Christianity: The Answer to Society's Meaning-Lust (Part 1: Truth)
“In the beginning....”
These powerful first three words in Genesis display right from the start that the Bible is not only coming out swinging in its life-changing message, but it is doing so with a large bludgeoning hammer called Truth. There is no need to recite the rest of verse one; you see, even at this point the verse invokes a massive truth claim: all things that make up all the galaxies and stars, mountains, animals, and even the atoms that make up that cup of Chai Latte with almond milk on your desk... had a beginning. There was a time when everything was not, and then…it was. This doctrine is often described as Creation ex nihilo (creation out of nothing). From the start, in just three words, the Bible makes truth claims that take on Pantheism, Buddhism and Hinduism, infinite universe Cosmology, and even Darwinism.
The Bible is full of worldview-rocking truth claims. These power-packed claims are not only what make the Bible the most meaningful book ever written, but also the most life-changing. Far from a "collection of stories," its Truth claims make a passive reading of the Bible actually impossible. As the reader, you are faced with claims and are inevitably pushed to act on them, whether that is to believe, to question, to disbelieve or even to make the choice of inaction (for the choice is itself an act!). Atheist turned Apologist Josh McDowell echoed how Truth calls to action anyone who comes face to face with one of the Bible’s core claims about the divinity of Jesus,
A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.
Ok, but don’t we live in a postmodern world and swim in a sea of subjectivism where one person’s Truth may not be another’s? Or a better question might simply be, "What is truth?"
What is truth?
This is a fair and honest question that Pilate asked in that famous encounter in the Gospel of John (as Truth ironically stood before him). A painfully simple answer made of one syllable words is given by ancient philosopher Aristotle (the Father of Logic),
To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.
By its very definition we see that in its nature, Truth is exclusive! Truth is objective, not subjective! Paul understood the gravity of this “either/or” reality of Truth: consider another Truth claim giant of the Bible in Jesus’s Bodily Resurrection, "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith" (1 Corinthians 15:14). If it's not true, who cares? If it is true, everyone must care. Consider Jesus Himself as He prompted Pilate’s question, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me” (John 18:37-38). Be emboldened in your faith and by the Truths expressed in God's Word and don't be afraid of honest questions from an inquiring spirit. Not all questions will be answered but there is solace given to the ever-inquisitive mind as resounded by Augustine many years ago,
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Jared is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, Ohio. Jared is a critical thinker - who takes only serious things seriously - seeking to unpack the deeper truths found in Scripture and share those insights with his friends and fellow believers. He is a self-described layman conversational Christian apologist. Jared lives with his wife and sons in Cincinnati, Ohio.