Saturday, 19 May 2007

On Knowing Truth

MarcoPolo asks, "What is the path to truth?"

(Thanks, MarcoPolo! It's so easy to get caught up with "what isn't" and forget all about the main issue: "what IS".)

If the ultimate source of truth be, as the Bible tells us it is, God revealed in Jesus Christ ('I am the Way and the Truth and the Life...' John 14:6), then The Truth must be revealed by him. Knowledge of the truth, as with all other truths, may be begun through reason. But pure reason is not enough in two aspects: the first is that we, being human, may only apply reason to our own realm. Our ability to reason is limited by our limited experience (the senses). The second is that our ability to reason is limited by our finite minds. We cannot comprehend even what may sense and must admit exists: infinity.

With reason as a beginning, but inadequate, how then may we progress to knowledge of The Truth?

'You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.' (Jeremiah 29:13)

What this describes is not a mental sifting through information, but a heart-search. It is the heart that opens heavy gate of the mind to let the light shine in. Reason and the senses are the dual sentinels that stand at that gate, able to both testify to the truth and to identify the imposter.

An act of the will allows The Truth to reveal himself. This is the only way The Truth may be known.

We ought to take note that the searching is not for knowledge, nor is it even for God in the religious sense; rather, it is a search for what God is, in essence.

What is God?
'God is light.' (1 John 1:5)
'God is love.' (1 John 4:8)

If those things be sought, then truth must be found.

Jesus explained to his disciples why he didn't reveal himself clearly, but spoke in parables to the people:

'For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.' (Matthew 13:15)

Notice the references to choice: 'they have closed their eyes' (a deliberate choice); 'and turn' (a deliberate choice).

I have spoken of a "path" to truth, but this is not quite accurate. There is a path we must take to make ourselves able to accept truth; but after all, truth must come where we are, because where it dwells we cannot go.

5 comments:

joeyanne said...

I have often said that finding truth is not like finding a place, because it cannot be found by accident. It can never be stumbled across like some remote location. The door to the path to truth is located within each person. The journey cannot even begin without going through that "heart-door."

Heather said...

Joeyanne,

** The door to the path to truth is located within each person. The journey cannot even begin without going through that "heart-door." ** I like this, and very much agree.

Jenny,

**Jesus explained to his disciples why he didn't reveal himself clearly, but spoke in parables to the people** I think we've spoken on this before, and agreed on this, in that there are certain elements of Christianity that present itself as "Accept Jesus and your life will have no problems." (This is sounding very familiar, and if we have discussed this, I apologize for the repetition).

You know how there was always a teacher or two who would never just answer the question? Instead, s/he responded with a question of his/her own, in order to make you think and learn on your own? That was always very annoying. ;)

Jesus was the same way -- he never gave a 'pat' answer, but always gave an answer that forced his audience to reconsider their viewpoint, or just think in general. Or even take the statement "I am the way, the truth, and the life." Even that's not exactly straightforward, because you really have to pause and think: "Okay, if Jesus is the truth, what kind of truth? Or what kind of way, or life?"

Many of the things Jesus said must've made the audience pause, and then go, "Wait a minute ..." It must've been both frustrating and exhilerating.

MarcoPolo Press said...

Very good. Reason is limited because it is finite.

Reason cannot be the path to truth because Truth is infinite.

What is the Path? Truth. For Truth is also the Path or the Way. "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." (John 14:6) The Word (Logos) (John 1:1) is the Path/Way and the Truth; He is also the Door. "I AM the Door." (John 10:9)

jennypo said...

Joeyanne,
You always round out my perspective with your very practical one. I love you, sistah.

Heather,
Interesting thought, and I think you are right. The same parables that "hide" truth from those who don't care enough to think actually reveal the truth to those who do! Good teachers also utilize this method of revealing truths.
It works.
And yes, nothing about Christianity is "free and easy", as many people would have us believe. But I know this based on what the Bible says. If it wasn't clear that the life of a Christian means death to self and hence, difficulty, then I might be very confused and think I needed to do something in order to merit God's favor. The human economy is always "do something good = get something good". I am so thankful the Bible clearly reveals a higher economy with motivation that involves counting the cost and giving, not selling.

MarcoPolo,
This was a question waiting to be asked. Thank you for not letting us stop short.

Kenny O said...

Hey, Kenny here! I was listening to something the other day about truth, and the spoke on truth, it mentioned a study that 80% of young christians say we each have our own truth..Meaing there's no absolute truth, which is scary!!
I like your post!!