What is Truth?

The following is an article I wrote for the local newspaper.

“What is truth?” Easter is over but the question posed by Pilate in the Biblical account of Jesus’ crucifixion stubbornly refuses to go away. It peeks over our shoulder when we read the news. It whispers in our ear while we’re listening to our young children explain how the vase ended up broken on the floor. And it patiently waits outside the door of the church while we enter for worship on Sunday morning.

Excuse me? That last sentence can’t be right. Now that I have your attention (at least those who haven’t thrown this article out in disgust), let me explain. There are at least two ways to ask the question, “What is truth?” We can ask sincerely. This kind of asking leads us on a quest for what is really real. It is the beginning of a framework that encompasses all of life.

When we ask the question sincerely, in a sense we’re taking it with us wherever we go. The question does indeed join us on Sunday mornings in the worship service. When sincere, it is here we ask deep, life-impacting questions about truth. If the God of the Bible is really real, after all, that’s a pretty big deal. It means something beyond an hour on Sunday. It means God is the creator and owner of all. It means He is supreme. It means that in Him alone is life.

What is truth? If God is really real, then the truth has a way of breaking out of our boxes. Because the really real God of the Bible won’t be confined to a segment of our lives or thoughts. He is the Creator of the world and He deserves to be the Leader of our worldview.

But there’s another way to ask this question, “What is truth?” We can ask it with a sneer, betraying our presupposition that at best truth is inconsequential (at worst, it doesn’t objectively exist at all). Very simply, this approach says that the individual defines truth. The individual makes the rules and does, in practice, leave the concept of truth outside the doors of the church building on Sunday morning (if he or she even attends).

In this approach to truth, the individual has become the definer of truth, and the one who defines truth defines the “truth” of who god is. The problem, of course, is this view makes the individual greater than both god and truth making both inconsequential or nonexistent. What began as sneering presupposition has become an unlivable “reality.” Unlivable because truth does exist.

God does exist and He has made Himself knowable. This is the truth claim of Christianity.

What is truth? It’s a fundamental question. Will we pursue it sincerely or sneer and set it aside?

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4 thoughts on “What is Truth?

  1. “The Spirit is the Truth”. The Spirit is a reality, not a theory. Jesus is that Spirit, the Spirit of God’s life. The bible tells me so, and my heart is recreated by it.

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    • Thanks for the comment. The Bible also notes that Jesus is the truth (Jn. 14:6). We need to be careful with language like “Jesus is that Spirit” though. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are distinct. I agree the Bible is true. I also believe there are good reasons to hold to the truth of the Bible.

      Liked by 1 person

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