The Truth Series: How do I know I have the truth? (Part 9)

The Truth Series: How do I know I have the truth? (Part 9)

From the Origin and Nature of the Universe: A part from the Triune God revealed through the Bible, as the absolute Creator and Lord, we are utterly unable to explain the origin, nature, and purpose of our cosmos, of our world, and of our very selves. When, to the best of our ability, we “step back” in our minds and look at reality as it is we are rightly stunned by its magnificence and the deep sense that the sheer processes and forces of evolution would never predict nor ever be able to produce our universe. Nor is there another supernatural alternative to the Trinity that measures up as an explanation.

Just consider three of the numerous ways in which this inescapable truth is illustrated:

(1) There is an absolute day one for the universe and all things therein contained. Think about it: An infinite number of yesterdays means we would never arrive at today! This is known as the absurdity of an infinite regress, and it applies to the world both physically and philosophically, and it means there was a day one.

(2) There is astounding physical design throughout the universe, balancing on a razor’s edge of precision fine-tuning so that, for example, complex conscious life forms like you and me can exist. This is known as the anthropic principle, and it means that the universe was prepared for, and thus expecting, you and me.

(3) There is a timeless and universally binding moral law clearly evidenced throughout history in the moral codes and moral experience of human beings. In particular, the moral law teaches us that there is a way to be human and that we are morally accountable for that.

One does not need modern science and philosophy to clearly perceive these three facts, and many more like them, even though modern science and philosophy have helped in amplifying some of these facts. The truth is that, from the very beginning, God made every fact in the universe to be revelatory of himself, showing us without question, that he is the absolute Creator, Designer, and Authority. (Genesis 1:1, Nehemiah 9:6; Genesis 1:2 to 2:3, Psalm 19:1-6; Genesis 2:15-17, Ecclesiastes 12:11-14, Romans 2:11-16.)

It is only the Triune God of biblical Christianity who makes a universe like ours—a part from whom there would be no universe, no me, no you, no anyone or anything. Thus, the reality of God is obvious, natural, intuitive, and inescapable.

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The Truth Series: How do I know I have the truth? (Part 8)

The Truth Series: How do I know I have the truth? (Part 8)

From the Nature and Necessity of God: In Part 7, as I introduced the defense of Christianity as the truth, it will seem I have begged the question by assuming the necessity of the Christian Triune God of the Bible for explaining the universe, world, and ourselves.

Let me attempt to show “the proof is in the pudding” with three big interrelated thoughts for you to begin pondering: (please note, if you find this post too difficult to understand please skip to the next post, Part 9)

(1) The most fundamental belief in biblical, historic Christianity is the Trinity. While it is largely a glorious mystery, we know by divine revelation there are three coequal Persons—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—who intimately subsist as the one true and living God (Genesis 1:1-2, 26-28, Deuteronomy 6:4, Matthew 3:13-17, 28:18-20, John 1:1, 14:5-11). This is the self-contained ontological Trinity who, being eternally complete and infinitely perfect, is critical to the existence of our finite, temporal, shifting universe.

(2) Next is the Creator-creation distinction. First, there is God (Genesis 1:1a, Psalm 90:2)—as just identified above. Second, God created the cosmos (Genesis 1:1b, Nehemiah 9:6)—from our small planet to the furthest reaches of the universe and everything therein—giving it a separate existence of its own, while being dependent upon him as its firm foundation. This distinction further means that God did not create out of lack and need but out of infinite overflow and abundance (Acts 17:24-28, Psalm 104:27-30, 23:5, 87:7, John 4:10, 13-14, 10:10, 2 Corinthians 9:8, Ephesians 3:14-21, Romans 11:33-36), and that God created the universe and world as a general means through which he makes his existence and nature known to all (Psalm 19:1-6, Romans 1:18-20, Acts 14:15-17, Romans 2:11-16).

(3) Third, are how the concepts of an “approximate starting point” and an “ultimate starting point” relate to each other so as to undergird meaning, rationality, purpose, love, unity, diversity, and many other cherished values on which we thrive. Since we are beings with an existence of our own we naturally and rightly begin thinking about things from within our own minds. For example, we can ponder rationality and meaning and how they might play out in life. However, when we forget we are derivative from and dependent on God, and we stay lodged within ourselves, we inevitably begin believing that our universe and ourselves are, in principle, ultimate. But when this belief is pressed to its logical conclusion, we are forced to admit that our universe has no meaning or rationality in itself, for it is merely the accident of a-personal natural forces and processes. By extension, since we are only a micro part of the universe, we unwittingly reduce ourselves to irrational beings without meaning. Hence, at best, our cherished values become nothing more than abstractions and useful fictions. Yet, when we submit our “approximate” capacity to the “ultimate” capacity of God, through his revelation to us, then all our cherished values are concretely preserved.

It will take time to work through these densely packed thoughts. Yet, it is my prayer that this short excursion into the necessity of the Trinity is the beginning of seeing why this God alone provides the necessary preconditions for the existence of ourselves and our cosmos.

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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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Barbie Movie Thoughts

Barbie Movie Thoughts

Well … I gave in, took my youngest daughter, and went and saw the new Barbie movie. What convinced me? The brief review by Michael Knowles of the Daily Wire!

His claim, in disagreement with Ben Shapiro, was that Barbie was not woke or liberal, but rather, under the surface, a conservative movie. So, looking for some summer fun with my youngest, we saw it.

Disclaimer: I am not a movie reviewer. But here it goes any how.

I have to say, I was quite surprised! I actually liked it. I laughed—quite hard at times. I really enjoyed the deeper hidden meanings (for adults) of the story.

It is true. Barbie is not really a liberal, woke, or transgender driven film. There is a remnant thread of conservatism running throughout the movie. For the most part, with a few small exceptions (like possibly Allan), men are men and women are women. And, because of what culture and consumerism has done to male and female, Barbie and Ken have to figure out who they really are. What a great idea and vehicle for this massive life question!

However, that is all the movie could deliver of worth in my estimation.

While men and women get the choice to be as they are designed to be, mostly, the movie writes off patriarchy and barbie land as cultural constructs to deal with a tough world. So, while Barbie is herself and Ken is himself, which is good, they are, in my interpretation of the film, quite egalitarian. To be clear, I have no problem with women pursuing careers of all sorts, so long as it is what truly serves the creation mandate, the marriage union, and the family.

Sure twisted versions of “patriarchy” and “matriarchy” have to be identified and jettisoned. I agree with that. Sadly, though, the movie throws out the baby with the bath water. What we need is a good gospel transformed and centered “pate” and “mate” that is flexible enough to handle the diversity and spectrums of men and women God has created. Pate and Mate is first biblical, and second, it is true to how life actually is.

Therefore, I felt quite let down with the shallow moral of the story: “I am me.” That does not tell us much at all. That does not explain much about us at all. That overlooks some big items regarding the very clear design of man and woman, male and female.

Yet, thankfully, maleness and femaleness, mostly, are preserved. This has to be the absolute baseline—which line to cross is altogether destructive of who we are as man and woman, created in the image of our glorious God and, for those who believe, redeemed in his beloved Son, and brought back to what we were made for with the hope of a glorious future.

Moreover, the family is preserved. Pregnancy is re-elevated back to, at the minimum, an equally legitimate choice for women. This is a small step in the right direction. And this I want to point out and applaud!

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