Your weekly dose of strong tea and strong theology, comin’ at ya!
Individually and collectively we need a basis for knowing what is real and right. Only with a knowledge of the truth can we make wise decisions that will lead to human flourishing.
But in a pluralistic society, competing truth claims vie for recognition. Sometimes this leads to a relativistic outlook, where truth is privatized. A person may defy absolute reality and claim legitimacy for “my truth”, which is personal and immune to challenge. This is untenable, because relativism is ultimately the rejection of truth—the rejection of reality. If there is no objective and absolute truth, there is no reality.
Truth exists, but how can we know it? If we cannot know it, we are blind in our pursuit of meaning and of a flourishing society. If truth is knowable, there may be several ways of discovering it, such as rational consideration and scientific examination. But truth discovered in these ways will always be limited by our own frailties and the finitude of our knowledge. Is there any absolute way to know the absolute and objective reality outside of us?
Jesus prayed to God the Father, “your word is truth” (John 17:17, NIV).
God is the absolute reality, Creator of the entire cosmos. He knows what is. He speaks the truth, and tells us what is good and beautiful. Divine revelation provides an absolute reference point for human knowledge of reality.
As individuals, our lives will only be built on truth if they are built on a proper relationship with God in Jesus Christ, who is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). In submission to God’s Word, we will know the truth. As a society, we will only have the proper basis for human flourishing if the overall character of our culture is consonant with Christian truth. A Christian society will allow individual members freedom to believe untruth; but a pluralistic society, with no fundamental commitment to the truth or the source of truth, cannot be expected to promote human flourishing.
Flourishing, individually and collectively, requires receptivity towards the truth and rejection of all falsehood. We must love the truth if we wish to be free.