TABLE TALK

Official Publication of the LMS-USA

August 2010

Volume 17, Number 3


The Truth About Truth
by Dr. J. D. Watson

Dr. J. D. Watson, Director of Sola Scriptura Ministries is the author of this article which is a shorter version of his 3 1/2 year exposition of the book of Ephesians. The full article can be found at www.thescripturealone.com/eph-5.htm. This article is reprinted with permission of the author.
We live in a day when the concept of truth is more and more challenged. Never before has there been such a redefining of Truth. Many, in fact, deny that there is any Truth at all. In stark contrast, however, the Word of God, in no uncertain terms, makes it clear that there is Truth and that Truth is to be found only in God and His Word.
With this in mind, we are going to look at three principles that carry tremendous significance in our day: The Meaning of Truth, Inadequate Sources of Truth, and The Only Source of Truth.
In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation. Ephesians 1:13a

I. The Meaning of Truth

In John 18:37-38, Pontius Pilate asked the Lord Jesus, "Art thou a king?" Our Lord responded, "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." What a powerful statement! "If you would have Truth," He is saying, "you will hear Me." To that Pilate spoke three words-probably in at least a cynical if not contemptuous tone-that have echoed through the millennia: "What is truth?" Countless philosophers have asked that question, but few have been able to answer it.

Weíll come back to that scene later, but for now it is important to look at the meaning of the word Truth, both in English and Greek.

The Oxford English Dictionary is considered the foremost authority on the meanings of English words. When speaking of things, it defines the word "true" as that which is "reliable, constant, sure, [and] secure." When speaking of a statement or belief, it says that "true" means "consistent with fact; agreeing with the reality; representing the thing as it is." It goes on to say that the often used statement "it is true" means "verily, certainly, [and] doubtless." Likewise, it defines the word Truth as "conformity with fact; agreement with reality; accuracy, correctness, verity (of statement or thought)."

Putting all that together, then, we see just how important this word is. Truth, or that which is true, speaks of what is real, what really is, what is factual. Itís not opinion, itís not conjecture, itís not hypothesis or theory. Rather, it is, like the old expression, "telling it like it is." If something is true, it is absolutely reliable, totally secure. It cannot change because to do so would mean itís not true, not reliable.

The Greek word translated Truth is aletheia, which means basically the same thing as the English. As one Greek authority puts it:

Etymologically aletheia means "nonconcealment." It thus denotes what is seen, indicated, expressed, or disclosed, i.e., a thing as it really is, not as it is concealed or falsified. Aletheia is "the real state of affairs."[1]

Aletheia, along with its related words, appears no less than 187 times in The New Testament. It appears, for example, in John 1:14, where it refers to the incarnate Christ, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." In 16:13, our Lord promised, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth," that is, all that is reliable, constant, sure, and unchanging. In both cases, and in all others, the concept of Truth is that which is not concealed, what really is.

So again, the fundamental concept to understand about Truth is that it is that which is absolute, that which is incontrovertible, irrefutable, incontestable, unarguable, and unchanging. If something is true, it is always true and can never be untrue, no matter what the circumstances. One poet has put it this way:

A lie, whatever the guise it wears,
Is a lie as it was of yore.
But a truth that has lasted a million years
Is good for a million more.
[2]

II. Inadequate Sources of Truth

There are numerous claims to Truth in the world, but are they really sources of Truth? Do they offer that which is sure, reliable, and unchanging? Letís take a look at three of the worldís best claims of how to discover Truth: Science, Philosophy, and Religion.

Science

By far the greatest claim to being a source of Truth in our day is made by science. In many ways, in fact, it is even a god to many (though, of course, few would admit it). Scientist Karl Pearson, for example, made this obvious when he wrote in his famous book Grammar of Science:

The goal of science is clear-it is nothing short of the complete interpretation of the universe . . . It claims that the whole range of phenomena, mental as well as physical-the entire universe-is its field. It asserts that the scientific method is the sole gateway to the whole region of knowledge. [3]

The only way we can know anything, he is saying, is through science. But letís take an honest look. Is science really a source of Truth? Is it always reliable, constant, sure, and unchanging?

For example, it is argued that scientific observation provides Truth. In other words, you look at something, carefully examine what transpires, and write down your see observations. That, it is argued, is Truth. But letís test that assertion. In the Middle Ages, based on scientific observation, the common belief was that the earth is flat. Since then, of course, considerable evidence has accumulated that the earth is round, but this too is based on observation. In other words, strictly speaking, is it a fact that the earth is round or does the observational evidence only make it appear to be round? For example, the shadow on the moon during a lunar eclipse looks round, when in fact, the earth is not a perfect sphere but is slightly flattened at the poles. But still we say it is round according to observation.

We might also add that during the Middle Ages, accepted scientific theory concluded that the earth was at the center of the universe and everything revolved around it. It was also believed that gravity was some kind of occult force. But before we call those people ignorant and backward, even today we canít adequately explain gravity.

In more recent years, it was once accepted fact that light travels in a straight line, but it was then discovered that gravity actually bends light. We could cite many other examples of, as one writer puts it, "the rapid rate at which previous laws of science are discarded and replaced by new ones."[4] So, for a scientist today to say, "Well, the old laws were wrong, but we now know the Truth," would be the height of folly, but that is, in fact, what science claims.

So, may we assert that observation is not Truth; it simply cannot be. Why? For one thing, itís based upon our senses, which can deceive us. Another more serious reason, however, is that itís based on "inductive reasoning," which is logically fallacious. For example, just because we might see 1000 black crows does not mean that we can conclude that all crows are black. Crow number 1001 might be an albino. Induction is always false, yet this is precisely what science is based on!

Right in line with observation, there is also the argument that scientific experimentation provides Truth. But does it? Science tells us, for example, that water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. But actually water hardly ever boils at the same temperature. What the scientist does is perform many experiments and notes the different results. He then averages the data, but what kind of average does he use: mean, mode, or median? He, in fact, chooses which one to use; it is not dictated by the data. Therefore, the average is just that, an average; it most certainly is not Truth. In the final analysis, then, equations and formulas are not Truth. Why? Because they are selected, not discovered.

