Tuesday, January 30, 2007

What Is Absolute Truth?

Sometimes I hear people say things like

  • "Truth is in the eye of the beholder."
  • "There's no such thing as truth."
  • "Truth is related to what you believe or don't believe."
  • "Truth is relative."

That kind of belief is very shifty and meaningless. People who say those things are trying either to avoid truth or to make it what they want it to be. Absolute truth does exist.

Jesus said, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

The most elemental, basic truth is love. It is the most powerful force in the universe.

Our hearts were created to cry out for love. We need it. We thrive on it. We shrivel up and die without it. People have been willing to sacrifice everything and even give up their lives for it. Love is the basis of all truth. The Bible says if we have every possession in the world but don't have love, we have nothing. Love is everything, and without it we are nothing. (That's in First Corinthians 13.)

The Bible says (in First John 4) that God is love. It says that if we have love in our lives, we have God, whether or not we know it. If you've known any love, then, you've known God--whether it is love of your children, your parents, your spouse, your friends, or your puppy.

Since love is who and what God is, he is truth.

In Viktor Frankl's book Man's Search for Meaning, he describes the process by which he was able to find meaning even while he was suffering terribly in a concentration camp during World War II. Stumbling over rocks and ice during a forced march one morning just before dawn, Frankl saw an image of his wife, and she seemed very real to him, as real as the sun rising. He says:

A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth--that love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love. . . . For the first time in my life I was able to understand the meaning of the words, "The angels are lost in perpetual contemplation of an infinite glory." (48-49)

We can depend on his love, because it is true, unfailing, and unchanging. It never ends.

The word of God is truth. In Psalm 33, King David says that "the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does" (verse 4). In verse 11, he says "the plans of the Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations."

The Bible is God's living word--it has all kinds of relevant things to say to anyone of any age, race, or nationality. Bob Just, a well-known journalist, wrote that "the Bible is amazing because truth is amazing. The Bible is not only adventurous; it's also touching, meaningful, instructive, ironic, sarcastic, humorous, gentle and stern--and ultimately both spiritual and human at the same time. It is also strangely modern despite its ancient text." He says it is "God's love letter to us." He calls it "a living document because the God who guides you is a Living God." And the secret to understanding and believing it "isn't knowledge. The secret is love."

God is the truth upon which all other truth rests.

Frankl, Viktor E. Man's Search for Meaning: An Introduction to Logotherapy. 4th ed. Trans. Ilse Lasch. Boston: Beacon, 1992.

Just, Bob. "No Fear: Overcoming Bible Trauma." WorldNetDaily. 10 Apr. 2004.

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