The Evangelical Universalist Forum

What Is Truth?

Pilate speaks!!! :astonished: :open_mouth: :stuck_out_tongue: :smiling_imp: lol I imagine this may have been tackled in a previous post on here at some point. If you Admins know of one please paste it on here. I am just thinking of all the variety of nuances within Christianity which claim to know the truth, who is Jesus. But, so many differences exist as well. Jesus said we would know the truth and the truth would set us free. He asked God to sanctify His disciples in the truth, declaring Thy Word is truth How do you all make sense of this?? Is truth knowable in an absolute sense ever for us, or ist actually mostly relational and the more we experience the truth of God & Jesus relationally the more it will set us free?? Look forward to all your responses.

If I had to define “truth” with a single word, I would offer the word “reality.”

JESUS is the truth. Pilate asked, “What is truth?” while the only truth the world will ever know stood before him in the flesh. We don’t, and we can’t know the truth without knowing Jesus.

I would say truth is more relational than absolute. If it were absolute then there wouldn’t be various denominations believing different variants of the truth.
A good friend of mine is writing a philosophical exploration of a progressive and relational understanding of truth within and from Scripture. He says truth has a cognitive and relational aspect to it and we can fall into the trap of treating them as a dichotomy, when both are important and can be held together. Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the topic headings of his series. I think you may find it helpful!

Here is the first of seven articles.
thebenevolenthecklers.blogspot.c … pture.html ]()


Sorry, I should have said “I would say truth is more relational than absolute… when acknowledging the notion that we have such a small and subjective experience/view of the gigantic universe our Creator has put together”. In other words I cannot say that it is impossible for someone (like God) to know truth absolutely, but from our perspective it is extremely difficult to discern anything with certainty with absolute surety. Go where the evidence leads! Seeking God builds a deeper and fuller relationship with Him, but doesn’t mean everything will be completely understood :slight_smile:

To me, the truth is right before our very eyes. There is only one way to life , and that is by following the word of God, which is everything Jesus said and did. As we can see through observation of our own lives, the lives of others, and the world around us ,when we don’t follow the word of God, it all falls apart.

Cindy and Daniel- thanks so much for those replies. Jesus definitely IS truth and is relational in having us know Him as truth.

LLC- my question to you is, what if we do not have a way to know the word of God so we can follow it?? Also, don’t we always fall and stumble throughout life even whe nwe are following Jesus as we see Him because we are fallen humans?? Do you see our ability to grasp Jesus to be limited by our humanity and He will accept us fully even though we may never get to the point you are saying about keeping life from all falling apart??

Robert, I would say that it helps to know Jesus, and what He said and did, in order to know the right way to live according to God. It saves us a lot of pain and grief in the long run if we should trust and live by His word. But even many who know the word of God ( the elect) are deceived or perhaps they fall asleep at the wheel per say. There are other ways in which we may come to know the truth. As Romans 1:19 says : " because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them." God has given us a heart and a mind, as well as eyes and ears. Again, as Romans 2:15 states, the conscience bears witness, as well as the works that we do (John 5:36). If the things that we do are not bringing joy, happiness, prosperity, etc. to our lives or the lives of others but instead are causing pain, destruction, etc. and wreaking havoc, then this is an indication that our ways are not good. We know how it feels when someone treats us badly. Why would we do this to someone else? Other people can also give testimony. Those that have “been there, done that” can tell you their stories whether to the good or bad. Observing how others live, for example-the life of an alcoholic, drug addict, etc., reveals a lot.

In answer to your other questions, I think one of the reasons God came to earth was to show us the right path by way of example, to make it simple and easy to understand. I don’t think God ever expected us to be perfect. There is only One who is perfect and that is God Himself. But, yes we can follow what Jesus said and did, for He told us to do so ( Matthew 28: 19-20). This is righteousness, according to God, for us as humans.

Daniel- I browsed through the blogsite you shared. Great stuff mate :smiley: :wink: It really does have a lot to say about the discussion on this thread. I especially liked the post where the author talks about trhe way we read scripture as needing to be more than cognitive. We are definitely highly influenced by Greek thought as well as the Enlightenment still in our culture today. I think a lot more needs to be explored about how we know truth, which is Jesus, in ways other than with our intellect. It is a lil tricky to navigate because we must go through our minds in order to process whatever we are experiencing.

