Saturday, September 18, 2010

Your Word Is Truth

"What is truth?" Pilate asked.

Truth is not an objective quality. That's not to say that there is not some quality, truth, that comports with some standard presumed to be unchanging, or that is experienced the same for all observers, or that conforms to reality, or is seen to function consistently. That is to say that quality can never be seen to represent the absolute end of a thing, as in this is it, period. Only God has that quality, he alone is truth, all else designated by the term is subject to his whim.

Can anything be truly independent of God? I do not think that it can; that includes gravity, the speed of light, or the existence of stuff itself. It seems to me that some philosophical schools posit a concept of truth in which there are things which even God cannot do anything about, or that are independent of the divine will. In that case, truth would be even greater than God, over him, so to speak. That, certainly, is not the case.

Truth has its foundation in God. God is not encompassed by truth, truth is encompassed by God. It's communicated by the words that proceed from his mouth. It is a derivative and dependent property. The ultimate truth is God, all other truth flows from him. The truth is that there is nothing by which God must abide, but himself.


The Seeking Disciple said...

Jesus was the embodiment of truth (John 1:17) and He said that He was the truth (John 14:6) so whatever Jesus says about truth is vital to the Christian and He said that His Word was truth (John 17:17; cf. John 10:35). You make this point well my friend.

SLW said...

Thanks. First things first means everything starts by how it relates to God. God, himself, is truth.

Gerald said...

I think something more is required than to say that "God, Himself, is truth." A muslim would say the same thing, but would say that a God Who "cannot lie" or Who says "I change not" is inferior to Allah. We cannot trust anything He would say if he says "Salvation by Faith" today and "Salvation by Works" tomorrow.

At the least, what is required is non-contradiction ("cannot lie") and consistency ("I change not"). These are not matters of truth (correspondence to reality), but matters of Character (dealing with the nature of the Creator of reality, rather than the nature of the created reality.) Germaine to this is a God of Self-Control, who can regret that He made man, but whose regret did not magically change reality so man never sinned or was never created. A God who can regret making Saul King, yet whose regret did not magically make someone else King (generating a new reality).

SLW said...

Nice to hear from you. Not quite sure what you're getting at, though.

I think non-contradiction would be entailed in correspondence, although I think that can be evidenced essentially in character as you suggest. Immutability is an ontological property of God; really, the truth of his perfection, but other aspects of truth may be transitory.

Your statements on God's regret are truly interesting. I wonder if it is as much an issue of self-control as it is in creating spirits akin to his, and having their own timelessness. Any thoughts?

Gerald said...

Have been very busy, SLW, moving to a new church and exploring new mission opportunities. My evenings are gonna get a lot more tied up.

But just as well, since I came across an interesting definition of "gentleness" since I posted here that perfectly illustrates my point. It came from a Baptist Sunday school lesson guide and said that gentleness is having a strong personality and strong opinions, but moderating one's expression of them to allow those of less strong personality to express themselves. It is the beautiful woman dressing modestly and putting on makeup when going to a friend's wedding so the friend looks more beautiful than she does. It's the professional actor refusing to steal the scene. It's Jack Benny letting everyone else have all the good lines. It is the strong person allowing everyone else in a social eco-system to BREATHE and LIVE on their own without having to make EVERYONE and EVERYTHING ALL ABOUT HIM.

Is God Gentle? Certainly, if we believe that Jesus exemplifies the Father. It is THIS aspect of God that I think I am trying to get at. Certainly, God is Truth, but a God who is ALL the Truth is not gentle, for then we ourselves cannot generate truths of our own, but are mere puppets in a play with no leeway for true self-expression. (I see I was picking at nits, for the statement I took issue with was you saying "God Himself is truth" in order to say there is no falsehood in Him. Totally Agree with that).

It is that ability to allow others to generate truths independent of Himself that are themselves timeless, rather than the souls who generate them (which I do not believe are really immortal, but are eternally sustained by an Eternal God who Loves them Eternally). In a sense, the choices that men make that take them to an eternal hell is God paying His respects to the timelessness of the truths/facts/circumstances they created independently of Himself.