The whole idea of experimentation is that it is based on a faulty premise, namely this: from an hypothesis the scientist deduces that if you do X, then Y will happen. He then performs an experiment, and when Y happens he concludes that the hypothesis is true. In the study of logic, this is called "asserting the consequent," that is, "if p, then q; q; therefore p." In other words, if this is true, that is true; now that is true, so therefore, this is true. Or, to use a very simple example, if it is raining, the streets are wet; the streets are wet; therefore it is raining. That, of course is ridiculous, since the reason the streets are wet might be because a fire hydrant is open. But it is on this kind of faulty reasoning that science is based, even though itís absurd. [5]

As one looks at history, he finds that this is the way science has proceeded. When the atom was discovered, for example, science asserted that the atom was the smallest indivisible particle of which matter was comprised. In fact, thatís why scientists named it "atom," which is from the Greek atomos, meaning, "that which cannot be divided." But then, not only did science later discover that the atom can be split (and with incredible results), but also many other smaller subatomic particles were discovered, such as electrons, neutrons, protons, photons, and quarks.

As the 19th Century drew to a close, scientists around the world were satisfied that they had reached an accurate picture of the universe. As physicist Alastair Rae put it, "By the end of the nineteenth century, it seemed that the basic fundamental principles governing the behavior of the physical universe were known." "All the stuff that makes up the stuff of the universe," he was saying, "is now known to us." Most, in fact, said that the study of physics was mostly completed, except for small details. A few oddities occurred, such as the discovery of X-rays (1895), but most scientists believed such oddities would be later explained by existing theory. [6]

But as the new century dawned, the world was set on its ear. Accepted scientific evidence declared it impossible to fly a plane under itís own power, and then Orville and Wilbur Wright did it at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina in 1903. Many other things were once said to be impossible, based on prevailing scientific theory: breaking the sound barrier, television, satellite communications, atomic power, atomic microscopes that can see individual atoms, antibiotics, and much more. But in every case, science was untrue, unreliable, and unsure. Therefore, science never has been and never will be able to discover Truth.†

Even with that in mind, as late as 1936, American Nobel Prize winner in Physics (1923), Robert Millikan, wrote, "In science, truth once discovered always remains truth." [7] How anyone supposedly as brilliant as Millikan could say something that ludicrous is beyond understanding!

In contrast, many honest scientists actually do recognize that science does not discover Truth. Albert Einstein, for example, once remarked concerning how nature works:

We know nothing about it at all. Our knowledge is but the knowledge of school children . . . We shall know a little more than we do now. But the real nature of things-that we shall never know, never. [8]

Itís extremely significant that Einstein used the words "the real nature of things" because, as weíve seen, thatís what the word Truth means. Einstein was honest enough to admit that science could not discover the ways things really are.

Likewise, British philosopher of science, Karl Popper, wrote even more pointedly:

All scientific statements are hypothesis, or guesses, or conjectures, and the vast majority of these conjectures . . . have turned out to be false. Our attempts to see and to find the truth are not final, but open to improvement; . . . our knowledge, our doctrine, is conjectural; . . . it consists of guesses, of hypothesis, rather than of final and certain truths. [9]

Tragically, however, while many scientists recognize and admit that, secular education does not. Humanistic, liberal education today does not reflect the view of modern scientists that science does not discover Truth, but actually asserts the 19th Century view that science is the road to Truth. Why does it do that? Simply because if it admits that science does not discover Truth, it must recognize that the source is God, and that it will not do. So it continues to intimidate students with statements such as, "This thing has been scientifically proved to be true," which is a patent and blatant lie. The most vivid example is evolution. To put it bluntly, there is nothing more conjectural, hypothetical, improvable, philosophically biased, and intellectually bankrupt than the theory of evolution.†

To illustrate, it is well known that many scientists, because they canít find any "missing links," have rejected Darwinís old theory of slow evolution-which may we interject was for many years considered to be "true"-in favor of "Punctuated Equilibrium." This teaches that evolution didnít happen gradually but in leaps. In other words, things went along for a few million years, and then one species leaped to the next; a lizard egg hatched a bird, for example, just like in the movie Jurassic Park. Why did this theory come about? Simply because no one could find any missing links. So, in essence, the new theory is saying that the lack of evidence proves evolution. Is that science? Obviously not. Itís a belief, and a very biased one at that.

Another factor in this debate is that the average layman, especially children who are subjected to state education, continue to be lied to and therefore duped into believing that "all scientists believe in evolution." But that simply is not so. While certainly not the majority, there are scientists who admit that there is far more evidence for creation than there is for evolution. Many well-known and respected scientists, in fact, such as Sir Cecil Wakely (past president of Great Britainís Royal College of Surgeons), the famous Sir Ambrose Fleming, and the great Harvard scientist Louis Agassiz, totally reject evolution in favor of creation. Other scientists at least admit to the failure of the theory of evolution. Here are just two representative quotations from many we could cite:[10]

Evolution is a fairy tale for grown-ups. This theory has helped nothing in the progress of science. It is useless. (Professor Louis Bounoure, former President of the Biological Society of Strasbourg and Director of the Strasbourg Zoological Museum)

Scientists who go about teaching that evolution is a fact of life are great con-men, and the story they are telling may be the greatest hoax ever. In explaining evolution, we do not have one iota of fact. (Dr. T.N. Tahmisian, Atomic Energy Commission, USA)

Even more tragic, however, is that many Christian theologians and scientists have fallen into the trap of believing that science discovers Truth. They argue using scientific laws that are themselves untrue and improvable. The problem here is that they are defending the wrong thing. Instead of defending, "Thus saith the Lord," they are defending, "Thus saith science." While they think they are evangelizing, they are actually destroying evangelism. Why? Because evangelism, which comes from euaggelizo, and is also translated "Gospel," means "to proclaim good news." Is some improvable scientific theory the good news? No! God and what He has done through Jesus Christ is the good news. Is evangelism the proclamation of proofs? No! Itís the proclamation of Truth and, may we add, nothing but the Truth. Godís command to us is to proclaim the Truth, and He will do the rest. Paul made this clear to the arrogant, philosophical Corinthians:

Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase (I Cor. 3:5-7).

So, is science of any value? Of course, it is. While it can never discover Truth, it is still very useful. Thousands of inventions have been made that make life easier. Chemistry, medicine, mechanics, and physics all contribute to making life more comfortable and more productive.

But science does not and cannot provide Truth or morality. It cannot decide how to use these things. These things can be used for good or evil, so something else is necessary to dictate the Truth about how to use them. And that something is the Word of God.

