After coming to this country, my Christian faith was greatly challenged as I tried to witness to those around me. And today, as I teach Sunday school, I see that the great stumbling block to the faith of young people, are the pronouncements in the media and the instruction that they are receiving in school with respect to science.
During my studies to prepare to answer the probing questions of these young minds, I have had to study the nature of science, and the nature of truth.
This morning I would like to share with you some of what I have learned.
At the most famous trial in history, a very important question was left unanswered. Since then, innumerable attempts have been made to try and answer the question: “What is Truth?”
Throughout the ages, men had hopes of finding an answer to this question in Mathematics and Science. After 2000 years, they have realized that they have failed in their efforts. Scientists and Philosophers have come to the conclusion that not only do they not know any truth, many of them grudgingly admit that they do not even know the meaning of the word Truth.
If they had not ignored the work of a great Christian theologian, they would have had the answer to Pilate’s question long ago.
Aurelius Augustine was born in 354 AD in north Africa. He was born to a Roman father & Christian mother. Although he grew up in a Christian environment, when he left home to pursue higher education, he became a follower of a cult. Later he moved to Italy to teach. There he met and heard the great preacher, St. Ambrose. Soon after he returned to his Christian roots. After he returned to Africa, he became the bishop of a city called Hippo, and began to teach and to write.
When he was about 40 years old, he wrote a small book entitled: On the Free Choice of the Will.
Almost hidden in that book is a definition for the word Truth.
Scientists admit that they cannot discover truth
Before we see his definition, it is instructive to hear the words of philosophers and scientists who have come to admit that Science is not a source of truth.
The most prominent philosopher of science in the 20th century has said:
“Science is not a system of certain, or well-established statements; Our science is not knowledge; it can never claim to have attained truth; we do not know, we can only guess.”
And these are the words of a great logician:
“… there is not a single law of nature which we know to be valid; the laws of nature are hypotheses which we assert tentatively.”
Mathematicians admit that they cannot discover truth
In addition to science, men were convinced that mathematics was a sure source of truth, but discoveries in the nature of numbers during the past 100 years have convinced them that there is no truth in Mathematics.
“Mathematics has been shorn of its truth; it is not an independent, secure, solidly grounded body of knowledge.”
“The critical mathematician has abandoned the search for truth. He no longer flatters himself that his propositions are or can be known to him or to any other human being to be true…”
The pillars of human wisdom: mathematics and science have been unable to produce a single Truth. Men’s efforts to discover truth have been for naught.
The word Truth has no accepted definition
You might be surprised to discover that a valid definition for the word Truth has not yet been agreed upon by Scientists and Philosophers.
A professor of theology at Boston University has made this statement:
“What is truth? … asked Pilate, and did not wait for an answer… In ignoring his own question, he showed good sense: for it has no answer.”
A more recent writer says:
“We still have no answer, however, to Pilate’s question: What is truth?”
These prominent men have surrendered to the notion that not only can they not know truth, but that it is not possible to know the meaning of the word truth.
These honest thinkers have finally come to the conclusion which was already there in the Scriptures: Fallible Humans are unable to discover truth. In 2Tim we read that:
“Men are always learning, but are never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
There is a valid definition of Truth
But I am glad to report to you this morning that there is a valid, Biblical answer to Pilate’s famous question. Over 1700 years ago, St Augustine wrote about the nature of truth. In 6 simple statements, he leads us to the definition of the word truth. To the answer to Pilate’s question, what is truth?
1- Truth exists, it is self defeating to deny the existence of truth.
2- Truth is unchangeable. What is true today could not have been false yesterday, nor can it become false in the future.
3- By extension of its unchangeable nature, we see that Truth must be eternal. Even if all created things vanish, truth will remain. Truth cannot die, it is eternal.
4- Truth is spiritual. Truth is something that exists in minds. Truth is not dependent on any material object.
5- Truth is Superior to the human mind. Because men’s minds are fallible and changeable, truth must reside in a mind higher than all human minds put together.
Let’s review the first five points.
1- Truth exists.
2- Truth is unchangeable.
3- Truth is eternal.
4- Truth is Spiritual, and
5- Truth is Superior to the human mind.
There is only one entity, one being who possesses the attributes of truth. Only God possess the attributes of truth.
6- The only conclusion that we can come to is that Truth is God.
Let’s go back and substitute the word God, for the word truth in the five points:
1- Truth exists - God Exists.
2- Truth is unchangeable - God is unchangeable.
3- Truth is Eternal - God is eternal.
4- Truth is Spiritual - God is a Spirit, and
5- Truth is Superior to the human mind - God is Superior to the human mind.
The Nature of Truth and the Nature of God are identical. Truth and God are identical. Truth is another word for God.
Let’s us if we can establish firm scriptural support for this definition of truth as given by St Augustine.
Let’s substitute the name Jesus Christ for the word Truth in the Nature of truth.
1- Truth exists - Jesus Christ exists.
Before Abraham was, I AM.- John 8:58
2 & 3- Truth is unchangeable and eternal - Jesus Christ is Unchangeable and Eternal.
I am the same yesterday, today and forever.- Hebrews 13:8
4- Truth is Spiritual - Jesus Christ is Spirit.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form.- Col. 2:9
5- Truth is Superior to the human mind - Jesus Christ is Superior to the human mind.
Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.- Php 2:9
Truth is God - Jesus Christ is God.
“Jesus Christ is God” satisfies all the conditions of the Nature of Truth. Jesus Christ and Truth are Identical.
When Jesus spoke the words I AM THE Truth, he was saying nothing less than I AM GOD.
The implications of “Truth is God”
There are serious implications to the fact that Truth is God.
By definition, a Christian is one who believes that Jesus Christ is God. And since these are Eternally True words, the person believing it receives Everlasting life. Everlasting life is knowing the only True God and his son Jesus Christ. John 17:3
If knowing truth is knowing Christ, then the rest of mankind does not know any truth at all.
“Christianity asserts that man cannot discover truth. Truth is not the object of a rational search. It is, rather, the object of revelation. Truth is not something which man finds. It is something which he receives. What is truth? That, the natural man can never know.”
The natural man does not know any truth at all, because he does not know who God is, he does not believe that Jesus Christ is Lord.
The Christian, through God’s grace, has been given this knowledge, this truth. The Christian possesses truth. That is what differentiates between the saved and the unsaved. Knowing Truth means being INDWELT by God.
We must not look to science or mathematics or any other man-made tools for Truth. Only to Jesus Christ the Truth.
I close with these words.
Pontius Pilate asked a very important question, What is Truth? He represented all of fallen mankind, when he did not recognize that the Truth was standing in front of him. He was as blind to the truth as is every other human being. All human efforts in all ages have proven that man is unable to acquire any truth at all. There is no truth in science or mathematics. Truth resides in Christ only.
Let us give thanks to God every waking moment of our lives, for revealing to us the Truth who is Jesus Christ.
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