Truth with a Capital ‘T’
Is there a Truth that transcends all other truths? A Truth that is eternal and unshakable, that serves as a central and unifying Truth of all of history? What if there exists a Truth that is not just another spoke in the wheel of many truth claims, but is the hub from which all other truths project. Would it not be the most important thing in all of life to find such a Truth? I am convinced that such a Truth exists, and that Truth is seeking us.
In my first article Truth, Real or Relative, I asserted that truth exists in both the physical and metaphysical realms. The second article, Truth and Tolerance, challenged the concept that we should regard all truth claims as being equally valid and worthy of celebrating in a wishy-washy attempt to elevate tolerance and diversity above all other values. In this last of three articles, ‘Truth with a Capital ‘T’’, I will be sharing what I believe to be ultimate, unshakeable, and eternal Truth.
Perhaps even our concern with questions of truth and meaning give clues to the answers we seek, or the Answer that may be seeking us. Squirrels, birds, and other random critters don’t seem troubled with the search for truth and meaning in life; they just happily do what their programmed instinct tells them to do. Only humans ask the great metaphysical questions… Why am I here? Where did I come from? Will I find happiness in life? What happens when I die? What is the meaning of life? Who ate the Rice Krispies? Is this all there is to life? How do I find peace and contentment? The very asking of such questions sets us apart from all animals and from the lifeless world of chemical interactions.
C.S. Lewis said “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex…If I find in myself desires, which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I have been made for a better world.” Or as Blaise Pascal expressed in his Pensees…”What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says…“(God) has set eternity in the hearts of men…” Could it be that our thirst for Truth, transcendent meaning, and fulfillment are whispering to us of an infinite and solid spiritual reality, which though existing behind the veil of the invisible realm is more real than anything we can see?
That transcendent Truth is what the Bible claims to reveal. The Bible contains 66 different books, written by 40 different authors from many walks of life, over a period of 1,600 years. It contains historical narrative, poetry, prophecy, practical wisdom, spiritual truth, and for the most part, Gods’ story. The Bible claims to be the very word of God, and as such, Truth (with a capital ‘T’. “Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is Truth” (John 17)
What does this book of Truth have to say? It tells of the eternally existing God, who is Holy and perfect in all of His attributes. He is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. He is the very source and definition of righteousness; love, peace, justice, truth, and wisdom. He is the Source of all that is or ever was….the Uncaused-Cause, without beginning or end…He is eternal. God has forever existed in the relationship of the Trinity. The Bible tells us He created and sustains everything by His Word. It tells us of powerful, intelligent beings called angels, populating a kingdom called Heaven…of which Lucifer, who though created as good, became the father of evil, leading a rebellion against his King. We learn of the creation of our earth, a paradise of beauty, mystery, and adventure, and the account of God making humans, male and female in His very likeness, having intelligence, personality, emotion, creative ability and free will. We find the account of the revenge of Lucifer, who in hatred for the One whose image we bear, persuaded our human ancestors to rebel against God, leading to our consequent fall into spiritual death and separation from God. We see this ‘fall’ as the source of moral depravity, relational brokenness, futility, discontentment, and decay in our bodies and all of nature. The most predominant message in the Bible however, is that of redemption. Theologians often refer to the ‘scarlet thread of redemption’ woven through all 66 books of the Bible… the redemptive love of the Creator on a rescue mission, making a way of reconciliation with His broken, and spiritually blinded, rebel race.
God chose a man, Abraham, and a people, Israel, through which to make Himself known to the world. However, Gods’ message to humanity would go far beyond inspired words written by His holy servants. He foretold the coming of a promised Messiah…a Savior who would be His living, breathing message of Truth to the world…the “Word become flesh”.
Hebrews 1… “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”
Many men have claimed to be speakers of truth. Only One man claimed to be Truth. Jesus said “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” Some people say that Jesus was just an enlightened teacher, or a good man, or a great example. However, as Cambridge professor C. S. Lewis said, Jesus didn’t leave those options open to us…In his famous book, Mere Christianity, Lewis makes this statement, “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us.” I agree with C.S.Lewis.
What are some things said by Jesus, who claimed to be “the Truth”?
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Matthew 24) “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28)
“You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me” (John 5).
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8)…“I and the Father are one.” (John 10).
“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.” (John 18)
“Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15)
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark8)
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.(John 3)
In my first article on Truth, I quoted Pontius Pilate, who asked Jesus “Quid est Veritas?”…“What is truth?” Pilate didn’t realize the answer to his question was in the form of an anagram … “Est vir qui adest.”… “It is the man who is before you.”