In the closing words of his first letter to Timothy, Paul gave his "son in the faith" a very important principle:

O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called (I Tim. 6:20).

What a challenging statement for our day! Creationist Henry Morris provides an excellent exposition of this verse.

"Science falsely so called" is, in the Greek, literally "pseudo-science" or "pseudo-knowledge." This pseudo-science is nothing other than evolutionism, which has been in "oppositions" against God as Savior and Creator and the world as His creation since the beginning of time. In Paulís day, it mainly took the form of Epicureanism (based on atheistic evolutionism) and Stoicism (based on pantheistic evolutionism). It soon would take the form of Gnosticism and later of Neo-Platonism, both also assuming evolution. In other parts of the world, it had the form of Taoism, Hinduism, Confucianism or Buddhism, all based on some form of pantheistic evolution and an infinitely old cosmos. In recent times it assumed the form of Darwinism, though men are now returning again to various forms of eastern religion and their systems of pantheistic evolution, still rejecting God as Creator and Christ as Savior. Yet all forms of evolutionism are pseudo-science at best, filled with "profane and vain babblings." [11]

Added to that, may we notice that Paul says to "avoid" such "babblings" and "pseudo-science." "Avoiding" translates the Greek ektrepo, which means "to turn away from." False teaching must be avoided like the deadly plague it is. But tragically, many Christians do not avoid it. Instead, they study it and propose arguments against it. There is even the common (and grievous) practice in our day of casting pearls before swine by holding panel discussions and debates with atheists and evolutionists.

May we submit, however, that this is the wrong approach. Our Lord never stooped to such Truth-cheapening methods. In contrast to those who "[suppress] the truth" (Rom. 1:18), "resist the truth" (II Tim. 3:8), "turn away their ears from the truth" (II Tim. 4:4; cf. Tit. 1:14), and "err from the truth" (Jas. 5:19), we are to: "know the truth" (II Tim. 4:3), "[acknowledge] the truth" (II Tim. 2:25), "love the truth" (II Thes. 2:10), "[believe] . . . the truth" (II Thes. 2:12-13), "obey the truth" (Gal. 3:1), "rejoice in the truth" (I Cor. 13:6), and finally, as the culmination of all these, we are to "speak the truth" (I Tim. 2:7; cf. Eph. 4:15 and Gal. 4:16). That is our mandate.

Philosophy

Another claim to being a source of Truth in our day is made by philosophy. Philosophy directly transliterates the Greek philosophia, literally, "love of wisdom." As the 17th Century philosopher Rene Descartes is famous for saying, "I think, therefore I am," [12] there are those who believe that ultimate knowledge can be found in manís own thinking. Philosophy, therefore, has historically been manís attempt to explain the universe around him and the meaning of his own existence.

In a sense everyone has a philosophy, a worldview, but there have been many who have specialized in the academic study of philosophy. Thales, for example, a Greek thinker who was a contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah (early 6th Century B.C.), is generally considered to be the first academic philosopher. Besides being credited with inventing Geometry, he was the first to attempt a rational explanation for the universe, claiming it originated from water. As time went on, the Greeks became totally enamored with philosophy, believing it was all-important. It became, in fact, the very center of their culture, around which everything else revolved: religion, politics, social order, economics, and education.

The problem, of course, was that with the some fifty identifiable philosophical parties or movements that existed among the Greeks, where was Truth to be found? Whose philosophy was true, sure, and unchanging? Each personís philosophy was just that, his philosophy. He tried to explain life and related matters by human understanding. From Thales on, in fact, the vast majority of philosophers have either denied the existence of God or held an unbiblical view of Him, such as Deism [13] or Pantheism. [14]

But as Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer in our own generation has written, man cannot begin with himself and arrive at ultimate reality. [15] Theologian and Christian philosopher Gordon Clark adds that "secular philosophy leaves life without meaning and in utter frustration." [16]

Both those godly Christian thinkers echoed the words of the apostle Paul in I Corinthians 2:9. He makes it clear that ultimate Truth is discoverable neither by Empiricism (the philosophic doctrine that all knowledge is gained through sensual experience) nor by Rationalism (the philosophic doctrine that all knowledge is gained through reason and logic). Paul writes this amazing statement:

Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard [Empiricism], neither have entered into the heart of man [Rationalism], the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

"Heart" is kardia, which referred not just to the emotional nature, but also to the reason and to the faculty of intelligence. Paulís point is clear: by himself man cannot know God either by experience or intellect. Only by revelation can man know God.

Another writer, Os Guinness, comments on the futility of modern manís search for Truth apart from God:

Contemporary man, with his self-drawn picture of society as the "closed room" with No Exit, is caught metaphysically and sociologically. In the darkness of the room evidently without windows, perhaps without doors, he gropes round and round the edges. Can one hope that someone will dare to wonder whether there is any light other than the feeble sparks of his own making? Or will he stubbornly persist in treading the barren circle of poor premises? [17]

In other words, will man just continue to stagger around in the dark groping for Truth? And the answer is yes.

Itís not surprising that many philosophers have expressed that emptiness. The 18th Century Scottish empirical philosopher David Hume, who was famous for his rejection of the miraculous, said, "I am first affrighted and confounded with that forlorn solitude, in which I am placed in my philosophy." [18]

The 19th Century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche mocked Christianity as the religion of weaklings, and was one of the first to proclaim that God is dead. He wrote, for example,

I call Christianity the one great curse, the one enormous and innermost perversion, the one great instinct of revenge, for which no means are too venomous, too underhand, too underground and too petty,-I call it the one immoral blemish of mankind. [19]

But ultimately, Nietzsche could not live with the implications of his philosophy. Os Guinness again writes,

For Nietzsche to be consistent, he needed to become his own superman, but his views were overwhelming even for himself. As he poised over the abyss, he shivered with the horror of being "responsible for everything alive." In the impossibility of this situation, madness perhaps becomes his only possible freedom from the overbearing responsibility. "Alas, grant me madness." [20]

Tragically, Nietzsche got what he asked for. He completely lost control of his mental faculties and collapsed in the streets of Turin, Italy in January 1889. A friend brought him back to Basel, Switzerland where he "spent the last 11 years of his life in total mental darkness, first in a Basel asylum, then in Naumburg under his motherís care and, after her death in 1897, in Weimar in his sisterís care." [21] 19th Century Scottish historian and philosopher Thomas Carlyle was correct when he wrote, "The fine arts once divorcing themselves from truth are quite certain to fall mad, if they do not die." [22]

