Archive for the ‘Truth’ Category

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Paul Tillich: What is Truth?

December 10, 2009
I have tried to avoid reading Paul Tillich for quite a while, yet I stumbled on The New Being which is a book of his sermons. I decided to read the chapter called “What is Truth?” and found much of it familiar. I had to laugh as I felt I was reading some of the stuff I have written on truth over the years. I always find it strange to read someone else (who is much more articualate then I am) explain what I have tried to express.
Here are a few excerpts from Chapter 8 of The New Being called, “What is Truth?”
“Twofold are the temptations to evade the burden of asking for the truth that matters. The one is the way of those who claim to have the truth and the other is the way of those who do not care for the truth. The first ones are called “the Jews” in our gospel. They point to their tradition which goes back to Abraham. Abraham is their father; so they have all truth, and do not need to be worried by the question which they encounter in Jesus. Many among us, Christians and secularists, are “Jews” in the sense of the Fourth Gospel. They point to their tradition which goes back to the Church Fathers, or to the popes, or to the Reformers, or to the makers of the American Constitution. Their church or their nation is their mother, so they have all truth and do not need to worry about the question of truth. Would Jesus tell them, perhaps, what He told the Jews—that even if the church or the nation is their mother, they carry with them the heritage of the father of untruth; that the truth they have is not the truth which makes free? Certainly there is no freedom where there is self-complacency about the truth of one’s own beliefs. There is no freedom where there is ignorant and fanatical rejection of foreign ideas and ways of life. There is not freedom but demonic bondage where one’s own truth is called the ultimate truth. For this is an attempt to be like God, an attempt which is made in the name of God.”
“But those of us who dare to face the question of truth may listen to what the Fourth Gospel says about it. The first thing which strikes us is that the truth of which Jesus speaks is not a doctrine but a reality, namely, He Himself: “I am the truth.” This is a profound transformation of the ordinary meaning of truth. For us, statements are true or false; people may have truth or not; but how can they be truth, even the truth? The truth of which the Fourth Gospel speaks is a true reality—that reality which does not deceive us if we accept it and live with it. If Jesus says, “I am the truth,” he indicates that in Him the true, the genuine, the ultimate reality is present; or, in other words, that God is present, unveiled, undistorted, in His infinite depth, in His unapproachable mystery. Jesus is not the truth because His teachings are true. But His teachings are true because they express the truth which He Himself is. He is more than His words. And He is more than any word said about Him.”
“The Church very early forgot the word of our Gospel that He is the truth; and claimed that her doctrines about Him are the truth. But these doctrines, however necessary and good they were, proved to be not the truth that liberates. Soon they became tools of suppression, of servitude under authorities; they became means to prevent the honest search for truth—weapons to split the souls of people between loyalty to the Church and sincerity to truth. And in this way they gave deadly weapons to those who attacked the Church and its doctrines in the name of truth. Not everybody feels this conflict. There are masses of people who feel safe under doctrinal laws. They are safe, but it is the safety of him who has not yet found his spiritual freedom, who has not yet found his true self. It is the dignity and the danger of Protestantism that it exposes its adherents to the insecurity of asking the question of truth for themselves and that it throws them into the freedom and responsibility of personal decisions, of the right to choose between the ways of the sceptics, and those who are orthodox, of the indifferent masses, and Him who is the truth that liberates. For this is the greatness of Protestantism: that it points beyond the teachings of Jesus and beyond the doctrines of the Church to the being of Him whose being is the truth.”
“How do we reach this truth? “By doing it,” is the answer of the Fourth Gospel. This does not mean being obedient to the commandments, accepting them and fulfilling them. Doing the truth means living out of the reality which is He who is the truth, making His being the being of ourselves and of our world. And again, we ask, “How can this happen?” “By remaining in Him” is the answer of the Fourth Gospel, i.e., by participating in His being. “Abide in me and I in you,” he says. The truth which liberates is the truth in which we participate, which is a part of us and we a part of it. True discipleship is participation. If the real, the ultimate, the divine reality which is His being becomes our being we are in the truth that matters.”

The whole book is available online here.

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Great quotes: Francis Schaeffer

September 22, 2009

“Christianity is not a series of truths in the plural,

But rather truth spelled with a capital “T”.

Truth about total reality, not just about religious things.

Biblical Christianity is Truth concerning total reality-

and the intellectual holding of that total Truth

and then living in the light of that truth.”

Francis Schaeffer

(address at the University of Notre Dame, April 1981)

I will add this. This ultimate reality is the Person of Jesus Christ. Just as the Sabbath or New Moon may be a shadow so “abstract” truth is only a shadow of the reality that is Jesus Christ.

