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The Nature of Truth

I have been deeply contemplating the nature of truth as of late (for obvious reasons). There has been debate on whether truth is objective or subjective by nature. If truth is subjective, it is rather fruitless to search for it objectively, so for the purposes of this blog I must assume there is some objective truth that can be found.

Truth proves a difficult concept to grasp, however. The more I think about it, the more I wonder if there is any objective, indisputable truth that can be known.

Everyone has presuppositions that can blind them to truth. People assume that what they were taught in school is true until they realize that time is not, in fact, always constant, as the high school math teacher insists. Makes it hard to see the truth in the relativity of time. Matter cannot be created or destroyed is truth, until you read about the Higgs-Boson particle. God is real no matter what, or God cannot be real no matter what. These presuppositions can get in the way of truth.

So what does it look like to strip away these presuppositions, as much as humanly possible, to seek truth? It’s quite scary, to be honest. It starts to seem like anything could be true, or maybe nothing is, and maybe the best truth we can hope for is to know that we cannot know. Starts to seem a little subjective.

However, I still believe there is objective truth (and maybe that is a presupposition of which I cannot rid myself). It seems to me that either the Big Bang happened, or it didn’t. God is either real, or he isn’t. That is the kind of truth I am seeking.

My struggle with this is that it still seems impossible to know. The slogan at my school is, “Teach truth, love well.” Simple and sincere, I’ve always loved it. Lately, however, it’s been giving me some pause. I know very well that my professors do not all agree on certain aspects of theology, yet the aim of every one of them is to teach truth. If two professors are teaching different (possibly even contradictory) things, are they both teaching truth? How much deviation is allowed before it is no longer truth, where is the line? Can something even claim to be objective truth if deviation is allowed? I’m not sure who is in heaven if deviation isn’t.

Some have suggested to me that it is only certain core aspects of truth that matters, and these deviations are not important. Even if that is so, I wonder how many would agree on where the line is between necessary truth and unimportant deviation. There must be a truth in this line – it cannot be arbitrary. One of the fundamental beliefs of Christianity is that truth is not relative… unless we’re talking about truth within Christianity?

I do not have any good resolutions to these thoughts. The nature of truth is something I will continue to struggle with, and likely continue to fail to understand.

An Unexpected Journey

Yes, the title is a Hobbit reference. No, this blog does not have much of anything to do with Middle Earth. I just found it fitting, and enjoy movie references (especially references that have anything to do with Middle Earth).

I am at the beginning of a somewhat unexpected journey, and I wanted to give a bit of background to it in my first post. I’ve been Christian as long as I can remember; I grew up in church (and in the Bible belt), and everyone in my family is Christian. My faith has gone unchallenged for most of my life.

That changed quite dramatically in college when I met my current best friend, who just happens to be agnostic. He and I have spent a good deal of time discussing/debating essentially anything that remotely involves religion, including theology, contradictions in the Bible, the creation of the universe, whether science contradicts the Bible, the historicity of the Bible – you name it, we’ve probably at least touched on the subject.

I’ve realized, however, that in most of these conversations I tend to go in with an agenda. My friend is remarkably gifted in finding inconsistencies in anything, and my reaction to these findings has often been to jump to a defense, rather than just looking at the information. Defending your faith is not a bad thing, but I don’t want to do so at the expense of truth.

So I’ve decided that I want to take an objective (at least as much as possible) look at everything my friend and I have discussed and just see what it says. I want to learn as much as I can about anything I can. I want to seek truth. And I want to share what I learn. As a Christian, I have believed all of my life that the Bible holds that truth. If that is the case, then no amount of questioning will be able to discredit that. If that is not the case, as scary as that is for me, I would like to know.

I no longer want to be defensive of my own beliefs at the expense of truth. As Augustine said, “The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”

That being said, I am extremely open to suggestions and comments. If anyone has any books, videos, movies, anything that may be helpful or interesting, I would love to know. Or even topics to research, there are an infinite number of things to learn.