As mentioned in a previous study, one of the leading 20th Century philosophers was the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre, who was also an atheist. Besides his "monumental philosophical treatise," Being and Nothingness (1943), he also wrote a novel titled Nausea. In it, the main character, Roquentin, says, "Every existing thing is born without reason, goes on living out of weakness, and dies by accident." Roquentin expresses Sartreís belief that man is utterly meaningless:

We were a heap of existences, uncomfortable, embarrassed at ourselves, we hadnít the slightest reason to be there, none of us, each one confused, vaguely alarmed, felt superfluous in relation to the others. And I myself . . . I too was superfluous. . . . I dreamed vaguely of killing myself to wipe out at least one of these superfluous existences. But even my death would have been superfluous. [23]

Commenting on Sartreís view of the absurdity of man, William Barrett writes:

Sartreís atheism states candidly . . . that man is an alien in the universe, unjustified and unjustifiable, absurd in the simple sense that there is no . . . reason sufficient to explain why he or his universe exists. [24]

Manís rebellion against God has, in Francis Schaefferís words, driven him beneath the line of despair. This again reflects Paulís words: "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened" (Rom. 1:21-22). Three verses earlier, Paul declares what caused this result: "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold [i.e., suppress] the truth in unrighteousness." Today one can talk publicly about any perverted subject he or she wants, but if another attempts to speak of the Absolute Truth of the God, he is censored by wicked politicians and a liberal news media. The fact remains, however, that by suppressing, censoring, and squelching Godís Truth and even expunging Him from life and society, secular philosophy has cast man into the dark abyss of ignorance, despair, and hopelessness.

Now, many Christians will think at this point that all weíve reviewed here is merely academic and not really applicable to them. Many will say, "Well, Iím a Christian, of course, so Iím not affected by secular philosophy, so we can just go on to the next verse." And it is precisely here that they are seriously wrong. Secular philosophy has infiltrated Christianity in many ways and with a terrible vengeance.

Perhaps the greatest and most serious infiltration is through the philosophy of Relativism. Relativism is the theory "that there is no objective standard by which truth may be determined, so that truth varies with individuals and circumstance." [25] In other words, whatever is true to you is true, but whatever is true for me is also true. Everyone can decide what is true for them in any given setting or circumstance. This philosophy is reflected in such statements as, "Well, that might be true for you but not me," or "All truth is personal; you have yours, and I have mine," or "We must each determine whatís right for us; no one can force his values on someone else," or, "Truth just depends upon your point of view." And on it goes.

But if one looks at Relativism objectively, he will find that it actually cuts its own throat. For one thing, to say that Truth is a matter of personal and cultural values, and is not a matter of a statement agreeing with reality, is most certainly not "telling it like it is" or describing "the ways things are," which is what the word Truth means.

Another way that Relativism is self-defeating is that it says that everything is relative, and it says that in a dogmatic and absolute manner. But hold on a minute-how can everything be relative except Relativism? As Norman Geisler writes:

The only way the relativist can avoid the painful dilemma of relativism is to admit that there are at least some absolute truths. Most relativists believe that Relativism is absolutely true and that everyone should be a relativist. Therein lies the self-destructiveness of Relativism. The relativist stands on the pinnacle of an absolute truth and wants to relativize everything else. [26]

We can also add that if everything is relative to each person, then the view of the relativist is true only for him. It doesnít make it true for everyone else because that contradicts the whole idea that everything is relative!

There is no escaping the plain fact that Relativism is blatantly contradictory and totally absurd. If it werenít so tragic and so misleading in our day, it would be laughable.

We cannot help but smile, however, at a classic example of this absurdity that appears in an incident that happened to Christian apologist and author Ravi Zacharias. While visiting Ohio State University to speak, his hosts took him to the Wexner Center of the Arts, which happens to be a monument to postmodern architecture. It has stairways leading nowhere, columns that come down but donít quite reach the floor, beams and galleries that go everywhere but nowhere, and a crazy looking girder system over most of the outside thatís pointless. Like Postmodernism and Relativism, it defies every rule of common sense and every law of rationality. Zacharias looked at the building, cocked his head, grinned, and then said, "I wonder if they used the same techniques when they laid the foundation." That one comment dismantles the whole idea of Relativism. The designers could talk all they wanted about being independent from reality in their decoration, but when it came to the reality of making the building stand up, they were still dependant on a laying a solid foundation. [27]

But in spite of its obvious self-defeating nature, Relativism is alive and well. What is the cause of Relativism? The major reason is that Relativism is comfortable; it doesnít demand anything. In other words, Absolute Truth makes us responsible, so by rejecting absolutes, we can live the way we want to.

As far as Godís Truth is concerned, there cannot be two conflicting views that are right. While there can be several applications of a verse, there is only one meaning that is right. This is why exegesis and exposition are so vital and involved. We must first see what a text says, not what we think it says or what we feel it means, but what it says. This is done by studying the language, context, historical setting, and several other principles. But in the Relativism that has taken over the Church today, the Bible is open to individual interpretation. The old adage, "Well, thatís just your interpretation," actually comes from the philosophy of Relativism. Here is one quotation that illustrates this typical attitude. One churchgoer puts it this way:

[This approach leaves] much more room for a forum. You can bring your own thoughts, bring your own feelings to the church. Thereís no rules, thereís no boundaries. You love God, you love Christ, and your interpretation of the Gospel and the stories in the Scriptures is your own, and you can share, and thereís no judgments made. [28]

This is beyond dangerous; it is deadly. There are simply no absolutes in this approach. We see countless examples of Relativism in Christianity today. Catch phrases such as "seeker sensitive," "user-friendly," and "meeting needs" are all built on the foundation of Relativism and its offspring Pragmatism, which says just do what gets results regardless of what the Bible says. If you embrace Pragmatism, you can use any method you want, you can have any kind of "ministry" you want, and you can present the Gospel any way you wish. And if someone dares to discern, question, or "criticize," they are labeled divisive, intolerant, and "politically incorrect."

But Scripture is neither relative nor pragmatic. It deals in absolutes. And, contrary to the popular notion, it is not open for discussion and debate. This is why discussion groups, leaderless Bible studies, and all such things are not only a bad idea, they are also dangerous. People getting together to share their ignorance can never produce anything truly edifying. Why? Because seldom (if ever) does this approach proclaim Absolute Truth. The group merely discusses what the text means to them instead of a God-called, trained, and ordained man of God expositing what the text says and how it applies to the Christianís life.