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A response about Truth

July 4, 2009

This is a response to a dear friend of mine who preached for many years. I dearly respect and appreciate all this friend has done for God in his life as well as the encouragement he has given me in the past.

He wrote:

You mentioned in one of your replies that something I said was a generational thing. Please remember, brother, that “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He said, “I am the LORD, I change not.”Our views of God in His Word cannot change with each generation. Truth is truth, and is unchangeable. What He said is wrong two thousand years ago, is still wrong today. Please don’t get caught up with the “watering down the Gospel” movement that is so prevalent in these last days.

My response:

Truth does not change, but our view of truth changes. I used to view some things that I was taught in the bible as truth and later as I read it found those things as not true….

The example I can give is that many Christians if not most condoned slavery for many years. In fact the “Truth” was that the bible taught us we could have slaves as long as we treated them well… yet, now we view slavery as it is… wrong and evil… Truth never changed. Slavery was always wrong and evil, yet it was how people began to have their eyes opened to the truth that changed how we view slavery.

Again, truth never changed, but how we viewed it did. I am not the same person I was when I was firsts saved as Truth (being the Person of Jesus Christ) changed me from the inside out. Truth never change, but my mind as it is renewed, began to see Truth more clear.

Many seem to think that I am or that my friends are saying truth changes and that is not the “truth” at all… Truth is the Person of Jesus who now indwells us and by His Holy Spirit leads us and teaches us in His Truth. This means what was true for us yesterday may change today as the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth to us through Jesus.
I hope you understand that.

Now as far as “generational thing”. I view some things like wearing ties. There was a time when no one wore ties to preach, then there was a time that every one wore ties to preach and not not all wear ties to preach… the tie really does not matter to the preaching. The truth (hopefully) is in the preaching and not in the tie.

I view modernism and post-modernism the same way. One may use the tools of either to express the truth of the Gospel. The truth is the Gospel and not modernism or postmodernism.

Blessings!

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A response about Truth

July 4, 2009

This is a response to a dear friend of mine who preached for many years. I dearly respect and appreciate all this friend has done for God in his life as well as the encouragement he has given me in the past.

He wrote:

You mentioned in one of your replies that something I said was a generational thing. Please remember, brother, that “Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” He said, “I am the LORD, I change not.”Our views of God in His Word cannot change with each generation. Truth is truth, and is unchangeable. What He said is wrong two thousand years ago, is still wrong today. Please don’t get caught up with the “watering down the Gospel” movement that is so prevalent in these last days.

My response:

Truth does not change, but our view of truth changes. I used to view some things that I was taught in the bible as truth and later as I read it found those things as not true….

The example I can give is that many Christians if not most condoned slavery for many years. In fact the “Truth” was that the bible taught us we could have slaves as long as we treated them well… yet, now we view slavery as it is… wrong and evil… Truth never changed. Slavery was always wrong and evil, yet it was how people began to have their eyes opened to the truth that changed how we view slavery.

Again, truth never changed, but how we viewed it did. I am not the same person I was when I was firsts saved as Truth (being the Person of Jesus Christ) changed me from the inside out. Truth never change, but my mind as it is renewed, began to see Truth more clear.

Many seem to think that I am or that my friends are saying truth changes and that is not the “truth” at all… Truth is the Person of Jesus who now indwells us and by His Holy Spirit leads us and teaches us in His Truth. This means what was true for us yesterday may change today as the Holy Spirit reveals God’s truth to us through Jesus.
I hope you understand that.

Now as far as “generational thing”. I view some things like wearing ties. There was a time when no one wore ties to preach, then there was a time that every one wore ties to preach and not not all wear ties to preach… the tie really does not matter to the preaching. The truth (hopefully) is in the preaching and not in the tie.

I view modernism and post-modernism the same way. One may use the tools of either to express the truth of the Gospel. The truth is the Gospel and not modernism or postmodernism.

Blessings!

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The Wee Lifesaving Post

March 25, 2009

This is a great site with thought provoking videos. This video is a great reminder of what is important… and that we sometimes forget.
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The Wee Lifesaving Post

March 25, 2009

This is a great site with thought provoking videos. This video is a great reminder of what is important… and that we sometimes forget.
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I am Chalcedon compliant… so shut up… LOL!

October 26, 2008





You Scored as Chalcedon compliant

You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you’re not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.






Chalcedon compliant




100%





Monophysitism




67%





Nestorianism




50%





Pelagianism




50%





Modalism




33%





Monarchianism




17%





Albigensianism




0%





Donatism




0%





Socinianism




0%





Apollanarian




0%





Docetism




0%





Adoptionist




0%





Arianism




0%





Gnosticism




0%