2+2=4

Fourth blog in 24 hours – I guess I can say my kids are co-operating, and with a quiet house my brain is whirring…

I have been reading a number of different blogs, so I can not remember where I most recently saw this logic come up.  Basically, it is the constant chatter that where we come from affects our perception on things, what truth we gravitate towards, how we are impacted by our upbringing in our understanding of things… that sort of talk.

But… 2+2=4.  Truth is truth.  And even if you are the guy who has always been told that 2+2=5 and you have to re-work your understanding, or grapple with truths a little longer to get them – that really does not change the fact that truth is truth, and absolute, apart from your perception.  It is not a matter of it being true for you but not for me… more like, it’s true, and I hope some day you get that. 

I love knowing some things for sure…. even if the depth of my understanding grows, it is still the same water.  I believe in the Trinity.  That is a solid truth for me.  As is the inerrancy of Scripture.  As is my trust that God is sovereignly in control of all things.  I know there is nothing I can ever do to deserve heaven.  I know God is infinitely above me…  I know that my only hope of salvation is Christ’s blood, poured out on my behalf.   So many other rocks of truth in my life, that my feet are solidly planted on… 

 

“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.”                    2 Corinthians 13:8

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeromy
    Nov 15, 2007 @ 18:41:11

    Truth is truth. Not for a second do I believe that there is not an Absolute Truth. Absolutely there is! And God knows it (or IS it).

    What I doubt is my (or any other human’s or group of human’s) ability to FULLY, beyond a shadow of doubt, know, understand, and walk in God’s absolute truth. I do not believe this is fully possible on this side of eternity. I also believe we do bring our pre-conceived ideas, experiences, and human crap to the table. I know I do. How can we not? And I am OK with my limitations…they are God given.

    I also doubt (based on our lovely track record over the ages) man’s ability to not pervert, change, or tamper with truth and then claim it is Absolute Truth. That for the past 2,000 years (6,000 or so for the OT) we have not suited God’s truth to fulfill our own power, desires, and theology? Or the past 500? Add to our purposeful rape of truth our limitedness as humans to know and understand truth, and how can we claim to know Absolute Truth?

    I just doubt anyone (or group) who claims to have a corner on the truth. Absolute Truth is God’s possession and God’s alone…it is not ours. To claim otherwise is to make an Idol out of truth. After all, the Bible speaks of truth as a “person” (God) to follow not a “thing” to be grasped.

    What I am suggesting is a gentleness, openness, and humility in regards to truth. Truth is not relative––nor is it dogmatic; our understanding of it is insanely limited. Part of our journey is God revealing his truth to us, but, even with that, compared to his understanding, our lifetime of “truth” is only a miniscule fraction of His Truth. And yet, somehow, we are called to walk by faith in this limited fraction of truth.

    Reply

  2. Verity
    Nov 15, 2007 @ 20:20:31

    Always so well said Jeromy! But, what about verses like “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free?” John 8:32 Or John 4:24: “God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”?
    The “must” in the original greek is dei – it is necessary…. We are commanded to worship in truth.

    We will get it wrong sometimes. But I do not believe God has not revealed a sufficient enough amount to allow us to worship Him in truth… to arm ourselves with the word of Truth (Ephesians 6) and to speak truth in love….

    Reply

  3. Jeromy
    Nov 15, 2007 @ 21:16:35

    I agree that we are to walk and worship in the truth that we have (how can we not?), and that this truth sets us free (as we obey Jesus’ teachings…the verse prior). But are you suggesting that God wants us to walk and worship and speak in Absolute Truth? Do you believe you, or me, or anyone, can obtain that level of truth (or any where near that for that matter)? Are we that enlightened? Do you think that when we receive the Holy Spirit we also receive absolute truth? Are we not falling for the same lie in the garden of being like God, in regards to truth?

    And so we know in part, and walk in part, but we do not know or walk in ABSOLUTE, only God does. As you know, there is SO much that we do not know about God or his ways. The Bible was meant for God to communicate to us. But it is NOT an all- comprehensive manual and encyclopedia of Absolute Truth for us to grasp…even the Bible is truth-in-part. Only God, not even the Bible, has absolute truth. And I am OK with that space of mystery.

    Reply

  4. raquelamisto
    Nov 16, 2007 @ 00:30:30

    I’m pretty sure that none of us thinks that they’ve got it all down (right?) nor that any imperfect human is able to ‘know all’. That would make us God. I think we can all agree that none of us are God (and if we can’t, I’ve entered the wrong comment box).

    HOWEVER (I like doing that.. capping the word however because if I was talking to you, I’d say it nice and loud and my finger would be waving in the air.. for real.) as Christians, are we not privy to some truths that the Trinity has revealed to us through our belief? Those truths are what we build our lives on (Matt. 7).

    No?

    Reply

  5. Jeromy
    Nov 16, 2007 @ 02:40:45

    Yep

    Reply

  6. Verity
    Nov 17, 2007 @ 07:41:35

    I do not know what level of truth man can attain to, with knowledge from the Holy Spirit. I do not believe there will be a single person who got it “all right”. And I am not sure why adding the word “absolute” should change things. I will never have all the answers – but I am likewise not uncomfortable saying I believe I have some of them….
    We know in part, so we worship in part – we do all agree on that. There is a ton we do not know – but God has also revealed much of Himself, and His motives, and His attributes throughout Scripture. I think it is healthy, and necessary, to be able to tell our culture that in a world of relativity, we can be sure of some things.

    The author of Hebrews talks of those who are still immature, babes in the word, who ought top be on to meatier doctrines – and I think that is epidemic in our modern church…..

    Reply

  7. Verity
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 12:38:23

    I have been thinking alot about this conversation – I just wanted to clarify something Jeromy – do you believe that there is absolute truth? Or that truth is relative? My first impression was that you were saying that we can not know all things absolutely, which is different from saying that there are no absolute concrete knowable truths…

    Reply

  8. Jeromy
    Nov 26, 2007 @ 23:36:20

    Hi Verity,

    Thank you for asking that question for clarity.

    I do believe there is absolute truth. I believe that God fully knows it, lives it and is it––all in the same. I believe that we, as created finite humans, cannot know (nor does God make us privy to) absolute truth; we can know PART, but not anywhere close to ALL. I believe it is when WE claim to have a corner on God’s truth that things gets sticky (crusades, witch hunts, killing Jesus all come to mind––all of which thought they were doing the Biblical, true thing).

    All I can do is walk in human-humility, follow him who is Truth to the best of my ability, try to be faithful to the HS and know that when I see him face to face, perhaps most of what I thought was 100% true, isn’t, and he’ll look at me with understanding (after all, HE made me extremely limited), have his way anyway and welcome me through the blood of Jesus. In that I hope. In that I believe. In that I walk.

    Does that help clarify some?

    Reply

  9. Verity
    Nov 27, 2007 @ 08:38:04

    Yes. And I concur on the majority of it. : )

    An interesting discussion is going on at Scot McKnight’s blog: http://www.jesuscreed.org/?p=3108 regarding what happens when people (specifically Calvinists) become puffed up in their knowledge…

    We must be humble in our approach to truth, and subsequent sharing of it… a lesson I am slowly learning…

    Reply

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