Christianity: Why do we need one?
There are three basic perspectives, or worldviews on God and life. All people will fall into one of these categories if we are honest with ourselves:
- Theism: Belief in a personal God who created the universe but is not part of the universe. Christianity, Judaism, Islam
- Pantheism: Belief in an impersonal God that literally is the universe. Most Eastern varieties of Hinduism (which also includes forms of polytheism=many gods), some forms of Buddhism (which can also be atheistic) and many forms of ‘New Age’ beliefs.
- Atheism: No belief in any form of God, and Agnosticism: Unsure about the question of God. Secularism, humanism, naturalism, materialism, evolutionism, physicalism
As we have previously discussed the stronger evidence points to objective truth being discoverable, knowable and absolute. Objective truth is all around us in the forms of mathematics, physics and the laws of nature. We demand truth from each other in life. Does the fact that truth can be discovered help us know if there is a God or not? We will explore that question in an upcoming blog. For the sake of this blog we will look at truth about God from a theistic point of view and the use of the Christian Bible.
God’s truth is absolute and knowable. Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:19-20
How do we know?
1. God’s Natural revelation (what we see in creation)
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2
2. God’s Special revelation (what we learn from the Bible)
The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the Word of Our God Stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
But know this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:20-21
3. Jesus’ revelation (What we know from His teachings)
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
…Jesus answered, “You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” John 18:37
4. The Holy Spirit’s revelation (What we receive from God’s guidance)
(Jesus said…) And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:15-16
(Jesus said…) But when he, the spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13
…and it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 1 John 5:6
5. Our Conscious (what we innately know)
Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know His law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thought either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. Romans 2:14-15
As previously stated, truth corresponds to reality. If God exists then truth about Him should correspond to reality. So whose worldview has the best answer for the existence of God? Theism, Pantheism or Atheism?
Let me know what you think:
- If truth is discoverable, knowable and absolute can we find the truth about God?
- Which worldview matches best with what corresponds to reality?
Join us next time for Part 4: How does a Christian worldview match up with reality? (As compared to other worldviews)
Always be ready to give an answer for the hope that you have in Christ Jesus as Lord.
1 Peter 3:15