All this is precisely why Paul absolutely refused to mix philosophy with preaching. As he wrote to the Corinthians, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect" (I Cor. 1:17). To mix the two was to make the Gospel "of none effect." The Greek here is keno, which means to make empty or void, to deprive of force, render vain, useless, of no effect. So, to mix philosophy with preaching is to make the Gospel empty, void, and useless. That is exactly what has been done today. The Gospel is presented as something that will make your life better, help you prosper, "meet your needs," and so forth. And that is what philosophy has always taught. From secular philosophies such as Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard to so-called "Christian" philosophies such as Bruce Wilkinsonís popular book The Prayer of Jabez, all such philosophy is secular, human, and false.

What is the great difference between philosophy and Truth? It is this: Truth is a revelation while philosophy is an invention. Thatís why Paul went on to write to the Corinthians:

And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. (I Cor. 2:1-5).

All God demands is that we just preach the Truth, for it never changes.

Religion

A third claim to being a source of Truth in our day is made by religion.

In a very real sense, what weíve observed regarding philosophy applies equally to religion, for religion is nothing more than philosophy. Webster defines religion as "a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices."

Before going on, we should make a crucial point. In a sense Biblical Christianity is a religion. The Puritans, for example, often referred to it as religion. But itís interesting that in the five verses where the world "religion" appears in the New Testament, it is always qualified by a modifier. Speaking as a Pharisee, Paul refers to "our religion" in Acts 26:5, that is, the works-oriented religion that Judaism had become. He does so again in Galatians 1:13-14, where he uses the term "the Jewís religion." James uses two modifiers, calling one religion "manís religion" and the other "pure religion" (Jas. 1:26-27).

So there is a difference between "religion" per se and "pure religion." The word "pure" translates the Greek katharos, which means that which is genuine, or that which is free from any improper mixture. Biblical Christianity is, therefore, the genuine article, in contrast to just religion. For that reason, I use the word "religion" in the sense of false religion in contrast to Biblical Christianity.

With that in mind, when one examines religion, he finds that from Cain, through the pagan cults, and right up to todayís countless religions, every one of them has their own belief system, their own philosophy, their own view of Truth. In the final analysis, every religion is simply manís works-oriented way of getting to God (or enlightenment, nirvana, or whatever else he wants to call his idea of Truth). Like philosophy, religion is invention, not revelation. Religion is not Truth.

Perhaps the best example is Judaism. After all, if any "religion" could be called Truth, it would surely be Judaism. God Himself gave the Law, instituted the sacrificial system, and established Temple worship. But the Jews totally perverted all of it and turned it into just another works system. Throughout their history, especially during the Babylonian Exile and the Intertestamental Period, they added thousands of man-made traditions to Godís law and made them equal to Godís law. The rabbis searched Scripture to find various commands and regulations and then added supplemental requirements. As our Lord declared to the scribes and Pharisees, "Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition" (Matt. 15:6).

To the command not to work on the Sabbath, for example, they added the idea that carrying a burden was a form of work, but then they had to answer the question, "What constitutes a burden?" After much discussion, they decided that a burden would be defined as food equal to the weight of a fig, enough wine for mixing in a goblet, milk enough for one swallow, honey enough to put on a wound, oil enough to anoint a small member of the body, water enough to moisten eye salve, paper enough to write a customs house notice, ink enough to write two letters of the alphabet, reed enough to make a pen, and so on. To carry anything more than those prescribed amounts on the Sabbath was to break the law.

But even such a list could not answer every situation, so a lot of time was spent arguing about such things as if a tailor who went out on the Sabbath with a needle stuck in his robe, or if moving a lamp from one place in a room to another, or if wearing an artificial leg, or if using a crutch, or if a parent lifted a child, or if a doctor healed a patient on the Sabbath was considered carrying a burden and therefore sinful.

Another related issue was how far a person could travel on the Sabbath, based upon Exodus 16:29: "Abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day." Acts 1:12 mentions what came to be called "a Sabbath dayís journey." It was decided, not by Biblical authority but by the Rabbis, that the farthest distance a faithful Jew could travel on the Sabbath was equal to one-half of a mile (about 2,000 cubits). Where in the world did they get that arbitrary measurement? It was derived from tradition based upon Israelís encampments in the wilderness. The tents farthest out on the campís perimeter were 2,000 cubits from the center Tabernacle, which was the longest distance anyone had to walk to reach the tabernacle on the Sabbath (Josh. 3:4; cf. Num. 35:5), so that distance became law.

One other example of such Jewish tradition is found in Matthew 15:1-2: "Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying, Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread?" The washing referred to here had nothing to do with hygiene, rather ceremonial rinsing. The purpose was to remove the ritual defilement caused by having touched something unclean, such as a dead body or a Gentile. Some of the rabbis even taught that a certain demon named Shibtah attached itself to peopleís hands while they slept and that, if he were not ceremonially washed away, he would actually enter the body through the food handled by defiled hands.

The value of ceremonial rinsing was held so high that one rabbi insisted that "whosoever has his abode in the land of Israel and eats his common food with rinsed hands may rest assured that he shall obtain eternal life." Another rabbi taught that it would be better to walk four miles out of the way to get water than to eat with unwashed hands. One rabbi who was imprisoned and given a small ration of water used it to wash his hands before eating rather than to drink, claiming he would rather die than transgress the tradition.

It was for this reason that water jars were conveniently placed when a meal was served. One could not use less than a quarter of a "log" of water, which was enough to fill one and a half egg shells. He first had to pour the water on both hands with the fingers pointed upward; the water then had to run down the arm as far as the wrist and drop off from the wrist, since the water was now itself unclean, having touched the unclean hands. And if by chance it ran down the fingers again, it would render them unclean. This process was repeated with the hands held in the downward direction, the fingers pointing down. And finally each hand was cleansed by being rubbed with the fist of the other. A strict Jew would do this before every meal and between every course in a meal.

But the Law of Moses contained no commandment about washing oneís hands before eating-except for priests who were required to wash before eating holy offerings (Lev. 22:6, 7). And God never instituted such washings as any more than outward symbols or pictures of spiritual truths. The Old Testament nowhere holds them up as having any merit, value, or blessing in themselves.

