“What is truth?”
This is a question people are asking quite a bit here at the start of the 21st century. Some people say there’s no such thing as truth. Some people say “truth” is different for everybody, that everything is a gray area. Some people say there is absolute truth, everything is black and white, and everything that doesn’t line up with that absolute truth is false. People use science, philosophy, their own experience, and even the Bible (or their own sacred scripture) to prove or disprove their own version of “truth.”
Our quests to prove or disprove what is true mirror our quests to prove or disprove the existence of God. Just as they do to prove or disprove “truth,” people use science, philosophy, their own experience, and scripture to prove or disprove the existence of God. We look for the evidence of God’s presence, we hope and pray for signs, we listen for the voice of God. For many people, this is a frustrating quest. When we don’t find the evidence we’re looking for, when we don’t see the signs we pray for, when we don’t hear directly from God, we give up or lose faith. Many people even go on the attack, saying that their scientific discoveries, philosophical insights, or observations of the truths of the world disprove the existence of God.
Jesus talks about “truth” and his connection to truth in John 18 (and in other places in John’s gospel.) In John 18:37, he says this:
“…I was born and came into the world for this reason: to testify to the truth. Whoever accepts the truth listens to my voice.”
Earlier in the gospel of John (14:6) Jesus says this:
“I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
What Jesus insinuates when he says, “I am the truth” is that it is impossible to disprove God. If Jesus is the truth, then it only goes to follow that anything that is true is also Jesus. I’m not a mathematician, but I think that looks something like:
Jesus = Truth / Truth = Jesus
Instead of spending so much of our time trying to prove or disprove whether or not God is true, how would it change our outlook if we realized and recognized that anything in the world that is true points to God.
Is it true that cheeseburgers taste so good? God made tastebuds.
Is it true that too many cheeseburgers are bad for your health? God made arteries and gave us free will.
Maybe those are bad examples, but the point is this: the things that are true in the world and in your life are deeply related to God, because Jesus said, “I am the truth.”
Science doesn’t disprove God. Deeper scientific understandings lead to deeper understandings of how God works.
Philosophy doesn’t disprove God. Deeper philosophical insights lead to deeper comprehension of who God is.
Any new discovery of truth leads to a new discovery of who God is and how God works. It’s impossible to disprove God because God is truth, and truth is God. If it’s true, it’s because of God.
What are the things that are true in your life? What does your understanding of truth teach you about who God is?
God, thank you that you are bigger and deeper and more complex than we can ever understand. Help us to embrace your truth in all the places we find it.