Can we know?
Theme: What is truth?
Know: God and His Word are the absolute standard for all moral truth.
Think: Live with the mindset that Christ and His Word reveal absolute, objective truth.
Do: Go to Christ and His Word to find truth, and then put it into practice.
Notes and questions
B1 What is truth?
C1 Important question. It should not be dismissed by something trite like “just believe the Bible.” As Christians we can find answers.
C2 What it is not. Relativity
D1 Consider are these true? What do they think? What is reality?
E2 Great singer?
D2 Short changed, that is, buying something, paying for it, and not receiving the correct change.
E3 Every been cheated at a vending machine?
D3 Is what we see true?
D4 What other examples can you think of?
C3 What truth is
D1 Philosophical considerations–there are many theories of truth. Search on your search engine for “theories of truth”
D2 Three main theories of truth
E1 Correspondence–something is real, thus true, if it corresponds to a verifiable fact/reality. An example would be, this is my hand. This is true because I can feel it, see it, and use it.
E2 Coherence–something is real, thus true, if it agrees logically with other knowledge we have and with what others know to be true. My hand is real because it agrees logically with what a hand looks, feels, and acts like. It also fits with the context of where it is.
E3 Pragmatic–something is real, thus true, if it is useful to us or works in practice. My hand is real because I can use it today and expect to use it tomorrow.
E4 Another example of these would be a shoe, a table, a cell phone, etc.
D3 Objective truth–is there such a thing?
E1 Are there questions that have the same answer for each person?
G1 A statement has no truth or validity in itself. It is relative to the situation, culture, and person. There are no absolutes, especially as truth.
G2 “The belief that things like truth and morals change depending on a particular culture or situation. Someone who believes this is called a relativist.” MacMillan Dictionary.
F2 In many ways this is truth. What is considered rude in one culture would not be in another.
F1 All knowledge depends on context. This has to be false; see the next point.
F2 The concept of universal knowledge is true no matter what especially in the sciences as gravity, math, chemistry, etc.
E4 Some people have a general skepticism regarding the concept of truth. They point out, “You may be mistaken.” A mistake implies that there must be some type of truth to measure it. If there is nothing that is true or false, how can we correct errors?
E5 Elliot Temple writes, “Here is an argument that objective truth must exist: Communication relies on there being an objective truth. When I say something, you hear it. We’re in a shared world. What you hear isn’t random, it has to do with what I said. It’s not based on your whim or subjectivity. What you hear is a close approximation of what I actually said, because you seek the truth of what I said and it is there to be found. Communication is only possible when there is one single truth of what is being said for all the people communicating.” (Source)
D4 Truth in the Bible
E1 “Send one of you, and let him bring your brother; and you shall be kept in prison, that your words may be tested to see whether there is any truth in you; or else, by the life of Pharaoh, surely you are spies!” (Genesis 42:16 NKJV). In this passage the correspondence theory is seen, that is, what they say, corresponds to what they are.
E2 “Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence, but a false witness speaks deceitfully.” (Proverbs 12:17 NRSVA). Again there is the assumption in law that a witness will speak the truth, that is, what they say corresponds to what they saw.
E3 “So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another.” (Ephesians 4:25 NRSVA). Here we are commanded to speaking the truth.
E4″… in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time itself,” (Titus 1:2 EMTV). In fact, the Bible teaches that God cannot lie. This would contrary to His nature.
D5 Why do people have different views of truth? Some ideas may be that they want to justify their thoughts, desires, words, and deeds. They may want to manipulate or confuse others.
C4 Why is truth important?
D1 Some ideas include we need to know who we are, why we are here, where are we going, why am I alive, etc. These are the big questions in life. If there is no truth, or if it is changeable, then we cannot know for sure, which will surely lead to errors. Some of these errors will be too late to correct.
D2 We also need to know the truth to learn from our mistakes.
C5 Why do people lie?
D1 Self-esteem. People want others to think well of them, and the more their self-esteem is threatened, the greater they lie. See here.
D2 Prevent ill feelings or arguments. Types of lies like this are false excuses, false compliments, etc. See here.
C6 What are we to do when we find ourselves lying?
C7 Standard of truth
D1 Is there a standard of truth? In many sciences and math, for example, there is a standard. All use the same standards.
D2 What about law or moral issues?
E1 In some aspects the standard depends on who has the power, authority, to enforce. If Jane is queen of the world, and her armies are loyal to her, then what she says is law, is law, and what she says is moral or immoral, is moral and immoral.
E2 Who is the ultimate authority? It would have to be one, because even if it is a group, there will be one who has more influence or authority than the others. If we include ultimate power and authority, then we have to include authority over the sciences, planets, suns, and galaxies. If not, there would be something outside this authority and could challenge this one.
E1 The highest concept of supreme being would be/is called god.
E2 It is most reasonable that the supreme being in the Bible is God.
E3 His law and morals would be supreme and the standard.
E4 His law and standard is in the Bible.
F1 The Old Testament laws are to Israel, the nation.
F2 The New Testament laws are to the church, a people.
B2 Do all roads lead to heaven? Acts 4:12, 1 Timothy 2:5, etc.
B3 How do we answer those who don’t believe that Jesus is the only way to salvation?
B4 Is the Bible a reliable source of truth? Wasn’t it written by ignorant, backward beings with no knowledge of science? Wasn’t the New Testament written by people who wanted to start a new religion and so deified Jesus? See here for example.
B5 How do we minister to those who do not believe? …to atheists and skeptics? …to those of another religion as Islam or Hinduism?
B6 Why is it important to study the Bible this week?
By Choco on 3 Jun 16