Such outward ritual and meaningless works have been repeated millions of times, throughout thousands of years, by hundreds of religions. And religion is all it is, just man-made tradition. From Roman Catholic ritual, which comes from tradition not Scripture, to even Protestants, Evangelicals, and Fundamentalists who give more authority to the pronouncements of their denomination than to the Bible, Truth is forced to give way to religious tradition.

III. The Only Source of Truth

With all the foregoing in mind, if science, philosophy, or religion cannot give us Truth, what can? This is, indeed, a challenging question in our day and brings us back to Pilateís cynical (or even contemptuous) question to the Lord Jesus in John 18:37-38, a question that permeates our society today: "What is truth?"

The most noteworthy thing about that scene is that while Pilate asked a legitimate and pivotal question, he did not wait for an answer, rather "when he had said this, he went out again." Think of it-he was standing in front of Truth Incarnate but walked away. And people have been walking away from Truth ever since. One writer, Dr. Mark M. Hanna, notes that we are facing the following pernicious but widely held assumptions today: (1) It is doubtful that there is such a thing as truth; but if there is, it cannot be known. (2) If there is such a thing as truth, it is very unlikely that there is any religious truth. [29]

Repeating our earlier definition, Truth, or that which is true, speaks of what is real, what really is, what is factual. Itís not opinion, itís not conjecture, itís not hypothesis or theory. Rather, it is "telling it like it is." If something is true, it is absolutely reliable, totally secure. It cannot change because to do so would mean itís not true, not reliable. If something is true, it will always be true, and there will never be a circumstance when it is untrue.

What, then, is true? What is factual? What is absolutely reliable, totally secure, and unchanging?

We are left with only one answer - God and His Word.

Paul declares in our text, In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. There are two emphases in this great statement: The Immediate Truth, and The Broader Truth. The Immediate Truth First, Paul speaks of the word of truth, which is best stated and understood as the gospel of your salvation. In other words, it is the Gospel that is the only truth that brings salvation. The real Truth, which in turn forms the foundation of all other Truth and is the source from which all other Truth flows, is the Gospel.

Word translates logos, which means to speak intelligently, to articulate a message, to give a discourse. Truth, as already noted, is aletheia, which means nonconcealment, and denotes a thing as it really is, not as it is concealed or falsified. So the phrase the word of truth declares that there is one message that is real and unconcealed, not falsified or changing. What is that message? It is the message of the gospel.

How profound that statement is! In a day when it is considered intolerant and divisive to say that there is only one true religion, that statement invites violent criticism. To call one group a cult or false religion, or call Islam "an evil religion," as did President George W. Bush after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon, brings a storm of protest. But such dissent does not alter the fact that God says that only His Word is Truth.†

The word Gospel has an interesting etymology. The Greek, of course, is euaggelion: eu, good; aggello, to proclaim, tell. But the English is even more fascinating. It comes from the Old English godspel: god, good; spel, tale. Witches were said to cast a spell, that is, say certain words that supposedly had magic powers. To spellbind, is to speak in such a way as to hold peopleís attention. To spell a word means to name or write the letters of the word. So, the Gospel is, indeed, the good spell, the good tale, the good story, the good message, the good news.

Even more significant, the gospel is he only good tale. The definite article (the) is present twice in the English but three times in the Greek. We can literally read it, "The message of the truth, the good news of your salvation." Paul wants to make it clear that there is only one good news. As he declared to the Galatian believers:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. (Gal. 1:6-7).

He makes it clear to them that a perverted Gospel is not a Gospel (a good news, a good story) at all. It is for that reason that he writes the very pointed, narrow command in the next two verses:

But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed (vs. 8-9).

"Accursed" (anathema) refers to that which is devoted to destruction. We are not to be tolerant of false teaching, rather we are to consider such teaching and teachers as under Godís judgment. God simply will not tolerate a perversion of Gospel. Why? Because itís the only Truth. The Apostle Paul preached the only Gospel there is. In contrast, in our day the Gospel is being retold as a new tale, a new story. Itís a story of Godís Universal Fatherhood, Jesusí life as a good moral example, and a salvation without repentance, Lordship, or even acknowledgment of sin. One today can define the Gospel in whatever terms make him feel okay. But that type of Gospel, which is no Gospel at all, must be cursed for what it is-a lie. The only Gospel is, as the context makes clear, trust in Jesusí blood as the only redemption from sin.

The Broader Truth

Going still deeper here, the truth refers to more than just the Gospel message. It also includes all of Godís revelation, that is, all of His Word. We say this because the message of the Gospel is the center of Godís revelation and everything else flows from that. When we come to Christ, we embrace not only the Truth of the Gospel, but all of Godís Truth.

It is precisely for that reason that we need to recognize that Godís Word is the only source of Absolute Truth (which is actually redundant, because Truth implies an absolute). As weíve seen, there are many other claims on how to discover Truth, but it is God alone who reveals it.

Words fail to express the impact that this realization has produced in my own life and service. After examining the history of science, philosophy, and religion, it becomes glaringly obvious that Truth is to be discovered only in God and His Word. As mentioned earlier, to argue along the lines of these other things is pointless, fruitless, and, if I may be so bold, borderline blasphemous. We should not argue from any other premise but, "Thus saith the Lord."

Now, some would object to our whole discussion by saying, "This is all quite silly. After all, I can say, ĎThe book is on the table; that is a fact and is therefore true, and the Bible didnít have anything to do with it." And to that we say, you are quite right. That is what is called "self-evident fact." Something that is self-evident does not need to be proved because it shows itself to be true.

This thought immediately prompted me to ask, "Does the Bible have anything to say about what philosophers call "self-evident fact?" And I found that It does, indeed. Galatians 3:11 declares, "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith." The word "evident" translates the Greek delos, which, as John Gill puts it, refers to "a clear case, out of all dispute." Writing to the Galatians, who had become entangled in the works-oriented Judaizing heresy, Paul is saying that there is nothing more "self-evident" than the fact that man cannot be justified by Law but by faith in Christ alone. There is, indeed, no more obvious and self-evident Truth in Scripture than that. That is precisely what changed Martin Lutherís life and ignited the Reformation. In Lutherís own words, "If anyone could have been saved by his monkery, it would have been me." But he finally realized the self-evident Truth of sola fide (faith alone).

Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote a wonderful book titled, The Approach to Truth: Scientific and Religious. In it he writes:

The Bible says quite plainly and frankly that man is totally incapable of arriving at a knowledge of truth by means of scientific theory, and that if he would arrive at a knowledge of truth, he must submit himself to revelation. In other words, he must admit he cannot arrive at truth unaided. He must cease to have self-confidence; he must cease to trust his own intellect and his power of reason . . . The Bible is quite explicit in saying that there is only one way of arriving at a knowledge of ultimate truth, and that is to accept the revelation which is given in the Bible.[30]

Many people look at such an attitude and mockingly say, "That is simply intellectual suicide. To accept the Bible and, therefore, ignore millennia of scientific proof and philosophical argument is childish simplicity." Really? How then does one explain a man like Blaise Pascal, the 17th Century French mathematical genius? At the age of 12, he discovered the main principles of Geometry on his own; when his father took away his Geometry books to make him study languages, the boy worked out 32 of Euclidís propositions without prior knowledge of them. He later pioneered Hydrodynamics and Fluid Mechanics, in so doing discovering what would be named Pascalís Law, which formed the basis of Hydraulics. He would be honored in the 20th Century by having a computer programming language named after him. And yet, where did he place his faith and trust? On the person of Christ as Savior and Lord by grace. Countless other brilliant individuals are likewise hard to explain. The Apostle Paul himself, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Edwards, and others were all brilliant individuals. But why were they brilliant? Because they realized that mere intellect is limited; it could not take them all the way. They all realized that Truth was not to be found in reason, but in revelation.

In contrast, as the Psalmist declares, the smartest person in the world who says there is no God is not smart at all; heís a fool (Ps. 14:1). Here is another sweeping and profound statement. The person who denies God, no matter how brilliant he is or how earth shattering his discoveries might be, is simply a fool.

The evolutionist, for example, who is perhaps the most pitiable of all scientists, looks for Truth by digging up bones and then proposing wild theories of origins that he cannot even begin to defend intelligently. But what is the Truth? "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth" (Gen. 1:1), and "In six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is" (Ex. 20:11).

The astronomer gazes into the vastness of space and postulates that it all started with a Big Bang billions of years ago. But what is the Truth? "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge" (Ps. 19:1-2).

The philosopher rambles on about "being" and "knowing." But what is the Truth? "In [Christ] are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col. 2:3).

The religionist pontificates about the many roads there are to God. But what is the Truth? Jesus declared very narrowly, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me" (Jn. 14:6). And again, "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it" (Matt. 7:13-14).

How sad it is that so many today are, "Are ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (II Tim. 3:7). No matter what man discovers, no matter what he learns, no matter what advances he makes, he still misses the Truth.

Finally, one of the greatest burdens on my heart is the lack of knowledge and Truth in Christianity today. It is deeply tragic that many are caught up in these inadequate sources of Truth when the battle can only be won with the "sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of GOD" (Eph. 6:17). And whatís more, the major fault lies nowhere else than on the heads of preachers. One of the saddest realities in the Church are pastors who stand in the pulpit week after week and preach nothing but salvation messages, or at best, some shallow, syrupy devotional. Yes, salvation is the beginning, but itís just that-the beginning. From there comes "the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." (Eph. 4:11-12). Paul went out of his way to specifically challenge the Ephesian elders to declare "all the counsel of God" and "to feed the church of God" (Acts 20:27-28). It is only by giving Godís people the Truth-predominately by expository preaching-that they can be equipped for living and become discerners of error. But tragically, that is not the norm today.

It is also for this reason that Paul entreated Timothy that the very mission of the Church is to be "the pillar and ground of the truth" (I Tim. 3:15). This was actually an extraordinary statement. Timothy was at that time the pastor of the Ephesian church. Paul had left him there to deal with several problems that had arisen. While we donít readily understand this statement, Timothy and the Ephesians immediately recognized the imagery Paul uses.

The impressive temple of the goddess Diana (Artemis), one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, was located in the city. William Barclay gives the following description of it:

One of its features was its pillars. It contained 127 pillars, every one of them the gift of a king. All were made of marble, and some were studded with jewels and overlaid with gold. [31]

Each pillar acted as a tribute to the king who donated it. The honorary significance of the pillars, however, was secondary to their function of holding up the immense structure of the roof. Here, then, Paul says that the churchís mission is to hold up the Truth.

But Paul adds something else-that the church is also the ground of the Truth. Ground translates the Greek hedraioma, which appears only here in the New Testament and refers to "a stay, a prop, or a support." Some commentators maintain that the idea here is "foundation." The NIV even translates it as "foundation." But that is a very serious error. Gordon Clark points out by writing:

Were this word translated foundation, so the church would be the foundation of the truth, the connotation would be seriously in error. The Church does not invent the truth; the truth produces the church . . . The church is the pillar and seat, the mainstay, the bulwark, the support of the truth. In less metaphorical language this means the church proclaims, defends, and propagates the Gospel.[32]

Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest gives the true comparison of pillar and ground by writing:

The word "ground" is hedraioma, "a stay, a prop." The kindred adjective is hedraios, "firm, stable." The words, "pillar" and "ground," are in apposition to [i.e., supplement] the word "church." The idea is that the church is the pillar, and as such, the prop or support of the truth.

So, in Paulís metaphor the church is not the foundation of the Truth-the Truth is the foundation. Rather, the Church is the pillar, the mainstay, the chief support that holds up the Truth and proclaims it as the only Truth. As the pillars of the Temple of Diana were a testimony to the error of pagan false religion, so the Church is to be a testimony to Godís Truth. That is its mission, its very reason for existence.