Hi Daniel,
The tree of good and evil unfortunately somehow made truth a challenge… I have to disagree (respectfully) that God does (some how not) know all truth, and wants the best for all of His creation. I’m not sure I understand that the creator can not know the created creatures endeavors, but hey… that’s what we are here discussing!

I think there is an absolute… we need to search and find it … If possible!



Yes, I would also have to say that there is an absolute truth. In the beginning, God established His laws and ordered all things, including the ways in which man should walk in order to live and have life on earth. God’s word ( all that Jesus said and did) being that truth by which we should live. Take theft and murder for example, are these ever right? Man does these things, but it is neither right nor is it ever the right way to live.

I think theft can sometimes be right. People under a vicious autocrat have stolen the autocrat’s food in order to stay alive, or have stolen it in order to feed others.

Murder can never be right by its very definition: “immoral killing of human beings.”
Killings in “just” wars are not considered to be murder by society, nor killing by an executioner carrying out the legal death sentence given to a person.

Paidion, The absolute laws of God, those that Jesus stated, apply to every human being. As in your example of the vicious autocrat, it is the autocrat who has broken the law of God and has taken that which did not belong to him, namely the life, liberty and property of another. Being that this autocrat has become a law unto himself in which there is no just law to appeal to, and one’s life is in jeopardy; then if one takes back that which was rightfully his to begin with in order to avoid starvation, I would say that this would be the correct thing to do. Theft is still absolutely wrong according to God.

Jesus is Truth, as He declared Himself to be. My question is- how do we determine how to interpret what that means??? I think we want everything to be plain clear easy to understand but as our entire history of life shows, it has been anything but. Did Jesus mean truth is relational so by trusting Him we know truth?? Did He mean it as authoritarian??? Both??? How does our being broken vessels very weak and prone to stumble, affect our ability to know,feel,act on and with truth???

Excellent questions Robert!

Chad, you said “I think there is an absolute… we need to search and find it … If possible!”

Interestingly I would have to agree with you, though you disagree with me?!?! ha ha. Maybe I will rephrase what I said. I do believe there is absolute truth, however I am not certain that we can Know it 100% in the scientific sense that people expect to know everything these days. Science is bogus because it results in infinite regress, and instead of describing fundamental causes it describes an endless chain of symptoms. Science observes patterns, not causes. Personally, I think science is more or less just a method for providing evidence for subjective conclusions. The key question which Robert posed (and yourself) is “Is it possible to Know truth”. Obviously in the scriptures it says we can to a degree know, but I am not certain that this means in a reductionistic sense eliminating all possibilities of error. Biblically, we can “know” based on evidence and the work of the Spirit, which provides us with conviction and faith about the Word of God.

It really comes down to what we mean by “KNOW”? Obviously there is absolute truth out there, but accessing it can be a hard task. That is why I believe a relational view of truth is more useful for a Christian. That seems to be the way that Jesus interpreted the law.

If Joe knows his wife in now in their house, then the following three statements must be true:

  1. Joe believes that his wife is now in their house.
  2. Joe’s wife, in fact, is in their house.
  3. Joe has sufficient evidence that his wife is now in their house.

Number 3 is the stickler. How much evidence is “sufficient” evidence?

To say, “JESUS is the truth,” is tantamount to saying, “JESUS is reality.”

Hi all- Wanted to come back & add to this a bit. I think a distintion has to exist between God & Jesus being absolute truth & our ability to comprehend and know it in full detail. All scripture is interpreted right?? So does God in His wisdom make it so we accept different interpretations without going into error??? When Jesus said * Thy Word is Truth* He leaves a lot of ambiguity does He not?? I interpret that there was death before sin occurred, mainly animals,dinosaurs,plants. A few hold no death occurred before sin because all was perfect before then. Is there a way for us to definitively say one is true??? I believe Truth is absolute & not relative but it seems for us as finite humans, God doesnt make it crystal clear for us to grasp that. What say ye??

Robert, there should be a “like” function on here :slight_smile: I enjoyed your comment…

“Truth” is tantamount to “reality.”