The Truth Series: How Do I Know I Have the Truth? (Part 7)

The Truth Series: How Do I Know I Have the Truth? (Part 7)

Now that I have laid a foundation of what the truth is and where to find it in Parts 1 to 6 I want to proceed in Part 7 with an apologetic, a defense that Christianity is not only true but is the truth.

Let me begin with the question we all need to ask ourselves: Is my life resting on a solid foundation of truth?

Some years back my wife and I were searching for a new home to purchase in a small city on Vancouver Island. One house in particular made an initial good impression on us. We drove into a great yard with double access points and plenty of room for everything. The exterior was well kept, and the inside, up and down, was newly renovated. Additionally, the house was close to my new job and our kids’ new school. Not to mention, the price was right. It was too good to be true. As I continued to poke around, I found a major crack midway in the back foundation wall neatly covered by a shrub. I walked around to the front and found a similar crack midway behind another shrub. I realized that the entire basement, save the rebar holding it together, was in two halves! Hence, the low price. As it stood, the house had very little value with a seriously defective foundation.

This story illustrates the importance of ensuring that your belief system provides a solid foundation on which a sturdy structure for your life can be securely built (Matthew 7:24-27).

The good news is that Christianity uniquely claims to be that solid, sturdy, and secure belief system.

Yet, as we engage the truth status of the Christian Faith, we must keep in mind it is more than a belief system. Through Christianity’s central message, which is the gospel of Jesus Christ, we encounter and are reconciled to the true and living God (John 3:16-17, 5:39-40, 14:1-11, 17:3, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, 1 Peter 3:18).

What will follow in the next several posts are summary “samples” of the explanatory power, and thus truth, of the biblical Christian belief system. The big idea at the heart of this unique system is the Trinity—one God existing as three Persons, Father, Son, and Spirit—who alone provide the necessary preconditions for the existence of our universe, our world, and our very selves.

How, then, does Christianity make for a solid foundation and sturdy structure for our lives? There is only one place we can go for answers. It is the self-attesting word of God in the Bible (John 7:16-17, 17:17, 20, 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5).

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The Truth Series: A Grand Homecoming (Part 6)

The Truth Series: A Grand Homecoming (Part 6)

Over the years I have had the privilege of pondering, writing about, and teaching on the pillar truths of the Christian Faith—such as creation, rebellion, redemption, consummation—which pillars are also known as the main movements in the Story of God. 

What I want to do in this post is reflect for a moment on how we might respond to these truths, should we desire to do so.

Many years ago, while working on my masters thesis, I found myself way too busy with a young family, full-time job, and seminary classes. My busyness took its toll.

Late one night—after the kids were in bed and clean up was done—I eagerly prepared to dive into my studies till the wee hours of the morning. The final piece in setting up for the night was fetching a freshly brewed cup of Joe with two cream. I headed back to my armchair and sat down to a greatly anticipated sip. To my shock the coffee was terrible! I looked and my coffee was reddish and the cream curdled. I walked back to the kitchen, wondering what went wrong. As I stared at the counter where the coffee machine was I realized there were two identical jugs beside it. One was pure, filtered water, and the other was the cranberry juice someone forgot to put back in the fridge. I had used the cranberry juice in the coffee machine without realizing it! Let me save you the trouble, only water works.

God’s grand Gospel Story is like the water. No other narrative will make sense of our lives in this universe, promise to resolve all our issues, and grant us complete fulfillment. Most importantly, it is the Story that makes true sense of Jesus Christ and his call to exclusively follow after him (Luke 9:23-25, Acts 4:12).

How might we respond to Jesus? We could do so according to his classic parable, the prodigal son, in Luke 15:11-24. There we read of a young son who prematurely demanded his inheritance, which was like saying ‘father, I wish you were dead.’ Surprisingly, the father granted his son’s request. And, with no thought of looking back, the son packed up and left for another country where he could live as he pleased.

Finally, having fallen into abject poverty, the young man came to his senses, repented from his heart, and returned to his father in the hope that his father would make him like one of his hired servants who had plenty.

Little did the prodigal know that his father had long been looking over the horizon for his son to return home. As he neared his father’s home his father saw him and, to the prodigal’s surprise, the father ran to him. Before he could finish his confession, his father embraced him and kissed him, reclothed him as a member of the family, and threw a massive celebration!

Your Heavenly Father is waiting for you (Luke 15:20, 2 Peter 3:9). So if you’re ready for a better Story, then it’s time to get up and run home! Simply pray and ask Jesus to save you (Romans 10:9-13).

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The Truth Series: Is There an End Game? (Part 5)

The Truth Series: Is There an End Game? (Part 5)

The past three years have been more than eventful! A never-ending pandemic, extreme heat and raging forest fires leading to evacuations and the incineration of towns, major flooding cutting off ground access to Vancouver, continuing economic and political upheavals, power-hungry leaders prolonging and taking advantage of crises, rising mental health problems and domestic violence, war, fear for the future, and the list goes on.

Sadly, human history is a replete with repeating cycles of trouble and sorrow (Ecclesiastes 1:9-10), which cycles have acutely intensified with population growth and global connectedness. Surely we are overdue for a deep reality check! How much more can we handle? Will we ever know anything more? Is there any hope for a better world? Is there an actual end game beyond Marvel mythology?

Our collective experience amply illustrates the ancient words of the Apostle Paul, ‘the whole of creation has been ever groaning in pain akin to childbirth’ (paraphrase of Romans 8:22). Fortunately, Paul’s metaphor and analogy also speaks hope to us, that something new will be born through the suffering. There most certainly is an end game!

However, due to our exile from Eden, the rebirth of a new creation will come through a single cosmic event: “he [God] has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead” (Acts 17:31).

The prospect of divine judgment is an uncomfortable topic for most, to say the least. Yet, consider two thoughts: First, a final judgment is necessary and good. It is the only action that will truly fix our world and make all things right. Second, and most importantly, God wants us to be fully ready for that final day.

The final judgment is the doorway through which we shall all pass, whether into eternal joy or eternal misery. Being fully ready means heeding God’s gracious command and loving desire for you to enter into life with him—through his Son Jesus Christ, who alone is Savior and Lord (Ezekiel 18:32, Matthew 25:46, Luke 15:7, John 14:6, Acts 4:12, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:3-4).

As you think about the life ahead, strongly ponder God’s perfect end game and let Jesus make you ready for a brand new world of everlasting joy (Acts 16:30-34, Matthew 7:24-27, Jude 1:24-25).

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