In direct contradiction of Paulís imagery, the mission of todayís churches is to be "user friendly," "purpose driven," and "seeker sensitive," but God said to just preach the Truth. It is the solemn responsibility of every church to solidly, immovably, unshakably, uncompromisingly uphold the Truth of Godís Word. Again, the Church is not to invent the Truth, as is being done today by everything from redefining the Gospel to reinventing Church ministry. Such people are treading on dangerous ground. As Revelation 22:18-19 declare, judgment awaits those who alter Godís Word:

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

When John, the last of the apostles (and therefore the last person able to write Scripture), wrote these words, the Gnostics were already adding to and subtracting from the Word of God. The Roman Catholic Church has since added its traditions and the ex cathedra ("from the chair") pronouncements of its popes to the Word of God. The Mormons have added the nonsense concocted by Joseph Smith in The Book of Mormon. The so-called Christian Scientists have added the ramblings of Mary Baker Eddy. The Spiritists have added pronouncements derived from demons. In contrast to such additions, liberal textual critics have specialized in deleting great portions of Scripture. And the tampering goes on, in spite of Godís warning. In the end God will settle His own accounts with those He bluntly labels "liars" in Proverbs 30:5-6: "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

May we say it one more time-the Churchís mandate is not to invent the Truth, but to support and safeguard the Truth. It is to the Church that God has given the stewardship of Scripture. The Scripture is the most precious possession on earth, and it is the Churchís duty to guard It. Churches that tamper with Biblical Truth, misrepresent it, depreciate it, relegate it to a secondary place, or abandon it altogether destroy their only reason for existing and will experience impotence and judgment. I grieve every day over the fact that many (if not most) evangelical churches are not preaching the unadulterated, uncompromised Truth of Godís Word.

The most important gauge by which a church can be measured is not how large it is, how good its fellowship is, how interesting the pastor is, how good the music is, how well the grounds are kept up, or even how respected it is in the community. The measure of any church is how it handles the Word of God. Two questions should be our benchmark: First, does it teach the Truth? Second, does it live the Truth?

May we emphasize once again that Truth is not relative. Unlike the world, Liberal Christianity, and even much of the Evangelical Church, the Scripture could not be clearer on this point. In Luke 9:50, the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, "He that is not against us is for us." Two chapters later (11:23) He said it in the reverse: "He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth." A person is either for Christ or against Christ. There is no middle ground between right and wrong, Truth and error, sound doctrine and heretical doctrine, true Gospel and false Gospel. Something is either true or it isnít. In contrast to the prevalent and predominate attitude of our day, there is nothing in the middle. There is no "gray area."

Oh, Dear Christian Friend, no matter what the question, no matter what the issue, would that our motto be, "What saith the Scripture?" (Rom. 4:3; Gal. 4:30). Why? Because only It is Truth. Let us close with two other wonderful verses:

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Jn. 8:32-33).

Will science make us free? No, weíre ever learning but never discovering. Will philosophy make us free? No, it drove Nietzsche mad. Will even religion make us free? No, the Law keeps us in bondage. It is only the Gospel of Christ that makes us free, and it is only in His Word that we find Truth.

References

[1] Kittel.
[2] Ted Olson, Things That Endure, Stanza 1.
[3] Cited in Gordon Clark, The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God (The Trinity Foundation, 1964, 1996), p. 53 (emphasis added).
[4] Gordon Clark, An Introduction to Christian Philosophy (The Trinity Foundation, 1968, 1993), p. 42-42. Clark goes on to write: "For eample, the law of gravitation conflicts with the observation of galaxies. It implies that the universe has a center where the spatial density of stars is maximum; i.e., more stars per cubic area. Proceeding outward from this center, the spatial density should decrease toward and infinite region of emptiness. But observation, on which the ordinary view of science must depend, shows galaxies everywhere, and this contradicts the Newtonian law of gravitation."
[5] Some of the preceding discussion adapted from Clark (The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God) and the following: W. Gary Crampton, "The Biblical View of Science" (The Trinity Review, Number 143, January 1997); John W. Robbins, "The Scientist as Evangelist" (The Trinity Review, Number 47, January/February 1986).
[6] Adapted from Michael Crichton, Timeline (New YorK: Random House Publishers, 1999), pp. vii-viii.
[7] John W. Robbins, "The Scientist as Evangelist."
[8] Carl F. H. Henry, Editor, Horizons of Science (New York: Harper & Row, 1978), p. 268. Also cited in Clark, The Philosophy of Science and Belief in God, p. viii-ix (emphasis added).
[9] Ibid, p. ix-x.
[10] Quotations from The Revised Quote Book (Brisbane: Creation Science Foundation).
[11] The Defenderís Study Bible.
[12] Latin, Cogito, ergo sum. Rene Descartes, Le Discours de la Methode (Discourse on Method, 1637).
[13] A religious system developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded by Voltaire and Rousseau, that taught a Creator but denied Providence and Revelation and denied that the Creator takes an active part in His creation.
[14] An ancient religious and philosophical viewpoint where God is in everything, that God is primary and the universe is the finite emanation of Him. It is found in the religion of Hinduism and in the philosophy of Spinoza.
[15] See Schaefferís classic trilogy, The God Who Is There, Escape from Reason, and He Is here and He Is Not Silent).
[16] An Introduction to Christian Philosophy (The Trinity Foundation, 1968, 1993), pp. 20 (cf. 37, 122).
[17] The Dust of Death (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1973), p. 148).
[18] Cited in Guinness, The Dust of Death, p. 22.
[19] Genealogy of Morals (1887). First Essay, "Aphorism," p. 62.
[20] The Dust of Death, p. 24.
[21] Encyclopedia Britannica.
[22] Latter Day Pamphlets, No. 1, 1850.
[23] Cited in Robert Denoon Cumming, editor, The Philosophy of Jean Paul Sartre (New York: Random House, 1965), pp. 61-62, italics in the original).
[24] Irrational Man (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1962), p. 262.
[25] David Elton Trueblood, Philosophy of Religion; cited in Josh McDowell, The New Evidence that Demands a Verdict (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), p. 589.
[26] Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics; cited in McDowell, p. 593.
[27] Recounted by Dennis McCallum in The Real Issue. Cited in McDowell, pp. 619-20.
[28] "Does The Truth Matter Anymore?" Taped study by John MacArthur (Word Pictures). Boca Raton: CrossTV, Part 1.
[29] Crucial Questions in Apologetics, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1981), p. 21 (italics in original)
[30] Martyn Lloyd-Jones The Approach to Truth: Scientific and Religious, pp. 21, 23.
[31] The Letters to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1975), p. 89.
[32] Gordon Clark, The Pastoral Epistles.†

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The LMS-USA is a Biblical, Confessional, Evangelical, Liturgical, Congregational expression of the universal (catholic) orthodox Church on earth. It is a 'Forum by Subscription.' As a 'Forum' the intent is that there will be an ongoing discussion of theological issues and concerns among clergy and lay alike. The LMS-USA meets annually for a Theological Conference and this publication, besides carrying news of the Ministerium and Synod, functions also as a vehicle for this continuing dialogue.

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